Friday, March 27, 2009

Concerto for Bacon and Eggs

Beethoven's Violin Concerto
Farewell Fry-up
Regency Cafe, Pimlico, London

On my  morning in London I decided the ideal finale would be to head down to the world famous Regency Cafe for a farewell fry-up.

Apart from having featured in the fair to middling gangster movie Layer Cake (featuring Bond star Daniel Craig), the Regency is famous for being one of the capital's premier 'greasy spoon' cafes.

It serves up yer classic British fried breakfast as well as delicious pies, pasties and fish 'n' chips.

Low cholesterol it ain't.

But if it's good enough for James Bond, it's good enough for me.

I opt for the classic combo: bacon, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, toast and tea - with dark sauce, of course - though the huge menu hanging over the counter offers a bewildering number of variations on a theme:

"You want that with beans or tomatoes? How about mushrooms? Sausage or black pudding?"

"You want yer eggs fried or scrambled?"

" POACHED!!? What are you, a ponce!?"

I must say the Regency's high-fat feast is nearly as good as my mum's, and for a fiver it's a deal. Crucially the tea comes in huge navvy-type mugs. None of yer airy-fairy china cups here, mate.

After the rarefied continental cuisine I'd scarfed in Barcelona last week, the Regency provided a welcome touch of earthiness. Patrons included workmen on their extended tea breaks - resplendent in reflective orange jackets - office workers and a few curiosity-seekers like me.

The hearty atmosphere is delightfully offset by the classical music which comes wafting over the cafe's hi-fi. As I was expertly fashioning a bacon, egg and tomato sarnie, Beethoven's violin concerto provided a relaxing, almost transcendent accompaniment.

Although we Brits like our breakfast lip-smackingly greasy with lashings of hot char to wash it down, we're a cultured lot, too. To us there's nothing the least bit incongruous about fried eggs and Faure or sausages and Salieri.

In fact I have it on excellent authority that the great classicists were mighty partial to a fry-up. Beethoven couldn't play a note until he'd scoffed his bacon and eggs, while Brahms banqueted on baked beans and Mozart was mad about mushrooms on toast.

With dark sauce, of course.


Anonymous said...

Dear Shiffi,

I am glad you enjoyed your full English. I was in Inverness recently - no sign of Scotland's first most famous monster on the way - and had a delightful full Scottish, including a tasty dollop of haggis!


Kendo Nagasaki (colleague of Giant Haystacks)

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Thanks Kendo. With a name like like that maybe u should be eating rice and salad for breakfast, they do a nice one in RYan's Bar in Kobe I hear!!

Anonymous said...

How did you find out about the Regency? These are the kind of tourist attractions really worth visiting. In NY I managed to have breakfast at Tom's Cafe and visit the Nazi Soup kitchen - of Seinfeld fame. Who says I'm not cultured.

ifd66 X

Shiffi Le Soy said...

Saw The Regency in the Layer Cake movie then tracked it down on the web!!