Frocks was always a nice caf’. Dark wooded with squeezy condiment bottles. Not a greasy spoon but neither was it poncy. The Observer and the News of the World sat cheek by jowl and the working class tucked their dirty shirts in. There was an old lady who sat by the window, the sun streaming through her white hair; a startling, ghostly presence.

This summer, things started to go awry. Spontaneous tea-towel combustion doesn’t make the news too often, but it was enough to gut the interior. The new management took this as their cue to think again and came up with a remixed version of Frocks. Whitesplashed walls, rejigged seating and a swing from caf’ to restaurant. The main dishes have a modern flavour and the mash and vegetable sides are tasty and cheap. The wine list has been expanded from old world to new and the service given alertness lessons (a drawback of previous visits). The tables survived the fire; converted sewing machines adding a glimpse of history.

Lauriston Road is a middle class pocket of E9; Victoria Park lives next door, full of tame squirrels and crunchy leaves. The only hassle is leaving Frocks. It’s not just the atmosphere, but the doors; two sets of Victorian swingers that confuse and bruise and hinder your exit.

The old lady’s back and she’s looking good for a whatevergenerian. Like the ravens leaving the tower, as long as she remains, Frocks will prosper.