Colette And Her Cafes

  • Subject: Oral History
Colette sat in a cafe, smiling at the camera

A tribute to Colette Male and her two Nico cafés, ,now Café Terra and No. 241 Norwood in Selhurst Road.

In this audio you can hear Mary. 

The audio is 1 minute and 9 seconds long.

Audio Transcript: 


Colette has made a huge impact to our high street and she’s no longer with us and we lost Colette during the pandemic. She was an absolute ray of light. Both her spaces have survived, so Café Terra is where her first cafe was and 241 [Norwood] is where her second café was, and she was not only someone who made very good food, she was a radiant personality, and she was an incredible interior designer. She had been to Glasgow School of Art, and she had an astonishing eye for taking a space, turning into something you could never imagine. So she took empty, unloved spaces, two of them and made them, well made them into spaces, made them into places that you’d like to walk into with the extraordinary and interesting design. And although unfortunately we’ve lost her, both of those spaces were effectively refurbished by her and have survived. She – she’s certainly someone who – whose place in the history of South Norwood deserves to be remembered.


South Norwood High Street Stories is funded by Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Croydon Council. For more information visit

Image Credit: Colette, February 2020, private collection.

Colette sat in a cafe, smiling at the camera

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