The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Special Dispatch: Urban Angel, Edinburgh

Urban Angel
121 Hanover St
New Town
0131 225 6215

by Emma Ricano

Since hearing that dear, damnable Yvette had hit the big time starring in an NBC cop drama, I’d been raising my game like a poker player jacked up on 94 espressos. I wanted my own pool of light, the colour of a thousand limes, which was how I found myself at this year’s Edinburgh Festival trying my hand at stand-up comedy.

But I soon discovered that pithy one-liners about Dungeons & Dragons weren’t going to cut it with The Common People. I needed new material if I was going to be a self-proclaimed Prophet of Laughter, so I did what I always do when I need an inspiration injection. I breakfasted.

I chose Urban Angel in New Town which I’d visited once before when Edinburgh’s rain damn nearly drowned me. I recalled its sourdough – large and tasty portions with not nearly enough unsalted butter and preserve to cover a single slice; cappuccino that tasted like Nescafe but with a healthy foam hairpiece made from the creamiest of organic milk. In short, it had potential - exactly like me and my future as a stand-up comedian.

I sought out this warm and innocuous looking deli plus restaurant, again. It was much busier than I recalled but had the same range of choices I knew would keep me busy.

On the first of several inspiration missions, I spied some game looking twins dressed in kimonos and platforms who looked like they might have a story or two. I pulled up a chair and we breakfasted on Eggs Florentine. They talked animatedly about their careers in fashion and analysed my own choice of tartan slacks, as I bit down onto a springy mattress of muffin, spinach and oozing poached egg. Alas, I soon noticed the hollandaise was as vinagery as a party in a Sarson's factory and it unbalanced the whole. I swiftly ordered an antidote in the form of a chocolate double whammy - a quite outstanding chocolate muffin which was more choc chip than sponge, twinned with a hot chocolate with chocolate on top. I ate with slapping chops and gusto as the twins declared me a Fashion No-Fly Zone.

The next day I joined a lady in sensible shoes tucking into a pedestrian looking bowl of porridge. But by jiminy what those oats lacked in looks they certainly made up for in taste – I was transported to the clover, salty air, heather and fresh breezes of my otherwise turbulent family holidays in the Scottish highlands. But the portion was small and I was left both physiologically and conversationally starved as the woman in sensible shoes chose not to answer any of my questions.

By the weekend I was feeling desperate and honed in on a man with a face as sad as a clown. He said he wanted to be alone but I insisted. We both ordered the pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. I took some of his bacon. He spooned some of the syrup off my plate. I slapped his wrists. I took his napkin. He took my fork. Then we enjoyed our heavenly meal with its pancakes like pillows and all the excitement and drama that the combination of maple syrup and good quality bacon bring to a person’s life. By the end of breakfast he was bitch-slapping the table in glee as I recounted my days as a young buck in marketing. Who knew a story about a Sandra from accounts and a piece of Brie could be so entertaining? I’d say Live At The Apollo is just around the corner for a girl like me.


Anonymous Sasha @ The Happiness Project London said...

I'm an Edinburgh girl and LOVE this place - perfect for a glass of vino blanco (at lunchtime, ahem) and a quiche with the girls. Nom nom x

5:12 PM, November 15, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:17 PM, March 07, 2011  

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