Café Boheme, Soho
13 - 17 Old Compton St
020 7734 0623
by Emma Ricano
I'd had it up to here with my early thirties life choices so I called a like minded companion and suggested we play truant from the office. Let's have a fabulous breakfast in the guise of two glamorous French television producers, I suggested. We'll consume fat chocolate pastries and gallons of espresso in Soho, the city's district of creative and visionary thought, and brainstorm ideas for an entertaining yet poignant television comedy-drama series. It's a date, replied my friend, I'm done with filing my life under D for Dull. See you at Café Boheme in a jiff.
As I turned the corner into Old Compton Street I was beginning to feel more than a little self conscious in my beret. These uncomfortable feelings fell away when I almost mistook my pal for Yvette from 'Allo 'Allo. She was sitting at a pavement table in a thick smog of Gitanes smoke, leaning at an acute angle on a tower of menus. She lifted her enormous bug-eyed shades and peered at me conspiratorially. Would you mind not laughing so loudly, she said. I actually know people in this area. After two strong and delicious cappuccinos we dived into the menu, which was a curious mix of British and American via a short trip to France. Declaring that this combination of Full English, Eggs Benedict and waffles was confusing her identity, Yvette opted for a granola and yoghurt (the French do curd very well she said) and I for an Eggs Florentine. Light enough for us to both focus on the finer points of story and casting.
Thank god I left room for waffles, I said. These portions are so light I might fall into a reverie. Of course they are, my friend replied. Everyone knows that people in the entertainment industry don't eat. She then finished off my coffee, threw back four complimentary sugar cubes and tucked into her yoghurt and granola pot which was lovingly sprinkled with a baby's fistful of blueberries and raspberries. What my Eggs Florentine lacked in size, they made up for in taste. The muffin was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, crisped with an onion glaze. There was a generous portion of fresh spinach and the poached egg was the colour of a Californian sun. The hollandaise was tart and salty in equal measure. In combination, it was one excellent mouthful.
By the end of breakfast we deduced that it is a massive, starving, cancer inducing hassle being a French television producer. I think that what we ate was American, not French, said my friend. She paused. How much do you think I'd have to borrow to take acting lessons in LA? I dragged her over to Ed's Diner for a shake and fries so we could start doing the math.