The Garrison, Bermondsey
99 Bermondsey St
by Pam au Chocolat
It was a bit like a mass blind date. A friend flying in from Copenhagen for a few hours had assembled a group of international intellectuals, plus me, for breakfast, but as his plane was delayed, we self-assembled, managed to recognise each other and went on without him.
The Garrison was the perfect venue for such company; a pub with a decadent style to its lime-washed furniture, chandeliers and high ledges. The breakfast menu is headed up with ‘Full & Proper Breakfast’, continuing with Eggs Benedict, French Toast with Bacon and Maple Syrup and other substantials, while a ‘Pastries & Light Meals’ section includes Bacon Butties and Boiled Eggs & Soldiers. We chose mainly from the substantial end, although a Dane succumbed to a guilt-free fruit salad.
Elegantly presented, my Full & Proper comprised a large slice of toast upon which rested a couple of bacon rashers and two fine fried eggs flopping over the edge, plus a Portobello mushroom, grilled tomato, fine herby banger cooked properly and, unusually, baked beans in their own separate small bowl, presumably to avoid the swamping effect of which LRB correspondents so often complain. (Myself, I like a mass of beans on the plate; but I can understand the contrary view). The only complaint might have been that I would have appreciated more toast; I could have ordered separately, but in such refined company the fear of appearing an uncouth pig restrained me. My companions’ Eggs Benedict - two lasciviously plump eggs - and French Toast were equally delicious.
We lingered until we were replaced by a lunch party. The intellects were sated and the bill was a tenner a head, excellent for the quality of ingredients and the confidence of cooking. Outside, Sunday was sunny; our friend arrived from the airport too late for the joys of breakfast - though just in time for a pre-lunch drink.