The Bagel Factory, Waterloo International
Eurostar Departure Lounge
020 7922 1422
by Cathy Latte
My mum has a remarkable resilience that she unwittingly and selflessly passes on to all she meets. Countless times I’ve heard her soft Irish lilt utter those words “you mustn’t dwell” to a troubled friend, weepy child or, at times, a crestfallen daughter. However, for all her adaptability, travel still gets her a little flappy – so when recently we arrived at Waterloo to catch the Eurostar I thought it best to sort our breakfast once through passport control.
Circling the concourse, excitable mother and wheelie bags in tow, I led the breakfast search party. By the second lap past elderly sausages on the main caff counter, greying sandwiches at WH Smith and the Bagel Factory (the Euston counterpart of which has already received a blasting by Mabel), my disquiet was growing.
Still, we had to eat, and bagels looked best. We bought two breakfast ones (egg, mushroom, sausage, bacon) and found a spot in a hallway in front of the Euro Disney stand. Opening my little square box it was looking quite promising. Steam rose to my face. I smiled expectantly.
A few seconds later I was launching my bagel back into the box, watching as it slid back under its greaseproof cover. “It tastes like rubber” I muttered, wiping a napkin over my soiled lips. The sad flaccid bagel cowered in its box. Mum looked disappointed. Now I felt bad. Begrudgingly I squirted the thing with red sauce, wolfed it and gave an attempt at a smile. I don’t think Mum liked hers, but she made out like it was fine because that’s what she does, makes the best out of something bad and forgets the inconsequential. As for me, I was peeved and a bit grumpy for an hour. Maybe that’s the bit I get from Dad.