The Rainbow Coffee House

The Rainbow Coffee House

One of England's oldest and most tawdry coffee houses.

Location: 16 Fleet Street

Description: This pub was established in 1656 or 1657 by James Farr as the Rainbow Coffee House, then only the second coffee house in London, although it appears to have also functioned as a tavern from the start. The pub was rebuilt in around 1859 and became more famous for it's stout, but is now long-gone. Farr was a barber as well as a coffee house pioneer.

Many complaints were made against Farr's notorious coffee house and indeed against coffee, as both were seen as dens of debauchery.

The Phoenix Fire-office (the second office established in England for insurance against fire) was located at the Rainbow Tavern, in Fleet-street as early as 1682.

The Spectator's Joseph Addison and Richard Steele were both samplers of coffee here, where the latest scandal was talked and the latest fashions exhibited.

In No. 16 of the Spectator it says I have received a letter desiring me to be very satirical upon the little muff that is now in fashion ; another informs me of a pair of silver garters buckled below the knee, that have lately been seen at the Rainbow Coffee-house in Fleet Street.

Writers Hilaire Belloc and GK Chesterton frequented the pub.

For the past 60 years it has been a legal bookshop.

Themes: LiteraryLiterary Theme  PioneerPioneer Theme  CelebrityCelebrity Theme
The Rainbow Coffee House

One of England's oldest and most tawdry coffee houses.

Ranking This Month: 881/2918

Pages Hit This Month: 37

Other places nearby:

Creator of the A-Z born here», 4.7km

The Riceyman Steps», 0.9km

JM Barrie and Peter Pan», 3.1km

Voltaire lived and wrote here», 0.5km

Charles Dickens Childhood Home», 2.2km

Home of Angela Carter», 3.6km

Bram Stoker's Heroic Deed», 3.1km

Lawrence of Arabia's Land», 9.6km

Lord Byron & 1st ever plaque», 1.4km

Roald Dahl's Studio», 3.6km

Location Pinpointed: