I love a good fry up, always have and as long as my body can take them, I always will. I hope.
I’ve always preferred my full English in more traditional cafes that sadly now seem to be very thin on the ground.
Normally referred to as Worker Cafes, Greasy Spoons or just Caf’s, this integral part of British culture provide a food staple to all and sundry.
Derided by a lot of people, who feel they are too posh to enter into these rather rustic, boisterous and homely establishments, well they are missing out.
I’m also partial to a fry up in more modern settings, but I am always drawn to the humble café where somehow I feel slightly more at home.
One of the finest cafes I’ve been to in an age is definitely the Regency Café, within walking distance of Victoria, where we were heading to afterwards for a long weekend in northern Italy, but as we had tine to kill a Full English was the ideal way to warm our souls before a weekend of nonstop eating and drinking ensued.
The Regency Café is as traditional as you can get, from its 1950’s look to the deluge of noise as you enter the place.
There are numerous signs telling you not to sit down until you have ordered and paid for your food. These we didn’t see and got a bit of an ear bashing off one of the girls.
Unless you hit here before the 10am and lunchtime rush, be prepared to queue, if not go somewhere else. This is one popular place and believe me it is worth every minute you are in that queue.
I’ve been told the old man has a voice that can steer ships, but his daughter is not far behind, with her deep bellowing voice as she calls out for people to come and get their order when it is ready. Funny thing is when she takes tour order she is as quiet as a mouse, just when the food comes to the pass does she bellow.
Our order of a Full English and Omelette and Chips took about 10 minutes, you really have to keep yer ears open as in a minute you could miss your order. Thankfully no one was ordering the omelette that day.
Star of the show on my fry up was definitely that Cumberland sausage, a bloody fine one it was. The black pudding was worth the trip by itself and with the thick beans and chips this was a bloody breakfast from heaven.
For some reason I love omelettes from cafe’s, no idea why, I guess it’s a throw back to my Saturday night dinners that my dad used to do me. Big, crispy and coloured and definitely not under cooked as is my preference on omelettes nowadays.
I just wish this place was not an hour from my home, otherwise I would be here on my way to work everyday.
The Flamingo Café I have either walked passed on my way to work or on the bus on my return for nigh on two years now, and its only been recently that I entered its hallowed doors.
I’ve been taking a succession of photos of their daily changing menu board outside and posting them on instagram and on Tumblr. Some very retro dishes appearing for lunch everyday.
The Flamingo Café is a more sedate version from the Regency, this is a local café at is best serving a good mix of taxi drivers, council workers and random locals pottering in and out all day.
With it’s friendly table service you are immediately made to feel at home, whether it is your first time in or your hundredth.
The brekkies are well cooked, nice runny yolks, good black pudding and something I haven’t encountered in a long time. Tin tomatoes. True 70’s retro. The only thing I don’t like to much is that they cut the sausages length ways and cook them some more.
The food may not be the best in the area, but for atmosphere, friendliness it is the best by a long way.
I wasn’t going to include this, but the Star Express nipped in here at the last moment as I was doing a tad or pre Christmas shopping and popped in for a bite to eat.
The clientele is definitely local, mainly workers on Chapel Market and old friends meeting up for a coffee and a quick bit of food.
I was actually pretty impressed with the food here, I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. I opted for the Set Breakfast 2, which came with bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried egg, beans, toast and the hottest cup of coffee I have ever drunk.
Cannot complain about the food or the atmosphere, with its fair share of characters from wily old men trying to pawn off a few luxury goodies to all and sundry.
We were heavily entertained by a middle age large man and his old mum. They were sat in the corner insulting each other over their breakfast. It was pure comedy really, sad but funny, him telling her to “choke on her sausage” and mum telling Derek “that’s why your sister hates you”. Happy families.
Three blinding caff’s serving the public in their own way in their own areas. I’m hoping these cheap and cheerful places with friendly and honest people do not die out, otherwise we will be loosing part of our heritage.