The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Scandinavian Kitchen, Fitzrovia

Scandinavian Kitchen
61 Great Titchfield Street

by Hashley Brown

Having dropped Mrs Brown off for her early morning flight to Norway, what better way, I thought, to commune with her pending Nordic isolation than to consume a hearty Scandinavian Breakfast. What a treat then to find my idle daydreams made real in the aptly titled Scandinavian Kitchen nestling in the faux-village that is Fitzrovia. It’s a veritable Scandi wet-dream. Imagine all those cheeky Danish bacon adverts of your childhood rolled up with a healthy dose of Marimekko prints and some Arne Jacobsen furniture. Oh, and Roxette. “Speak up” the sign says, “we’re hard of herring.”

Reminiscent of all the lovely cafés I’ve ever visited in Copenhagen and Stockholm, Scandinavian Kitchen feels like a genuine slice of Scandi pie in the middle of town, and the breakfast platter they served up matched those Swedish farmhouse breakfasts I long for when the full English grease gets a bit much. Some smoked ham, a bit of pate, a soft boiled egg, some pickled herrings, that cheese with the holes in, some cheese without, as well as fresh breads of various hues, all topped off with lots of black coffee, made an uncharacteristically early morning seem peculiarly palatable. Add to this the cheery demeanour of the proprietor and the newspaper proffered when I sat down, and I almost considered emigrating.

Happily I rolled out the door feeling pleasantly full with the reassuring impression that Scandinavians the world over are jolly, herring munching, skinny-dipping types, and knowing I’ll be going back for more.

In the words of Roxette. “Loving is the ocean, Kissing is the wet sand, She's got the look.”



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boiled eggs and cheese go so well together. I went out with a Dane of 3 years and that is all i learnt from her. That and the Danish for hedgehog.

It's pindsvine which literally means stick pig.

5:27 PM, November 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sainted part of the Westminster domain may be Fitzrovia to you, Mr Brown, but it's Greater Marylebone to the rest of us.

Thank you.

8:36 PM, November 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Pudding,

Your environmental nonchalance is crime of Bushian proportions enough, but paedophilia?

No doubt you selected your absurd moniker in order to entice further innocent victims to your polluted lair.

Yours sincerely,

Vendetta Office for Persistent Recycling Offences

4:28 PM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Titchfield street is very much Fitzrovia. You have to be on the other side of Portland Place before you are in Marylebone.

As for Chairman Accord from the Green Army Faction, I think it is a sad reflection of today's paranoid atmosphere that one cannot take a Scandinavian child out for breakfast without being accused of pederasty.

8:24 PM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do not refer to Marylebone: I refer to the district to the east of Portland Place stretching to Cleveland Street, and known as 'Greater Marylebone'.

9:32 PM, December 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear T. Brit

Greater Marylebone? Possibly, although I'd prefer to see it as Greater Fitzrovia. If there is an aesthetic boundary that runs west from the Adams brothers designed Fitzroy Square to their classical facades on Portland Place, and a spiritual one defined by those literary wastrels who resided and no doubt breakfasted in the area, then I think that Great Titchfield now falls within the spirit if not the letter of what is essentially a nominal geographic assignation.


1:30 PM, December 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Hashley, if I may,

You make a point.

I could certainly free my fingers from buttery croissant crumbs long enough to go on.

But I would not want to drag you (or indeed Mr Pudding) unwilling into debate of an aesthetic/spiritual/geographic kind on Greater Marylebone without due regard for your sacred remit of start-of-the-day cuisine.

Yrs T. Brit

9:50 AM, December 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear TB (if I may)

And neither would I want to divert those buttery fingers from their sacred duty.

Feel assured though, that whilst Mr Pudding may suffer accusations of pederasty, here at the LRB we do have a rationale behind all sweeping geographical statements.

With kind regards

11:00 AM, December 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eggsactly, HB: I can read your rationale.

Here too, in Greater Marylebone, I have a constituency of dedicated breakfasters.

I should pause briefly here mid croissant to offer my compliments to LRB on the fine standards of its product.

