One Railways, London to Norwich
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.