Big Boys’ (and Girls’) Breakfast


Just as King Arthur sought the Holy Grail, as a young man starting work in London in the mid-70s, my goal was, during my lunchbreak, to find the best sausage, egg ‘n’ chips; and preferably all for under four and six (even though Imperial currency was no longer legal).

To help him on his most Holy of quests, King Arthur had people like Lancelot, Gawain and Sir Percivale (whose close friends called him Lance); I had a book of Luncheon Vouchers.

As my work took me twice a day for three months to Fleet Street, I was tempted by one establishment: Mick’s Café (if I had a café that’s what it’d be called – wouldn’t be a proper caff if it was called Mike’s Café). However, as a very innocent eighteen-year-old I was rather scared to go in– I imagined the entire printing staff of the Sun, Daily Mirror and Reveille would be gathered there devouring all the eggs and leaving only streaky bacon and black pudding to mere mortals such as I.

As I became more senior, people would take me to breakfast and the attraction of pubs serving breakfast suddenly appealed; there were several in Fleet Street and a few in Smithfield, where the meat was fresh even if the people serving it weren’t.

The only danger was that you’d come out smelling of what you’d just eaten and, as you got older and forced to have annual medicals, the word cholesterol would become part of your vocab. In the mid-seventies cholesterol sounded more like a type of frothy coffee rather than something brought on by having too many BBBs.

More tea, love?

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