The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Manzara, Notting Hill

24 Pembridge Road
Notting Hill
W11 3HL
020 7727 3062

by H.P. Seuss

I open my eyes. I quit the bed, take my morning ablutions and skip to the kitch for my morning bite.

The cupboards are bare.

But where one man sees disaster I see an opportunity. I'm allowed to be a little late for work on Fridays — and I can use the occasion to submit a review for Malcolm Eggs.

Now, my constitution dictates that I must eat within twenty minutes of rising, or I become beset by abdominal pain and encephalic rage until I either punch someone or faint like a girl. Nonetheless, reasoning that the cafes of Stoke Newington are already well documented on the LRB, I conclude that it would better to take a risk and look for somewhere en commute to Kensington. I set off.

My constitution begins making its demands. But I'm compelled to reject the Arsenal Café in Finsbury Park, Arsenal being the scum. I feel weak. But getting off at King's Cross would take too long. I toy with Oxford Circus, where I change tubes, but I can't envisage any suitable venues. I feel angry. By Notting Hill Gate, I am in despair. I emerge. I grope blindly. My heart quickens, my temples throb. Everything's going white...

* * * * *

I open my eyes. I am in a bright, calm, tinkling room. A pretty Mediterranean girl places a huge, piping plate in front of me. With a weak paw, I spear a bit of sausage, dip it in bean and point it towards my mouth. My God, it's good. I cut off some bacon, stroke it with amber yolk, and stab a chip. Wow. I begin to gambol around the plate. I rejoice. All is present and pleasant, plentiful and proportional. For a bill of £5.95.

My fast is broken.


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