Any suggestions as to where to grab a good old English breakfast in Greenwich and / or Blackheath?
Want to impress some Spanish friends and their 11-year old son, whose one reason for coming to London was for a dose of bangers, beans, eggs et al for breakfast.
The Phantom replies:
The caff that first comes to mind is GMT down Woolwich Road, in the same row as the Labour party shop (have you seen that scary new picture of Nick Raynsford? I think I preferred the last one where he at least looked bashful…) and opposite the new Turkish supermarket with all the fruit and veg outside – used to be Shiva’s).
I like this place because it’s not in any way tried to be anything it isn’t. It has bare brick walls with faded pictures of nothing in particular, decidedly nasty yellow and green moulded seating and a hand-painted cut-out chef outside. The food is what you’d expect and yes, the full English is very full. Sandwiches consist of half a loaf with your ingredient of choice inside, beverages are tea and (if I recall) instant coffee.
The Trafalgar Cafe down Trafalgar Road near Hardy’s Pub recently had a refurb, which seems mainly have been to turn the space upstairs into a flat and has resulted in a smaller, slightly more awkward eating space, but it still does traditional food, is still always full and still bustling. I seem to remember the sign saying it’s been around for about 50 years, but I’ll need to check that.
My next choice – and probably the one I’d actually take visitors to – is up at Blackheath Standard, Gambardellas. This has changed little since the 1960s except to expand next door. So the decor is classic 1960s mod one side and stuck in the 80s the other. Again, it doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. And if you Spanish friends have ever heard of Squeeze, they may be impressed to know it all started here.
Over in Blackheath Village itself, the cafes tend to be somewhat more upmarket, so you’re not really going to get that full greasy-spoon experience, but that might not particularly distress your friends, who might be rather grateful for the sort of food Hand Made Food or Patisserie Jade dole out…
There are dozens of traditional, unreconstituted caffs in Greenwich, and they get more traditional as they get further out of the centre – I’m sure everyone has their favourite – so expect a lot of other recommendations.