The Walpole, Ealing
35 St Mary's Rd
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?