Thursday, 9 June 2022


Three full cooked breakfasts and one bacon baguette. There was a good reason for the last one. We'll get to that later.

"Breakfast smells good." I remarked to Mikey in our hotel reception the first morning.

"They want 16 quid for it. I'm not paying that."

"The thieving bastards."

We already had plans that day, anyway. A morning ride up to London and breakfast in a Toby Carvery.

Mikey convinced me with: "They have bacon Yorkshire pudding."

After driving around some random bits of South London, we rolled up at the carvery.

It's a buffet breakfast. So I loaded up on the bacon. The rashers of which, as often in buffets, were often half crispy, half barely cooked. I picked carefully. The fried eggs had hardened under the lights. Another problem with buffets. You need to pounce just after a fresh lot has been put out and the yolks are still vaguely liquid. It brought back the horror of Columbian hard fried eggs.

I finished cramming my plate with mushrooms, tinned tomatoes and some potato stuff. With bacon in it. Yum. Almost forgot: I had a sausage.

I've learnt to be wary of breakfast sausages. Unless I'm in a nice hotel, I usually steer clear of them. Horrible offal and sawdust tubes of terror. Mikey said they were OK. I took a punt on one. Perfectly edible.

The bacon Yorkshire pudding was a slight disappointment. Just a standard pudding with a bit of bacon in the bottom.

We had a pint in a random pub on the way back. Some place on Shooter's Hill. I see we had a pint. I did. Mikey was driving. To make up for him not having a pint, I had a double whisky as well. That balanced things up.

Mikey had a whole breakfast schedule worked out. On Saturday, it was the turn of the Black Bull.

We've dined there many times before. Pretty reliable. I get one of their specials. Not exactly what I would have ordered, given the choice. Two slices of bacon, a sausage, a fried egg, black pudding, hash browns, baked beans and tinned tomatoes. I could have done without the beans. And have another egg.

The egg was a bit strange. But the yolk was liquid, which was the most important. The suasage was even weirder, looking like the victim of a slasher attack. It doesn't taste too bad. Obviously, the bacon is good. And evenly cooked.

The owner is a friendly chap and chats away with us.

Toby Carvery Bexley Heath
Crook Log,
DA6 8EQ.

Black Bull Cafe
49 Black Bull Rd,
CT19 5QT.


sirmontyhusk said...

Both those fries could do with some potato bread and soda bread... nothing beats an Ulster fry

Anonymous said...

I've long wondered about the origin of beans in English Breakfast, and if you think brewing history is full of ridiculous undigested legends, it's got nothing on food history.

It must have happened after canned beans were introduced in the late 1800s, but when did beans become part of breakfast? Some websites attribute it to an ad campaign in the 1960s, some to a campaign in 1927, the English Breakfast Society's website says it dates to the Edwardian era.

If any of them provide cites, it's never to source material, just some other writer's unsupported claim. The history of the beans themselves are full of vague claims handwaving at American Indians and the like, but nothing counting as serious research. You're lucky if you get a reference to newspaper recipe, but nothing that counts as serious research.

A Brew Rat said...

The English love of baked beans and stewed tomatoes for breakfast is a great mystery to we Americans.

John Lester said...

Baked beans, tinned tomatoes and any form of potato should have no place in an English breakfast. Fried bread, on the other hand, is essential: its customary replacement by "hash browns" is one of the most dispiriting aspects of present day cuisine.