Est Est Est, Gatwick Airport
by Malcolm Eggs
Sharp objects aren't the only things confiscated on your way into Gatwick departure lounge: they also do away with the unspoken rules of breakfasting. Suddenly it's fine, it seems, to start the day with vegetable soup, cheeseburgers or Carlsberg Export. Perhaps it's in this spirit of utter bedlam that Est Est Est came up with the idea of a 'breakfast pizza', an option we forwent in favour of two traditional breakfasts, a maple and banana crepe and a 'foccacia con pancetta e uova', at a total cost of £32.
Slightly miserable bacon aside, my traditional breakfast was quite a looker. The proud, dark and confidently charred sausage contrasted elegantly with the lighter shades of the two fried eggs, themselves framed by a big Portobella mushroom and a glamorous scattering of sautéed potatoes. My plate resembled a page ripped from the Observer Food Monthly - and unfortunately it tasted like one too. The potatoes were bland, the sausage had been nicked from a school dinner lady's pocket, the egg yolk had been phoned in from an Afghan bunker and the mushroom was Dr Frankenstein's (lesser known) failed clone of a mushroom. Could it be that I was I eating a virtual reality breakfast?
Meanwhile, Ed Benedict was being dragged into a pancake quagmire. A sticky, sickly deluge of luminous syrupy goo was causing the bananas, berries and even the mighty pancake to drown pathetically. The colours from this scene were so garish that if it was 1988 I'd have been able to sell a photo of it to the people who made Athena posters, but it was an appalling breakfast. My recommendation is to opt for a hot dog with a gin and tonic.