Coffee Room, Princes Street, Edinburgh

Pencil and watercolour on board, 1937
H Peddie
RCAHMS: A A Foote and Son Collection presented in 1982

High Street shop fronts come and go, sometimes as often as our tastes for the ever-changing goods in the windows.  The same can be said for banks, pubs and cafés whose interiors also change with the fashions of the time. 

In 1937 the tobacco merchants John Sinclair Ltd had a shop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street (currently The Body Shop).  Local architect Alexander Allan Foote was commissioned to design an interior for a coffee room behind their premises. 

This drawing, signed by the artist H Peddie, shows that the architect suggested a simple wood-panelled room brightened up with paintings.  The ‘look’ is traditional yet somewhat reminiscent of the Art Deco style that was hugely popular in the USA and Europe throughout the 1930s. 

There has been a restaurant at this location for most of the last 70 years.