“Let’s go down to that healthy Italian place down the street that we liked. They serve breakfast.”
It was such a good idea.
We putzed around the flat for about a half an hour, as they didn’t open until 10am and we didn’t want to be the first to arrive. We took the scenic route, along the river, which led me to teach Larry a little bit of Spanish. “¡Joder, hace frío!” Then again, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend in London, so foul weather is pretty much guaranteed, despite yesterday’s sunny lulling into a false sense of security.
Fifteen minutes later, we’re coming up on the front doors to the restaurant. The windows beforehand didn’t give too promising a view. It was dark, there were chairs on tables, and it seemed to be more of a construction site than an eatery. A handwritten sign on the door told us that the venue is closed to do maintenance issues.
“Maybe we can head over to Borough Market and see what we can find there,” he offered.
“And so the adventure begins”.
“Last time this happened, we ended up in Shoreditch,” he said. That’s an adventure I didn’t particularly remember, and one I didn’t fancy repeating. All I wanted is some scrambled eggs and bacon, or maybe some French Toast, being it was torrijas weekend back in Spain.
And so we walked towards Tower Bridge, because despite having (unsuccessfully) done this before on previous trips, there was bound to be something along the way that wasn’t a chain with pre-fab fare or an overpriced coffee shop (not that those two things are mutually exclusive, especially in this part of Blighty).
Crossing Tower Bridge, it seemed this year’s Easter bonnets were trending towards the toque. The top of the Shard was covered in clouds, and gray skies were the backdrop for innumerable self-portraits. Used to be you dodged umbrellas in this city. Now you had to dodge selfie-sticks.
We found ourselves on Shad Thames, as Borough Market was a goal too far. As far as adventures go, we’re really not that adventurous. Already we’d decided we wouldn’t be walking back home. None of the restaurants there were serving yet, despite advertising their brunch menus. No worms for these early birds.
Ah, The Blue Print Café (yes, it has an accent) was perched atop the shop of the Design Museum and through its glass walls we could see a couple of tables seated with breakfasters.
“That looks promising.”
We climbed the steps to the second floor and were greeted by the smartly-clad, broodingly-cute host with the neo-traditional Eastern European accent (once again I wondered, who is going to work in London restaurants if the Leavers win their Brexit vote?) who assured us, “Yes, vee have zee brunch menu.”
Apparently the Design Museum was geared towards minimalism, as the menu offered us Eggs Benedict, Eggs, Florentine or Eggs Royale.
“At least we’re not spoiled for choice, ” I said. Poached eggs, no matter how you fancy them up, are not my favorite food in the world, but was hungry and it wasn’t getting any warmer outside.
We asked if the regular menu was available. The waiter said he would have to check. When I was a waiter, I pretty much had to know what was available and what wasn’t … but those were different times.
It turned out that it was brunch or bust, so we brunched. Our eggs, mine Benedict and his Florentine, came garnished with the white of the plate. There was no messing about with garnish or potatoes or any kind of side dish. This was minimalism at its finest. It wasn’t bad, and it certainly wasn’t as pretentious as “the pork and periwinkle foam” that I was reading about in a self-congratularoy essay on menu offerings by a self-proclaimed “critic and food writer” in this week’s FT Weekend Magazine.
“Do you want anything else?” Larry asked me as the waiter cleared our plates away.
I was still hungry, but there was nothing on the menu worth ordering. Well, in fact, there was nothing else on the menu.
“Do you think we could find a Denny’s?”