A Brief History Of Langleys
Last Summer, Langleys had unveiled its private dining room upstairs. Renovations were in full swing after we’d uncovered a treasure trove of history and culture in this once affluent corner of Surbiton hill. Restoring the whole building to its former glory was important to the growing brand of Langleys becoming a top quality British Brasserie in an area that once was an extension of London elegance. The desire to see this neighbourhood thrive again is moving forward. Many of the buildings are being restored keeping their heritage and yet being enhanced to suit to the present times. The old derelict Victorian buildings are now being turned into beautiful residential spaces. The gentrification of the area is soon becoming a hot spot for Londoners who wish to travel out of the city, not too far out, to unwind and enjoy the elegance of a suburban lifestyle. If you’ve ever wondered about how this grand building survived through the years, here’s a brief history. The curved corner on Langleys road was built in 1893 for a family grocers’ known as the Jamison Brothers. Twenty six years later, the business was bought by Wallace Wyndham Waite, who had set up his first grocery store with his business partner Arthur Rose. Indeed, 158 Ewell Road had become the 13th branch of Waitrose serving the grand houses in the Southborough estate (the area tucked in right behind Langleys). The branch surpassed the hardships of the First World War, flourishing by 1922. By the time of the Second World War, the shop’s basement was used as an air raid shelter for residents of Ewell Road and Browns Road. Big changes had come about by the 1950s introducing rock ‘n’ roll. Waitrose had moved to open its first self service supermarket in Streatham. And by 1955, the shop had become Bell’s guitar shop. Eric Clapton was given his first guitar by his grandparents who had bought it from Bell Musical Instruments. Other well known musicians like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards were also customers. It came to the end of an era by 1983 when the guitar shop closed and the old Bell shop became the Liberty Bell restaurant in 1984. And here we are about thirty years later - a British brasserie with an exciting menu, an intercontinental wine list we are proud of, and a team of top chefs that are continually working to bring a refreshing take on all the old favourites. The building holds its own no doubt having some delicate touches. With the patina on the old mirror at the bar still intact and etched with the words “Waitrose Ltd select the choicest provisions the world produces”, the original meat safe for the Jamison/ Waitrose era, and a cantilever door bolt with treasured hinges, we get the feeling this place is special and there is yet more to explore. If you are planning ahead, looking for a venue to host up to 50 guests for a special sit down dinner, the Langleys venue might just be to your liking. The space can also accommodate up to 120 stand up champagne and canapé parties. Let us know your plans and we’ll be happy to help you with your special event.