The London Review of Breakfasts

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

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Dartmouth Arms, Dartmouth Park

The Dartmouth Arms
35 York Rise
Dartmouth Park
7485 3267

by Poppy Tartt

If Tufnell Park were a staircase, the Dartmouth Arms would be its ornate newel post carved from one chunk of timber, it is that solid and comforting. As the pub’s reassuring embrace enveloped us, Monsieur Bébé and I pinched each other to check for dreams. ‘Waking,’ confirmed Monsieur. We held the breakfast menu aloft for inspection. Its style and substance was, if concise (full English and veggie options and a range of breakfast sandwiches are available), wholly pleasing. It even boasted an endorsement from that doyen of English breakfasters, Mr P. G. Wodehouse.

Compatible in all things (apart from Monsieur’s pathological dislike of les champignons), we ordered the full English twice, and repaired to a large round table by the window. I removed my shoes and put my feet up. It was like being at home, only better. Monsieur obtained the Sunday papers from a nearby shop and we opened them up and spread them all about the table and all over our laps and dropped some of the least interesting parts on the floor. Breakfast arrived on big white oval plates and was lovely. The whites of the eggs were as clean and shiny as the plates themselves, the yolks like melted wax, the bacon porcine, toast thick and marvellous, tomato rubicund and jolly as a plump lady with a hat on . . . The je nais sais quoi of it all was I just don’t know what.

The one disappointment was the underdone sausage, which, were I less English, I might have sent back for a grilling. But everything else was so perfect, and – rather like when you realise, moments from the act of lovemaking, that your bladder has other things on its mind – I couldn’t quite bear to mention it . . .


Blogger Hoey D said...

What a lovely image! No, not that of Poppy Tartt choosing between sex and piss, but of a tomato being: "jolly as a plump lady with a hat on."

Great stuff.

12:21 PM, June 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that the Dartmouth Arms is actually in Dartmouth Park - not Tufnell Park.

And they have amazing Oysters in the summer - not for breakfast though. That would be a bit too weird.

3:02 PM, June 06, 2008  
Blogger HB said...

Au contraire Anon, if I may refer you to the following review, I feel that oysters make the perfect start to any day...

Hugo's, Queens Park

regards HB

3:36 PM, June 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous, you're absolutely right about it being in Dartmouth Park. It's changed now.


10:14 AM, June 07, 2008  
Blogger Eavan Moore said...

You changed it to Dartmouth Park in the address, but not in the writeup.

Details aside, this is a completely absorbing blog -- even for someone who doesn't buy breakfast and doesn't get to London much. Thank you for writing it!

6:06 PM, July 05, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

But my friends we do shell and shuk oysters for breakfast, every Sunday,and have done since 1869.

The Innkeeper

9:00 PM, August 11, 2008  

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