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Sunday, June 22, 2008

“He’s got the key of the door ..…”

I can remember the day of my 21st birthday very, very clearly.

I was Head Waiter at an American restaurant in London and my birthday, the 8th of March, fell on an evening on which I was working.

This sounds like a drag but work at the restaurant was good fun. People, laughter, free food, free drink and amazing tips; what was not to like?

I also remember that a regular customer and his party of friends bought me a bottle of champagne – a decent one too – and presented me with it at the end of service.

It was a good night.

That was several (?) years ago after I had just come back from 18 months on Rhodes island, Greece.

During my time there, I learnt as much Greek as possible for one very good reason; it showed that I was trying in a “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” fashion. It also distinguished me from other English people there. I mean, let’s face it; the English (when abroad at least), do not have the best reputation in the world;

And, looking from the outside in, I could see the locals’ point.

One area in which I am immensely proud to be British however is our ability to lay on a good breakfast. I love croissants as much as the next man and fresh orange juice is a pre-requisite to a good breakfast but can you honestly beat sausages, bacon, eggs and beans?

Can you beat fresh crusty bread with butter, brown sauce on the side and a fresh pot of tea?

Can you?

Frankly, no.

A cooked English brekkie rules the waves (as Queen Victoria might have said) and today I cooked one such breakfast, obviously bearing in mind the plight of the British farmer (and the British pig) and purchased only British pork.

Sausages, bacon, beans, plum tomatoes, hash browns, fresh crusty bread AND seeded granary, Lurpak spreadable AND Anchor butter, HP sauce and of course, a steaming hot cup of tea. If I am honest, it could have been made just slightly more amazing had I included a couple of large fried eggs but with M being allergic to eggs and the children not caring much for them, it was easier to skip their inclusion.

Everyone agreed it was delicious and proved it by clearing their plate, which I took as a compliment.


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