Wednesday February 28th, 2024
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This Alexandria Café is Riddled With Over 100 Years of Mystery

The splendour of Alexandria’s cosmopolitan age is thriving at downtown café Trianon.

Layla Raik

A city as worldly as Alexandria is bound to carry an enigmatic energy that, at first, seems impossible to untangle. Where some areas are freshly renovated, some Alexandrian streets are so old that it sometimes feels like they steal you away from the world for a moment - like a brief dip out of this timeline. But then, before you know it, you’re back.

When strolling through the streets of downtown Alexandria, a certain café mirrors this very entrapping nature. The doors of Trianon seem to beckon wandering visitors to step in just for a moment in the same way those of the Eagles’ Hotel California did. 

As every Alexandrian knows, there’s something about Trianon. 

Once you do gather up the courage to step in, the world of Trianon engulfs you fully in 1900s tearooms and an imminent splendour characteristic of the era. The café was originally founded in Europe in 1555, ranking as one of the region’s most frequented café series before it landed in the coastal city of Alexandria in 1905 under British rule. 

Trianon’s early beginnings set the tone for the type of service it would continue to offer to this day; unending class and an air of secrecy. In being an esoteric hideout for the city’s elite, Trianon became a landmark of Alexandria’s cosmopolitan era, entertaining royalty, foreign dignitaries and tortured artists like Umm Kulthum and Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. 

While the spot has become more obscure in modern Alexandria, the richness of its past never seems to wear off. Instead, it is passed down through generations like one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Besides, its early frequenters have not yet let it go. At any given time, as we rush through the concrete jungle of the seaside city, clusters of old men sitting down for a coffee and the news hold in place the legacy of Trianon, and draw wandering eyes into the cafe’s vintage mien. 

The truth is that, despite the up-kept sumptuousness of their dishes - particularly their breakfasts, and the unfailing strength of their Americanos - the appeal of Trianon lies mainly in the secrets that its dark wooden walls and light green floors hold from another time.

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