Since we just recently posted a review of breakfast at John’s Quick Lunch in Westboro and we are just now getting around to finishing off an account of our recent trip to the U.K., this seemed like as good a time as any to add to our Gastronomic Guide to the South of England (albeit a very abridged version!). We had just dropped Christa, our daughter and Mik, our son-in-law off at Gatwick to take their flights back to the continent and had set off once again on the dreaded M25 London ring road. We were heading for Somerset where one of Dorothy’s aunts lives. We were both relatively hungry and so once we had left the M25 behind us we looked for somewhere to eat breakfast.
I am not sure that I fully understand exactly how it functions, but it has become apparent to me that there is a worldwide conspiracy that makes motorway food 50% more expensive than the same fare served in more civilised surroundings. Is it because they have a captive customer base? Perhaps, but I tend to believe that some evil force derives immense pleasure from seeing the lemmings line up to pay top dollar for lower than bottom quality food.
This particular day, it looked like the malevolent entity had slipped up! While making a necessary bathroom stop, we happened upon the signage that you see at the top of this post. The first thing to note is that the prices in £’s are just about what one might expect them to be in $’s in North America! Our recent breakfast at John’s had been around $6 as I recall! We were both in the mood for a good old-fashioned British Brekky! Not wishing to be greedy, we opted for the £5.99 deal.
The first thing that you may notice here is that the breakfast that we actually received only marginally resembles the one shown in the picture above. It contains all the same ingredients but the presentation is definitely lacking the same visual appeal. If you check out the picture of John’s breakfast in our previous post, you will see that there is a huge difference. That one major gripe aside, ths was, in fact, a pretty good meal. The bread under the egg is actually fried bread, something typically British and largely eschewed in North America. The bacon hidden underneath is called back bacon and is NOT cooked to a crisp as it would be here in Canada. Personally, I much prefer it that way, possibly because I AM a Brit and was brought up on it. The baked beans reminded me how different things can be between continents even when they are visually so similar. British beans, even though they may be Heinz are much lighter in colour and their sauce is thinner and less sweet. Over the years, I must admit that I have come to prefer the North American varieties. Still it is good to reminisce every now and again.
You may also notice that the coffee looks remarkably like a latte or café au lait. Indeed, this is another area where Britain has changed noticeably over the years. Not that it was impossible in the ’60s and ’70s just that it was not normal. It is even served in a large French-style bowl/mug. The only slight downer was the cost at £3.75 per cup
All in all, in spite of the exorbitant price tag this breakfast was a pleasant experience.