The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, May 18, 2007

One Railways, London to Norwich

10.00 Service
One Railways
London Liverpool Street to Norwich

by Moose Lee

In Britain, many of our most honest human interactions occur shortly after the reassuring jolt of a train halting at a points malfunction. We love the camaraderie of a hellish journey. So I feel somehow unpatriotic to bring you news of my glorious, gluttonous breakfast on a cheap, punctual train.

“The Great British” – pinnacle of One’s breakfast menu – starts with cereal. Quelle surprise, I went for muesli. It was a small portion, overly sweet and suffering a raisin drought. However, a double-bagged tea pot and proper cold OJ soon raised my spirits. After the aperitif, my bowl was cleared by a traditionally grumpy railway matron. She then brought out a basket of toast and croissants. The toast was ridiculously perfect. The croissants were a bit supermarket-y but still good. If we’re being brand conscious, this leg of the breakfast performed well: Twinings tea, President butter and Bonne Maman conserve in mini-jars, two of which I took home as souvenirs. There are few sounds more satisfying than the pop of a teeny tiny pot of stolen jam.

The matron’s grumpiness was, I propose, geographically dependent; the closer we got to Norfolk – her motherland – the more her mood lightened. By the time we hit Diss she was positively beaming.

After a short respite, the enormous Full English arrived, looking and smelling fabulous. The black pudding was a highlight: crumbly and soft. The only letdown was the clump of tasteless, over-cooked scrambled eggs sneakily concealing that most feared breakfast item: fried bread. Luckily, the restaurant was in first class, which is where I stayed for the ensuing carbohydrate paralysis.

Dedicated railway haters need not worry: there is bad news. The breakfast was on a half-price deal and would normally cost sixteen quid – more than my return train ticket - and it would take more than two stolen jam jars to make that a bargain.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I regret to report that the breakfast service, and indeed the dining car operation as a whole, is no longer offered on the trains that ply this route.
"Progress" I think it's sometimes called.

9:04 PM, November 08, 2014  

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