The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Walpole, Ealing

The Walpole
35 St Mary's Rd
W5 5RG
020 8567 7918

by Malcolm Eggs

The Walpole... The Walpole... Every month or two, like a heartbeat under the floorboards, a letter arrives from some erudite Iain Sinclair fan or other, entreating us to visit. We’ve already done most of the London brekistocracy – Banners, The Wolseley and E Pellicci – and we made it to the New Piccadilly before the grim breakfast reaper turned up with his giant butter knife. But South Ealing was something of a black hole for me. I didn’t know anyone who had anything to do with Ealing. How would I find a willing contributor?

Then, I arranged to have a long-awaited breakfast with Hattie, an old friend. I suppose I don’t need to spell out the suggested venue – if I do, please email me – but this was my chance. Getting there involved a train and two tubes. We had food and tea and chatted for a couple of hours and everything was great. Then I returned home and, tragically, in the time between then and now, I became hooked on the mid nineties Playstation game Speed Freaks. Two months were lost racing a cartoon dog through places such as Neon City and Grand Rapids. All that now remains of The Walpole is a memory of an impression, like a kaleidoscope filled with fog.

Digging deep, I remember clinking mugs of tea, stainless steel in the open kitchen and, I think, the colour red on the walls and menus – a nice, deep red. I recall friendly staff of the traditional caff sort, a hearty, old-fashioned Full English and yes, it was delicious.

So I recommend The Walpole and think it has been left unrecommended far too long, but hardly expect to be called on as a character witness. Does anyone have a better description?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

curtail your Walpoling activites...for it is red.

7:43 PM, March 07, 2008  
Blogger London Review of Breakfasts said...

Edited a little on 10 March 2008 at half past midnight.

12:35 AM, March 10, 2008  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

Hattie has since got in touch and made me realise that perhaps I was a little flippant about what is a genuinely wonderful place.

She asked how I could forget (and although I paraphrase, I use her exact words) home-baked ham, home-fried bubble and squeak, the impeccable condiment cluster and the fug of workmen - arriving and departing in waves - in a place that has such good food, fab chips to dunk into perfectly fried egg, the combination of the ciabatta society and the Sun.

I don't know how it happened. I hang my head. Sorry, Walpole.

1:01 PM, April 01, 2008  
Anonymous hattie Ellis said...

If I may stray off the breakfast theme, briefly, the Walpole does supper, too, on Fridays and Saturdays. The greasy spoon has reinvented itself in this place, without losing its warm heart. All this in the midst of London's leafiest (and, currently, blossomimost) suburb. Hattie

5:13 PM, April 02, 2008  
Blogger Billy Abbott said...

One must also not forget that they heat their plates to such a temperature that it curls the hair on the back of your hand as you try and eat your breakfast. All the better to keep said breakfast warm as you leisurely consume it.

12:55 AM, February 25, 2009  
Anonymous Max said...

can't agree enough with billy.
one have to be cautious on the hot and burning plates.
generous and big portion of breakfast. great foods but poor service. with open concept kitchen, chef yelling at the staffs and chaotic service. lady manager have to learn how to smile. such a waste to have good foods, but poor mgnt.

6:51 PM, February 25, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan Leader Maynard said...

While I am now a student in Oxford, I have lived in Ealing up till the age of 21, and regularly eaten at the Walpole.

To not mince words, it consistently offers the best breakfasts I have ever had. I've never been in a better greasy spoon cafe. I have the ham egg and chips every time now - and while the chips are not the glorious fries they once were, the perfectly fried eggs and, most importantly, inch thick sheafs of home cooked ham, are unbeatable. It demands to be tried.

12:57 PM, September 29, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never had a better breakfast in London never mind Ealing, absoloutely first rate for breakfast.

4:25 PM, December 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The food is good once you get past the surly service. I was there recently when someone complained about being given cold toast. The obese chef/owner, a man that looks like a heart attack waiting to happen, was bellowing at the top of his lungs to get it back in the kitchen before he would replace it. I think most of the patrons that day were mortified, and I for one, haven't been back since. It's also worth mentioning that it is closed most weekends so by time you schelp over there - it is closed and there is nowhere else in the vicinity.

10:54 AM, February 27, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't recommend anyone to visit. i have been in ealing for over 20 years. yes the food is nice, but the service TERRIBLE and rude. Better go to Farm W5 up in the broadway and have the brilliant porridge.

9:48 AM, April 22, 2013  

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