And now for one of my real secrets - so special to me that I only really tell my close friends about this place. You see, there are a lot of places in London that cater for people's tastes - but not many that actually fulfil my discerning criteria of what I want to make me feel comfortable. This one fits me like a glove.
Some food venues, to be honest, make me feel a bit self conscious about what I am wearing, with their designer cutlery and oh-so-cool modern art pictures on the walls (you know the type) - Maries Cafe is just that, a cafe. It has cafe-style tables, arranged in rows. It has unbelievably cheap prices, and serves both British and Thai food (which is unbelievably good by the way).
My favourite part of the whole place is the staff though - the cafe is run by lovely, lovely people, who look after you like they are your mothers, to the point were you fear being told off by them. They chat, gossip and generally bring the vibrancy of the Lower Marsh area inside into their establishment.
Back to the food - it is unbelievably cheap, I mean, to the point you can't believe it - you-will-probably-look-at-the-board-and-believe-that-the-prices-haven't-changed-in-twenty-years cheap. Let me give you an idea, it is hard to find anything on the menu that will cost you over £5 for a dish. Seriously. This includes plates of Pad Thai, or even a Mixed Grill. Don't believe that this means the quality is poor - not a chance - in fact their Thai food is some of the nicest I have tried in London.
Now to seal the deal - the cafe is open for both lunch and dinner - if you want something to drink with lunch, a latte will set you back around £1.20, while ginger tea could cost you as little as 70p. Ok, you may think, I bet they make their money back on the booze come dinner time - well guess what, they operate a B.Y.O. policy.
I think, you can understand why I have kept it secret for so long, because I put myself at risk of never being able to get a table here again, as it becomes your favourite place too - oh well, it's done. Now should you want to find out more information, you're better off just heading along there, as the cafe is too old school to have a website or anything. Should you want to have a look at the numerous review sites available though, you will find how loved this place is by its customers, with some having been visiting as regulars for years...
Just one last thing, should you see me trying to get through the door when it is packed out, remember I am the one who told you about the wondrous Marie's Cafe, ok?