Casa Madeira, Vauxhall
48 Albert Embankment
020 7735 0592
by Shreddie Kruger
Tucked away under the arches in Vauxhall, just a short mince from Chariots Roman Spa and well within eavesdropping range of MI6 is Casa Madeira. On arrival we were greeted with a pall of smoke from charring baps and a shudder inducing rattle from the trains chugging overhead that made it seem as though we were entering the Battle of Britain experience. The corrugated roof seemed to quake and we all held our breath as the roof to our would-be-air-raid-shelter held true.
With the chaos around us we feared not only a return to wartime rationing but also for our lives and so ordered fast from the Portuguese staff. During our short wait, for what we thought might be our last ever breakfast, we were relieved to see from Sky News that London was not actually under attack - or if it was, that the state of the lap dancing industry was more important to report on.
My full English breakfast was a joy, although I felt like an annoyed dwarf whilst trying to lift my comically oversized fork. The beans weren’t just warmed up, they had been allowed to break down to a slightly sludgy consistency that some hate, but I love. Yes, the sausage was made by robotic machine and not from a family recipe handed down from generation to generation like haemophilia, but that was just what was needed. The poached eggs were perfect with yolks that were so bright they could have been used as the amber in a set of traffic lights and not a trace of detestable vinegar. Bacon was salty and crisp. But the star of the show was a platter of buns that had been lovingly charred on the grill. They were still billowing little feathers of smoke that filled the air of our bomb shelter café like burnt out cars after a riot.
A trip to Casa Madeira is not complete without a shot of their espresso at the end. It was the caffeine equivalent of being woken up on a sleepy Monday morning with Dennis Hopper playing The Flight of the Valkyries out of the side of his helicopter.
This is by far and away the best breakfast meets Blitz experience that you’re likely to get in London. I’m just surprised that it’s not in the guidebooks. Or maybe I got the wrong end of the stick.