Café Mozart, Highgate
17 Swains Lane
020 8348 1384
By Cher E. Jamm
There is nothing like a bit of alfresco breakfasting at this time of year. When it’s not pouring with rain, the birds are a tweetin’, cherry blossoms are a bloomin’ and the sun has a way of shining down on your plate like a proud chef watching over your shoulder as you eat.
Café Mozart is a popular North London breakfast spot. The décor, supposedly modelled on a traditional Austrian kaffee house, is a tad gloomy and depressing – all dark wood panelling and (of course) a few Mozart manuscripts dotted around casually, jostling with other vaguely Austrian relics in various forms. It has its charms, but after more than five minutes inside the atmosphere becomes strangely suffocating.
The good news is this: they have a big outdoor dining area at the front, it’s a mere shimmy to Hampstead Heath and the staff are friendly and efficient – within moments of sitting outside, a cheery waitress delivers a couple of menus and a jug of water and takes our drinks order. Oh, and the cake counter will have your saliva glands doing the hula if you stare at it for too long.
Tea is served with the bag in and the milk in a small jug at its side. Orange juice is fresh, lovely and cold. We order. I’m having the Veggie breakfast and I make Mr Jamm order the Full English. We are given the choice of how we’d like our eggs and what type of bread we’d like. I go for granary and Mr Jamm goes for rye. A side of spinach and sautéed potatoes is also thrown into the mix. 10 minutes later and our breakfast arrives - both dishes are plentiful, hot and I’m happy to say, the bacon is delightfully crispy.
I’m afraid that’s all I can remember. I’ve tried to recall what the eggs were like, and I know the vegetarian ‘sausage’ was hideous, dry and a bit like chewing on a rolled up towel, but I’m afraid my tastebuds went into a boredom-induced coma at some stage after the second bite. What I can tell you is this: I won’t be coming back unless it’s for tea and cake.