So I was looking for somewhere to have breakfast near London Bridge. Brindisa, Roast, the Table and more sounded tempting, but none of them opened till past ten.
In the end, hubby and I plumped for Côte Brasserie in Hay's Galleria, as I'd heard good things about them, though obviously their steak skills wouldn't necessarily have any bearing on their breakfast abilities.
Côte is right on the river, so we sat near the door for a waterfront view. Every table was adorned with a pot of Bonne Maman preserve, but this was about as useful as the flower that would normally be there as the jars were very much unopened and I think they'd flinch if you popped that safety seal.
Seconds after we sat down however, they gave us three dishes of strawberry, blackcurrant and apricot jams, as well a lovely stoneware bottle of filtered water and some bottles of Heinz ketchup and HP sauce. My pomegranate juice tasted odd though - too astringent and also with a melon aftertaste and I hate melon. My husband's Café Américain was "adequate" though they did provide a little jug of warmed milk.
As for eats, hubby ordered the Full English Breakfast; I went for a small Eggs Benedict and a sausage baguette.
Hubby's toast arrived first with a pat of butter, and I quickly relieved him of two of the slices so I could try the jams which were all very good, if a little sloppy.
Our breakfasts came shortly after and it all looked impressive as we tucked in. The Full English comprised two rashers of bacon, a Cumberland sausage, grilled tomato, some button mushrooms and eggs any way you like - hubby opted for scrambled.
There was also a random scattering of parsley but alas no baked beans, which my husband was rather put out about. But all the components were stellar examples, save the tomato which, though seared on the outside, was cold and hard inside.
My solo Egg Benedict looked good, but the muffin was soggy, the hollandaise too sharp and, unforgiveably, the yolk was hard (my favourite voiceover of all time is Gordon Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares saying "The rice was hard. What a cock-up").
Even the flecks of cayenne pepper did nothing to ease my sense of eggy loss.
Fortunately the sausage baguette was a corker - good, randomly sliced, meaty bangers in fresh, crusty bread.
My husband complained that the sausages were a bit too posh, but that tramp would eat nothing but Gregg's if I let him and I know he was just piqued that there was no fried slice.
Anyway, we managed to finish the lot, even though the couple next to us were trying to eat each other's faces (I guess that's what happens when you only order granola).
So, the Full English was fairly good, the Eggs Benedict bitterly disappointing and the sausage baguette a minor triumph (and also a bargain at £3.90).
We asked for the bill then - 12.5% is added on which always jars me a little and apparently they'd mistakenly given me cranberry juice - and my mood was dampened even further when I popped to the ladies and was confronted by some resident evil.
Ruddy good view though.
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The herb on the full English breakfast looks like sprigs of thyme - a bit pungent for a regular breakfast like that? I'd put it in a West Indian omelette or something, but not on my scrambled eggs.
Why is it that the restos with the best views invariably serve up distinctly poor food??
The best breakfast was to be had at the Super Sausage transport caff on the A5 going just North of Stony Stratford. No posh frocks, mind!
My latest breakfast (and food shopping) discovery in London is Greensmiths of Lower Marsh by Waterloo yumyumyum.
@chumbles - I am a pathetic non-driver :(
@gastrogeek - I like Canteen - they do a good pie though they cocked up my mate's macaroni cheese. Too many spring onions.
@Louise - Hey Lou - I'm too cowardly. The bread was v good though and the sausages lovely. I'll have to check out Greensmiths.
@Lizzie - I know, but I took a perverse pleasure in photo-ing the evidence.