It's now called Med Kitchen. But the oakwood floors are the same. You walk into the hall where Frank Doel came back from his buying trips; to ship Newman's first edition and Latin Vulgate to Helene. And you climb down the solid wood stairs to the cellars (now restrooms) that held long tables with their precious treasures.
I was sombre over my starter of olives with Pimms. By the time I finished my entree of Penne Arrabita, I was close to tears. I could not order dessert for the fear I'd burst out crying.
For gone are the display windows. And the upstairs room where Helene scooped up the white lettering. Also long gone is the Poole's at 86 where Pat Buckley showed up to get his copy autographed.
But how about this Helene - I finally made it!
PS: I wrote this in July 2007, but it is such an integral part of my London memories that I just had to post it...If you don't know what I am talking about, go read 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff!
PPS: Contrary to my fears, London weather is holding up beautifully. Five days, and it's still sunny!