I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sadly, the season of delicious gluttony has long since departed and dumped us off in dietsville. Yep, ‘tis the season to miss the past month like your first true love and weep inside whilst salivating over steaming crusty baguettes and mountains of poncy cheese piled high on the last remaining discounted 'Festive Food' shelves which you must avoid like HELL as you dart through M&S Food at full speed because it’s the quickest shortcut to the high street and it is pissing it down with rain outside.
Without a shadow of a doubt, January is the Beelzebub of all months. If December is David Tennant (warm, sparkling with joy and too impossibly cheerful to be sober) then January is John McCririck (engorged, repugnant and full of the discontent which arrives when you realise you'll have to wait another eleven and a half months until it will be acceptable again to pop a bit of Bailey's into every drink you consume and pour over every meal. Ice cream and Bailey's? YES. Chocolate cake and Bailey's? I THINK SO. Mashed potato with Bailey's stirred in.... HELLO SIR.)
If I had a quid for every person who voiced hopes of reforming their post 2012 eating habits and pledged to fuel themselves as if they were about to compete in the looming Olympic insanity then I would be showered with such wealth that I could quit my job and live every day as if it were the holy, comforting month of December. I'd sleep on a bed cushioned with Ferrero Rocher, could employ (but inevitably sack after an awkward personal space issue) Cliff Richard as my very own Christmas Carol serenader, and would dress only in chains of tinsel wrapped tightly around my bulging and joyful rolls of fat.
Without a shadow of a doubt, January is the Beelzebub of all months
Until the dieting lunatics start forking out however, I have no choice but to rebel in defiance of the New Year starvation. It isn’t ‘new’ anymore anyway… 2012 is three weeks old now and deserves every piece of contempt and saturated fat bomb I can throw at it, and what better insult to hurl than a plate of my most favourite Sunday brunch extravagance: Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Benedict has many different guises and wherever you choose as your port of eggy wonderment, you can guarantee you’ll be met with a different dish. Just to clarify,
Eggs Benedit - Poached eggs, HAM, English Muffin, Hollandaise.
Eggs Florentine - Poached eggs, SPINACH, English Muffin, Hollandaise
Eggs Royal (or, if you’re somewhere poncy, Royale) - Poached eggs, SMOKED SALMON, Hollandaise.
Eggs Royal is the resounding winner for me. Not only does it taste like sex on a plate, it is the one food which can snap me out of thinking that the world is an evil and dark place at 11am on the morning of the same morning I passed out. I’ve had 3 hours of poor sleep, my heartbeat is less than regular and however much water I consume it seems my thirst will never be quenched again. But it’s alright. Because a plate consisting of 80% melted butter and some posh fish has just been presented to me. My brunch is regal and it knows it. Regardless of the fact that 4 hours ago I was sitting on a pavement in Brixton wearing something offensively leopard print, with laddered tights and a half finished bottle of red in hand singing ‘A Little Respect’ by Erasure (though insisting that my rendition was imitating the Wheatus version) I am now being served pretentious food and everything seems hilarious and reckless and awesome.
So, especially for you, here’s my all-time top three butter soaked delight destinations. These people will make you feel like royalty through the provision of insanely unhealthy indulgent food, go forth and coat your arteries:
Massive helpings and crowned with a sprinkle of black pepper. Job Done.
If you have ever experienced the beauty of a Bills restaurant then this will be no surprise to you. Bill is a place of such rustic charm that it makes you want grab your nearest fellow queuee and go roll in some hay. Their hollandaise has been poured from heaven, eggs are poached to perfection, and the toast looks and tastes like it was baked in a country house by your nan. Massive helpings and crowned with a sprinkle of black pepper. Job Done.
This Café was already a winner before I sampled its eggs benny offerings. Being conveniently close to a very good friends pad, many a hanging morning have been wasted happily filling our alcohol burnt tummies as we swap stories highly inappropriate for such an hour. And then there was the fabulous morning when I graced Brava with my walk of shame outfit from the night before and sans shoes. (It had been a fancy dress party. Of course. The cherry on top was the lovely waitress offering to clean my slightly crumby seat “so that I wouldn’t get my pretty dress grubby”. The friends I had missioned to meet were dying with contained laughter. Oh my did I take a banter hit for that little episode) Luckily, I had the blessing of a superb Eggs Royale to remedy that moment of shame. Smaller portion but thicker hollandaise and more than adequate helping of salmon. On an English muffin as well, which, though not an essential choice of breadstuffs for a good eggs benny, is always a pleasant addition. This brekkie definitely bought me back from embarrassment and I left feeling still slightly pissed and like a Queen.
The Bank. Clapham.
The best friends you have are the ones you can do fuck all with but still manage to have the best and most non-sensical night. Two such candidates graced me with a visit last Friday. It was the kind of evening where you fill your face with a great deal of pizza and chat about things like awkward moments when men could get boners til you all fall asleep on the same sofa bed and drool into each others hair. The morning after was rather fuzzy and could only be cleared by soaking it with a litre of melted butter sauce on eggs. Proper portions, a moat of hollandaise and a scolding hot plate (the odd burn is a good thing to keep you alert on such drowsy mornings) They also do milkshakes, get in and win.
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