The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

La Vie en Rose, Hackney

La Vie en Rose
2 Broadway Market
08710 751 155

by Des Ayuno

I was sharpening my teeth in anticipation of a visit to La Vie en Rose. Despite being able to tap into its free wireless from my bedroom, I’d never been, disgusted by both its history and the pest-control vans parked outside last January. Still, its reputation for moral and culinary decay promised an entertainingly spiteful review.

My dining companion, probably the only local who admits to liking the place, managed just a few bites of her toast. I plumped for the full (“House”) breakfast, which tasted like a well-intentioned but confused maman’s desperately cobbled-together meal for her hungover British exchange-student guest. Scrambled eggs were the highlight of the visit, equal parts egg and double cream, cooked in their own weight in butter. Toast made of cheap sliced white and brown, tolerable mushrooms, a solitary sausage and vile bacon rounded off England’s Sunday morning five-a-side. Playing from right to left for la France were a nice-ish rosemary-infused ratatouille and a sort of ploughman’s via the Languedoc: nasty, warm cheddar, two kinds of jamon, both horrid, and a spoonful of onion confit. Requested tomato ketchup was brought promptly, but with a raised eyebrow.

At £8 including a nice strong tea, it wasn’t terrible value. Professional service was dispensed by sufficiently handsome garçons. But though my money and time were sacrificed purely to warn you away, dear reader, I still felt like crying when I handed over the cash. There were queues out the door all day, as there always are. Each credit card-receipt signature they collect may as well be added to an ever-lengthening statement reading, “I hereby endorse your mercenary, shameless and and allegedly illegal ‘management’ of council property and related ‘Make Poor People History’ campaign”, and posted to Jules Pipe. We can only hope the local kids firebomb the place.


Blogger Will Davies said...

Nothing will ever beat the Little Georgia, 'Full Georgian' (or whatever it was called) breakfast, which this sub-Cafe Rouge ousted. Now that was a breakfast. Mushrooms lightly fried in mustard, baked beans with a hint of chilli, juicy griddled sausages, two correctly-fried eggs, all on a rugby-ball sized/shaped plate because there was too darn much of it.

La Vie en Rose have a lot to answer for.

9:23 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Jade said...

Will davies, I concur. I still dream about the Little Georgia full breakfast, and their apple pancakes were amazing. The lady who ran it was a vision of elegance, I could have watched her flit around all day...

10:19 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger mai + ché said...

I thank you Des Ayuno for the background history of La Vie en Rose, and I agree that the prices are a bit over the top. However, I believe your judgement of the food was (perhaps understandably) biased. The breakfast is above par for London: the "solitary sausage" was very good as was the toast and the bacon (far surpassing the English 'norm'). And I should mention that the desserts are very good. I will think twice before going back (isn't the Georgian Cafe reopened down the way?) but it won't be because of bad food.

11:05 AM, February 12, 2007  
Blogger Ms Baroque said...

I just have to come in here and say NOTHING will EVER beat Little Georgia. I loved that place, my kids loved it, and I can still remember the heart-stopping feeling one day in Broadway Market when my little girl and I looked art that sign... La Vie en Rose - even at her age she could see that was a crap name.

Nowadays we weep whenever we think of pirozhki.

9:20 PM, February 14, 2007  
Blogger clivec said...

Check out the new Little Georgia Cafe just down the road. at 87 Goldsmith's Row. The Georgian breakfast (&lunch & dinner!) is back

6:57 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Ms Baroque said...

Joy unbounded!

8:10 PM, May 12, 2007  

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