The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gracelands, Kensal Green

118 College Rd
Kensal Green
020 8964 9161
Breakfast served: Monday - Friday 8.30am - 4pm, Saturday 9am - 4pm, Sunday 9.30am - 3pm

by Armand Croissant

Toddlers engage in vituperative yells. Flustered parents who work in the media ignore them. The noise! It is not the best place for a hangover. Everything is bright. So bright! I don’t want to buy t-shirts made by locals. I don’t want to use blue plastic mugs. I don’t want to come to a massage session. Where would you lie down? On the tables? I don't think I want to be pummelled by any of the six-foot-tall muscular staff. And why do you have to queue to order when all any sensible breakfaster wants to do is sit down and guzzle water until the food comes? Your correspondent is tempted to leave. And yet… is that elegant memoirist Lady Liza Campbell in the corner, deep in conversation with up and coming novelist Philip Womack? Is that gremlin-like journo-cum-playwright Toby Young besieged by small creatures that appear to be his children? Is that actress Tamsin Greig looking bohemian and graceful in the corner? Have I stumbled into the Groucho of Kensal Rise?

What could it be that these people find here? The service is chaotic – but at least friendly. My food is hawked round several tables and I have mentally murdered several munchkins before it arrives - but what a pleasure when it does. Eggs are runny of yolk and crispy of edge; the toast is little slivers of buttered perfection; the bacon clumped with a glueyness of baked beans is like a remnant from some medieval feast – primal and hearty. It almost goes without saying that the almond croissant is fluffy, light, creamy and sprightly like a young boulevardier taking his first walk on a spring morning in Paris, arm-in-arm with a flighty young filly who won’t go further than a kiss.

One can forgive the wait. And the toddlers - they’ll grow up soon. The food’s worth it. I'll bide my time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read in the Telegraph diary that up-and-coming novelist, Philip Womack, was spotted stumbling out of the Sceptre 21st birthday party looking tired, emotional and not a little sheepish.

3:57 PM, January 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wanted to add that i work at gracelands cafe and am not 6ft tall or at all muscular but am all woman. It does get very chaotic in the cafe at times and it is a little overwhelming but we do try and satisfy the customers needs. It is hard when everybody comes in at the same time and orders the same thing. Your food may get hijacked en route but at least it is made fresh and with loving care. As for all the toddlers - well at least their parents can get out and not worry about all the mess - leave that to us....

10:57 PM, February 02, 2007  

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