Peter de Wit's, Greenwich
21 Greenwich Church Street
08713 327 097
by Des Ayuno
With its classy dark green and white facade, Peter de Wit's held promise for two hungry travellers fresh off a Thames cruise. The discovery of a shaded terrace out back was in keeping with the relaxed, idyllic nature of the day.
Orders were noted with friendly courtesy: scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and tea for me, and an off-menu request for "the closest thing you've got to a veggie breakfast" and fresh orange juice for the Scot. When the waiter faux-grimaced over the sports pages (covering England's quarter-final exit in agonising detail), it seemed an endearing extension of the place's chummy welcome.
That, however, was the end of a beautiful morning. The fresh orange juice was as accurately named as Sybil Fawlty's fruit salad. The veggie breakfast contained all the standards, inoffensively prepared - eggs (scrambled), toast (margarined), tomatoes (roasted), mushrooms (tinned), beans (holding it all together) - as well as an unidentifiable lump. I alone braved a forkful and discovered it was stuffing. It was a daring inclusion, but sadly inedible, as proved the rest of the Scot's breakfast when a hair surfaced in the eggs.
Long, dark and glossy, it could never have fallen from the waiter's sparsely thatched crown, although he appeared to be the sole member of staff present. In any case, my eggs were hair-free, and the smoked salmon was stacked on top rather than scrambled with - both small mercies. But the toast was cold and the enormous, unadvertised green salad ignored.
It should be mentioned that the offending meal was removed from the bill, but a lethargic melancholy stopped us pointing out the fundamentally offensive nature of the entire experience and, as we left, the waiter's nervous, apologetic giggles followed us for too long down the high street.