The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cambridge Cafe, Bethnal Green

Cambridge Cafe
385 Cambridge Heath Road
Bethnal Green
E2 9RA (Map)
020 77396482

by Stephen Fry-Up

Sunday morning, Bethnal Green.

A confession.

A digression: upon her return to Australia, my now ex-flatmate Katie bequeathed to me an ancient tome, 'The Decadent Handbook', in which our founding father and esteemed leader Malcolm Eggs outlines the true beliefs of the brave breakfaster. He exhorts the breakfaster not simply to awake and seek breakfast like some primitive mammal, but rather to plan in advance the breakfast venue, and to await the ritual meal with due reverence and anticipation.

The confession: I awoke on Bethnal Green Road (in a house I hasten to add – I haven't stooped that low). We needed breakfast. We needed it bad, and we just went out there, into the street, in search of it, in search of… breakfast. Already aware of our impending sin, Malcolm had seen to it that we should not drag innocents with us: Pellicci's was shut. That much Malcolm had seen to. But so too was Nico's. Oh God, Malcolm! Could we but have read your signs? We then contemplated 'First Choice Café' but the irony would have been too much for our empty stomachs.

The Breakfast: the moment we entered, it was all over. Seats were bolted to the ground. We couldn't move: there would be no escape from this. Tables too small to sit in comfort, tea too weak to provide succour. Bland food in small portions. This was it, this was the end. And yet, of course, I descended further: downstairs to the toilet. Oh! Now! In the very depths of hell! Malcolm! Please Malcolm, I've suffered enough!

The black pudding was actually pretty good though.


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