Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I've been meaning to do a piece for the Blog for ages about caffs.

Yes, I do mean "caffs", not "cafés". I mean what are sometimes unfairly called "greasy spoons". Twice lately I’ve found myself having really rather splendid English Breakfasts (something we English hardly ever have!) in two of them at opposite ends of the country and thought they deserved a plug here.

The first, nondescript looking place was in Manchester. It's called the "OK Café" (!) and it's at 77 Piccadilly, between the Station and Piccadilly Gardens. It's ordinary, friendly and very popular and served me a huge steaming hot bap (they call them "barms" in the North West, apparently!) and a mug of tea for les than a price of a Latte in.......well, you know where!

The second is the misleadingly-named Gino's Coffee Bar, directly opposite Marylebone Station in London, on the corner of Melcombe Place and Great Central Street. Full breakfast or just elevenses, just setting me up for a hard day in London!

English cooked breakfasts are always a bit of a challenge for me as I don't like eggs and finding something without is sometimes a bit hard. I used to get places refusing to serve them without an egg, "unless you pay for each other piece individually", which is much more expensive. This doesn't seem to happen now (last time was in a place called Hawthorn, in Australia in 2001, I think!)

I know we're supposed to have lighter things now, not some artery-clogging fatty fry-up. But since I hardly ever do so and life isn’t a rehearsal, I reason that it's a pleasure I can indulge occasionally and am happy to recommend the two said establishments here.

I wonder if there's anywhere comparable in Birmingham.......?


  1. Egg and spam

    Egg sausage and spam

    Spam egg sausage and spam


  2. You know, that sketch was shown on television here only the other night (can't remember why; it was a clip in another programme)!

    Haven't had Spam in years. They took it off the market for a bit due to changing tastes but then brought it back!

    Soundtrack from the resulting commerical at:

  3. I have not tried it for breakfast, but the Eastside cafe, on the corner oppposite the former temporary coach station looks as if it may be a candidate. When I have had more than just a coffee there it has been good and unpretentious.