I buy coffee about once a month. This involves an elaborate pilgrimage. First I take a bus almost to Piccadilly Circus, a pilgrimage in itself. Then I find my way by back streets to the head of Old Compton Street, pausing at an excellent fishmonger who has the best kippers in London. My objective is I. Camisa, the best Italian grocer in the area. The history of this goes back a long way. In 1931, when I first married, I began to buy No 5 coffee from Legrain’s in Gerrard Street. This was the best coffee I ever found. The shop was kept by two elderly French ladies, who also kept a French café next door.
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[*] Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals, edited by Peter Gunn. 448 pp., £4.95, 0 14 057007 1. Harold Nicolson: Diaries and Letters 1930-1964, edited by Stanley Olson. 448 pp., £4.95, 0 14 057005 5. The Daughters of Karl Marx: Family Correspondence 1866-1898, edited by Olga Meier, translated by Faith Evans, introduced by Sheila Rowbotham. 384 pp., £4.95, 0 14 057004 7. These titles are reissued by Penguin as part of their ‘Lives and Letters’ series, launched on 23 February.