The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Special Dispatch: The Lockside Café, Bristol

The Lockside Café
No.1 Brunel Lock Road
Cumberland Basin
Bristol BS1 6XS
0117 9255 800

by Egon Toast

Following on from the recent bombshell that Only Fools and Horses is to be refashioned into some braying horror by our chums on the other side of the pond, I'm afraid I have another bubble-burster for you, oh sensitive Londoners: Sid’s Café from said programme, only the flippin’ icon of cockney breakfastery what’s been beamed into gazillions of houses across the globe for the past 30 years… is actually in Bristol . It can be found a mere cheese roll away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. And it looks nothing like Sid’s, having had a right old makeover, make no mistake.

And it’s a funny old spot, too: a blimmin’ liminal location, located in the undercarriage of a flyover, seems to free it from your everyday timekeeping norms; akin to those floating hospitality zones in airports and service stations it’s the kind of place to eat steak and chips at three in the morning. As it was, we arrived at an eminently sensible 9am, plonk(er)ing ourselves down amongst brightly-coloured globular furniture – Barbarella meets Tellytubbies, yeah? – and were soon fussed over by our waitress, whose largesse with the foundation brush only gave further credence to that 24/7 retro-future vibe.

The menus, laminated, were duly examinated. I wanted to see how they had modernised the fake Peckham greasy spoon experience for today’s post-ironic arteries, while the distaff, forsaking the Full English that made her the woman she is today, went for some form of drop scone and bacon concoction. Our orders were taken swiftly. Bouncily. Cheerily, even. Rodney would have had a cardiac.

After a brief intermission, my plate of fried bounty arrived, and was all that one could want from a vaguely upscale protein-heavy feast: the bacon streaked, the yolk oozed, and all was steaming and soothing. They also gladdened my greedy soul by providing ample supplies of toast, the hallmark of a dining room that wishes to impart joy to its customers (there are few things more disheartening than an un-mopped slick of breakfast sauce). The pan-cake and bacon abomination was respectable, too, even if it did come with fruit - the sort of Continental affectation that has no place on one’s morning plate, even if you're eating in a spaceship from the 1970s.

So there’s no balding wheezer behind the stove. And it looks like the canteen from the Starship Enterprise. And no apology was forthcoming re: the shattering of capital-city, Lyndhurst-fixated hearts. But it didn't matter, really – the bonhomie exuded by all those involved with Sids 2.0 meant that our ventricles had been glued back together with a hearty dose of what the Bristol Marketing Board has implored me to call ‘West Country cheer’. Gurt lush? Gertcha.

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