England Haiku Number 18: The Full-On Breakfast

All components work!
More is more, but this I crave:
Crisp bubble and squeak.

Two of the best traditional full-on cooked breakfasts we’ve had in England come via international curators. The platter in the first picture we were fortunate enough to enjoy Saturday just gone at the legendary Maggie’s Cafe and Restaurant in Lewisham, South East London – a place which is authentically Irish, Londonian and English all at the same time. The Hammersmith Cafe, close to Ravenscourt Park underground station in West London and seen in the second picture, is a Thai-run business that also specialises in Thai food.

There’s not much to choose between either cafe in terms of an overall experience; in Maggie’s the portions are hearty, they do a bottomless tea/coffee cup service with industrial-size decanters handled by perenially on-the-move staff (there’s not enough of this in the UK – either the bottomless cup service or the amazing industrial-size decanters or the clucking attentiveness). It is a genuine community outlet in its own right – but the same could be said of the Thai Cafe, where both English and Thai food are spot-on and the bubble and squeak is crispness perfected.

We are aware these two choices are a bit London-centric. We also offer the Copper Kettle in Chard, Somerset and Lowe’s Cafe in Brentwood, Essex (just outside the M25 moat) as other traditional and current favourites. But please let us know about any great breakfast boudoirs outside of London we and everyone else deserve to know about.


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