The Providores and Tapa Room, Marylebone
109 Marylebone High Street
020 7935 6175
by Scott Cheigg
It is said that French toast commands £8.50 at The Providores and Tapa Room on Marylebone High Street, so my friend appears in a stylish summer dress and I am sporting smart shoes, dress trousers and a fitted shirt, and if it wasn't for the large black eye - obtained in a brawl outside a nightclub in Soho, three nights previously, because I didn't like the way someone was looking at me - nobody would be able to tell that I don't belong in an establishment such as this, lest someone look at me the wrong way and I have to hospitalise another citizen of this town.
We are ushered to a corner table (in an attempt, I suspect, to hide me) and our waitress - all smiles and sitting down beside us to make us feel very welcome indeed - takes our order consisting of: one vegetarian breakfast, one vegetarian breakfast with a side of black pudding, one raspberry and strawberry smoothie and one pot of builder's tea.
The service is prompt and the food largely excellent. Our eggs - scrambled - are delicately herbed. I cannot vouch for the black pudding because I would not let such an item pass my lips for fear of vomiting, but my friend raises a verbal glass to them. The mushrooms are as fine a fungus as I ever taste, the tomatoes impressive without being showy and the sourdough bread the perfect bed for our victuals. Satiated, we rest awhile, watching the hour hand creep toward midday, or cocktail o’clock. When it comes, we indulge in Bloody Marys and Chocolate Martinis and doff our metaphorical cap to The Providores and Tapa Room, vowing to return for the French toast the following Sunday (assuming the mugging I am planning this evening comes off to the tune of £50).