The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Tea Shop, London Bridge

My Tea Shop
23 Duke Street Hill
London Bridge
020 7407 1110

by Muffin Gaye

I’ve always believed that honesty is a symptom of confidence, and everything about My Tea Shop screams out like Cherie Blair: “I’ve got nothing to hide!”. Anywhere that serves OJ (no ice) straight out of a Sainsbury’s container in front of you deserves respect for its blatant lack of pretence. Through the open counter you can see a kitchen that looks like the backroom of a car park ticket booth, replete with crude steel benchtops and even cruder white cutting boards and even cruderererer other stuff. The friendly staff do nothing to cover this up. It’s hard to be dissatisfied with imperfection when it’s friendly.

Likewise, their counter menu, printed straight off the Excel preview screen, was informative and easy on the eyes of someone conditioned to Microsoft Office. It’s almost as if they’ve tapped into that part of the human mind that’s evolved to feel comfortable with 2 columns written in Times New Roman. Sitting down, I look outside to see a range of hyperaesthetic advertisements pass by on buses and T-Shirts, and wonder where we all went wrong with all the fancy lines and colours and so forth. My Tea Shop is more than a restaurant. It’s a deprogramming environment.

Within 5 minutes of ordering, 2 plates of chips, tomato (4 halves!), bacon, and egg steam forth onto the table. The bacon is crisp, the egg not too runny and not too hard, the chips fluffy and the tomato bountiful. It’s a manifestation of the kind of simple fantasy that occupies the mind when one is fantasising about something that is actually possible. That this reality cost 8 pounds for 2 people makes the Playstation 3 seem even more overpriced.

You can realise your dreams at My Tea Shop, just not ones that involve spinach. But they’ve all been put there by celebrity chefs and doctors you don’t trust anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more -it deserves wider reknown I think. Proper crusty rolls and hand sliced bloomers, proper butter, proper tea (no bags), I could go on and on.

Great review.

9:15 AM, September 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful little place. No pretense. Sometimes nothing will do except a simple, well cooked breakfast. You know what I mean. I hear they are famous even in America (no joke - I live in Florida and made a direct line to My Tea Shop as soon as I was in the neighborhood).

10:57 PM, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Jbob said...

Fan-tastic. This breakfast was a must-do stop for our trip to London and it didn't disappoint.
The staff are friendly, the fry is great, the toast is thick and delicious and the tea is hot and strong. My vegetarian dining partner was as happy with her fry as I was my mixed grill. Set us up nicely for a day of museums and art galleries and a welcome change from the overpriced and underwhelming food you get in a lot of cafes.

3:58 PM, April 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sudhakar from Mumbai said,
A great review.Great to see British go lyrical about food and not football.It brings back memories of 1954 to 1958 when I studied and worked in London at 66 Victoria Street.My employer,a consulting engineer,gave the staff luncheon vouchers which we used in a small eating place down the road.The lunch was always a hamburger with a fried egg on top,chips and charlotte russe as desert,not very English,but we(myself and two other senior Brits)stuck to it.In those days you could get Spanish omlette at the Lyon's Corner House for 2 Shillings 6 Pence.A chicken meal at the Chicken House(?)chain was a little more than 3 Shillings 6 Pence.It is good to know some cafes are still giving full English breakfast for Pounds 4 per head when everything in UK is now so prohibitively expensive for people like me from India.

5:24 AM, June 18, 2008  
Anonymous Ronnie said...

My sister and I just returned from our first trip to London and just stumbled upon My Tea Shop. We LOVED it! And the staff...all two of them...were very friendly and welcoming to a couple of confused middle-aged American women. Great breakfast, great service, great prices and very relaxing little place. They even posed for pictures!! If I ever get back to London, I will definitely be paying another visit to My Tea Shop!

9:16 PM, March 21, 2010  
Anonymous Tim said...

I love this place for breakfast on a weekend :) I have just written my own review:


6:10 PM, November 24, 2010  
Anonymous Roy said...

Pret cannot kill this classic London caff. Rock on

9:32 AM, April 01, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you need any hired help in your cafe?

12:42 PM, April 27, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...


I would like to say some words for "My Tea Shop"
My experience with them was good. There service was good and food was also tasty and was not over cooked.
They take care of nutrition and you might think that how I can say that food was nutritious. Well I am doing online nutrition courses so I can judge about nutritions.

Highly recommended...!

6:52 AM, April 09, 2013  

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