It’s easy to miss. So restrained is its shopfront that it pales against the lights of mega-hyped Covent Garden. However, seek inside FREUD and what you’ll find is iconic design. Created over 20 years ago by David Freud, the inspiration for the original café bar came from stories told to him by his father of European coffee houses and its culture of art and conversation. Shaftesbury Avenue thus became a place for life to inspire design and vice-versa.
This original concept continues today with a design store and a cafe bar below street-level. Upstairs is the showcase for FREUD’S in-house design of classic tableware and glass ware. Of this covetable range is glassware inspired by last century ocean liners, tea balls that recall the lines of art deco, and espresso stovetops that celebrate deco’s unmistakeable use of chrome and bakelite. In this, its ideal setting – an art deco building, nothing competes or distracts from the design itself.
Downstairs in the cellar is its celebrated bar. During the day, it offers a café menu; a night, cocktails. More speak-easy than city chic, its nocturnal incarnation offers an easy ambiance that makes for the perfect and celebratory end to this FREUD experience.
Location: 198 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JL. Tel. 020 7831 1071