I commonly feel intellectually dowdy and in need of a good breakfast when faced with its cutting edge bacon and egg slicers.

Yrs, TB

11:41 AM, December 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note, Messrs Pudding, Brown and Brit,

In the interests of pedantry and etymology (schools which I have reason to believe you fellows revere highly), no one is accusing Herr Pudding of pederasty. That word came directly from his own fatal tongue (or fingertips – the heavens preserve us from knowledge of the precise [undoubtedly deviant] nature of that depraved individual’s engagement with the infamous Quirty keyboard).

A word relating specifically to relations between a man and a boy, it means literally ‘boy-lover’.


Iscl Accord.

6:38 PM, December 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear ISCLy,

Yes, on a vaguely etymological note,

'those kind of words' come from the Greek word paidos or some such - for boy child. There was, as far as I know, no female equivalent in A. Greece.

Hence our impeccable language still contains anomalies such as paediatrics (medical care for children: both kinds) and the other one - much in use by yourself and Herr Pudding - which my keyboard, grubby although not insanitary as it is, cannot bear to set down

- and possible paella for all I know.

I mean, for heaven's sake, what is 'loving' about things of this nature?

This is perhaps not a breakfast topic though.

Can we please get back to scramblies and boiled egg and soldiers - and anyone for urban geography?

Yrs, Tolerant

PS: I am a fellow of the female kind btw

PPS: beautiful use of the term 'relations' in the above

9:24 AM, December 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pedants are revolting

9:54 AM, December 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pedalling back to the subject of "Greater Marylebone", the term is almost entirely unknown to google, whereas "Fitzrovia" stretches off into the great beyond. There is no historical justification for this attempted land grab.


11:33 AM, December 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Mr Egg, Malcolm,

There is nothing nominal or pedantic about the descriptor Greater Marylebone.

New Cavendish Street, which runs East to West from Cleveland Street to Marylebone High Street, was until the early nineteenth century called Upper Marylebone Street (map reference available as soon as I can put down my scandinavian crispbread spread with artisanal butter long enough to find it).

Marylebone Passage still runs its sweet little course from Margaret Street to Wells Street, giving the area the riverine topography that is so typically its heritage.

And ending, appropriately enough, at a breakfast spot whose name it will take me but a moment to recall.

Geographically, the subterranean Tyburn or Tybourne beautifully bisects the area and is its genius loci.

Since the geographic hub of this conversation was Great Titchfield Street, may I remind that Titchfield in Hants: ‘is an ancient place, was long a market town, and gives the title of marquis to the Duke of Portland’.

My Lords Portman were and are an ancestral Marylebone family.

A Tyburn tributary I have it on the most unimpeachable Westminster authority runs beneath the ancient gentleman’s lavatory at the corner of Foley and Titchfield Streets.

But let us not draw butter knives over the matter.


PS: Nice one earlier, Mr Pudding.

12:39 PM, December 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Tolerant.

It seems there is an erudite argument to be made for Western Fitzrovia's annexation. But ancient rivers and suburbs of Middlesex aside, the borders of modern Fitzrovia are accepted by a suitably feasible cross-section of London society to consist of Great Portland St, Euston Rd, Tottenham Court Rd and Oxford Street.

However, I hope that London's district borders never reach the point where such discussions can be settled conclusively by one side or the other - Elephant & Castle, for instance, versus Newington. Or King's Cross and Somerstown. Such vagueness is what sets the old world apart.

2:41 PM, December 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Greetings again.

Ah, yes, 'tis what makes London London.

Thank you for your response. I am happy to let you have the last word on this as it were and let you get back to your higher calling in the field of breakfasting.

For the record, however, I should say, mid bite on my breakfast muffin, that this is not an annexation but a statement,

indeed a reinstatement.

The other place, making use of an imagined term (as the literature confirms), makes the attempt to annex.

Hopefully there are plenty of breakfast places in both.

10:54 AM, December 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Roxette

11:51 PM, January 07, 2008  

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