"A Tale of Two Breakfasts": The Tin Goose vs Giraffe, Heathrow Airport
by Herby Banger
Dixons and sleep deprivation can do strange things to man. When you catch yourself thinking about spending £60 on a ticket to enter a raffle for a fast car then you know you're in a dangerous place. That place: Terminal 1 of London’s Heathrow Airport, where I found myself on two early mornings in October 2005...
6th Oct 2005
It was dark and cold outside. I stumbled sleepily under the bright lights trying to find the improbable: a finely cooked breakfast in an airport. My choice was the Tin Goose, a sort of lounge-bar-come-coffee-house. It was dark, yet warm at this early hour. Under its entrance a sign read “Great Food, Great Coffee, Great Bar”. One felt that they only need add “Great Times” to make it complete.
Ordering at the bar I (of course) opted for the English Breakfast, which came in at a whooping £7.95. I waited for its arrival with the café latte of death. Steamed to an outrageous temperature, it tasted more like a cup of napalm and remained undrinkable long after I had left. The breakfast itself, avec the obligatory plastic cutlery and unnecessarily odd shaped dish, wasn’t too bad though. I got eggs, bacon, a free-range pork sausage, tomato, mushrooms, baked beans and toast. The eggs were a bit undercooked, which was annoying but all in all it was a decent attempt. I wasn’t unhappy…but I was far from inspired.
27th Oct 2005
I woke up early again and got my lift to the airport. Checking in was no fuss. It wasn’t long before I found myself standing outside Giraffe. As the name suggests this is a lighter, sunnier affair than the Tin Goose. With its African safari theme, coffee bean world music and happy waiting staff I sat down feeling contented before I had even ordered. Where the Tin Goose had tried to be a Jack-of-all-trades, Giraffe knew what it was: a breakfast/brunch specialist. With countless options to choose from I ordered the 'Full Brunch Plate'; eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, potato wedges, toast and coffee.
I must admit to enjoying it immensely, everything seemed cooked with care and a slight continental twist set it apart from the normal fare. A superior quality all round was reflected in the taste, which was itself enhanced by a varied range of sauces available on the table. I also enjoyed one of the many fruit smoothies on offer, which gave the experience a healthy, wholesome sheen. At £6.95 it was a pound cheaper than the Tin Goose, and although I do not want to be overly harsh, the Giraffe won this race by a long neck. By far the superior option if you find yourself under the bright lights of Heathrow at dawn.