The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Bird Cage, Stoke Newington

The Bird Cage
58 Stamford Hill
Stoke Newington
N16
020 8806 6740

by H.P. Seuss

I burst into the Birdcage at 11.17am on Saturday 6th May, my head pounding, my soul weary after a week of disappointment.

A few washed-up morning drinkers read the papers, each one as far away from the others as possible. I cast around for the loneliest table, feeling like a bird in a cage, and hit upon a perch in the gloomiest corner. I set myself down with a scotch and spread my paper out in front of me, trying to block out the bad trip-hop - a lousy gastropub substitute for the melancholy jazz of those old noir movies. Nausea and regret hit me with a one-two punch as I put a cigarette to my lips.

Christ, my limbs hurt. I shut my eyes, opening them only upon sensing the waitress looming over me like a bored vulture. I put in an order for the Brunch Special, easy on the vegetables, then read the funnies listlessly, unable to conceive of this mood ever drifting into the past. After a suspiciously long time, they put my breakfast in front of me.

Eagerly, I slit open the yolk and let the orange goo ooze over the bacon. I cut off a piece and thrust it towards my mouth. Cold. A crushing blow. Too listless to complain, I put up with tepid sausage, lukewarm tomato, dulling mushroom. These fine ingredients, left to chill unloved in a service hatch, cost me the princely sum of £7.50. I quit the Birdcage in a state of despair. Sometimes breakfast, like life, promises so much and delivers so little. But then again, sometimes breakfast, like time, is what we make it.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Mabel Syrup said...

I can only say how sad I am that your brunch mirrored your mood on this occasion, Mr Suess. My own experience of these 'fine ingredients'(with special mention to the beautiful mushroom)left me up on the Stoke Newington roofs with the pigeons, despite the trip hop and the thoroughly revolting bloody mary i had to accompany it.

12:51 PM, May 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

curious.the bird cage opens at 12.00 on a saturday and has done for the last five years. quite how you had breakfast at 11.17 is beyond me. obviously drinking scotch at such and early time has affected your memory and perception of the temperature of food. also i have never played trip hop in my bar.

8:37 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have taken a little artistic licence with the time, but I can assure you, your breakfast was definitely stone cold (unforgiveable, at the price) and the playlist (Zero 7, Morcheeba, the lighter end of Groove Armada, that sort of thing) had a definite trip hop flavour. I was unimpressed on both counts, but even so, I think I'm pretty kind to the Birdcage — a place I enjoy drinking in ususally. I make the admission that I was in a foul mood when I entered, and put my experience down to a one-off.
H.P.

1:31 PM, July 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bird Cage is awful. Awful music, awful prices, awful food. I stopped drinking there when it went gastro after being a nice enough local.

1:59 PM, October 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I need to know from this review is that if twats like you go there I need to steer well clear

9:42 AM, March 02, 2009  

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