220 Shaftesbury Ave
by Dr Sigmund Fried
"They fuck you up, your mum and dad"‚ goes the old Larkin poem, and who can argue with that? With the things they force upon you in adolescence: trumpet lessons, Sunday school, the angst-ridden yearly sojourn to Brittany (and in the case of my friend Kevin, the triathalon), it's a wonder we can later interact socially at all. However, unless you're unfortunate enough to be dealt the doubly crippling blow of being born in Coventry and having a father who admires Hitler, parents are generally a good thing: the feeding you, the putting you through college (and in the case of my friend Kevin, the bail money) - the list is near endless. With this in mind, I resolved to show gratitude to my genitors by inviting them down to stay (with the extra incentive of some Prom tickets).
Now, the parent visit is always an excellent excuse to spend some time outside the confines of the holy triumvirate of the achingly hip that is Shoreditch, Dalston and Crackney. And so, in amongst the (normally-too-pricy-for-me but, hey, dad's paying) places we patronized that liberally punctuated our sightseeing, we found the delightful Silva's on Shaftesbury Avenue. Run by a wonderfully feisty Italian Matriarch, the £4.30 breakfast price tag, including tea or coffee, was pleasingly incongruous with the look of the place, given the stylish-but-cosy old world feel. The quality of the food was also at odds with the cost - the bacon being crispy, the sausage meaty and the egg a vibrant yellow, with a commendable supporting cast of beans and mushrooms.
Later, approaching the Tate Modern, a Jane Austen quote popped into my head: "nobody is healthy in London". Under the awe-inspiring gaze of the former power station, happy and my belly full, this didn't seem to matter.