String Ray Café, Highbury
36 Highbury Park
0871 426 3687
by Poppy Tartt
I do not take kindly to having my tea served to me with the teabag still in; it speaks of the worst sort of coarseness. Teabag and milk should never meet. I'm certain there must be a verse in the Old Testament about it somewhere. No doubt there is a good heart behind this scurrilous practice as there are behind most scurrilous practices - 'we only wanted,' cried the waiting staff in mournful unison, 'to allow the customer to moderate the strength of their tea according to their tastes and without fear of ridicule'. Nonsense! I like good strong tea as much as the next true Brit, but precious moments passed in the serving of my breakfast, during which the tragic bag languished in its watery grave all unattended to, its weakened membrane penetrated again and again by barbarous osmotic forces. A second more and my tea could have gone head to head with Peter Andre in a skin tone competition. It was too much to hope that I might be offered some sort of receptacle to bury the spent bag in, something in which to secrete the offending item behind the condiments. Oh Lord, if only I had not had to dine with the knowledge of what sat wedged twixt mug and saucer like an elderly bulldog's testicle, like the weasel under the cocktail cabinet.
Weasels aside, I was fortunate enough to enjoy the rest of my breakfast like a debutante at a ball. The egg showed its lacy skirts rather immodestly, but the sausage and bacon in their fine velvet coats were true gentlemen; they knew a lady when they saw one and when I asked them to dance they bowed low and dipped their heads in yolk.