Saturday, October 15, 2005

The River Cafe, Putney Bridge

London has two River Cafes. One is famous, was designed by Richard Rogers, and has its own line of designer cook books. The other is not (yet) famous, was designed by nobody to speak of, and will probably think you're a nutter if you ask for a cook book. I went to the latter... right next to Putney Bridge tube stop, 1A Station Approach, Tel +44 20 7736 6296.

Why did I come here? Well, by sheer coincidence, I was flicking through the October 2005 issue of Esquire on the plane to London, and I stumbled across a list of the 10 best places in the world to eat breakfast. According to the lads at Esquire, the Putney Bridge River Cafe is the place to go for the "most traditional" English fry up. (Incidentally, they reckon The Wolseley offers the "most genteel" breakfast in the world.)

As fry-ups go, I was very happy with the River Cafe experience. The scrambles were light, and everything else was well and truly fried. The place has a classic "caff" feel, with formica tables, red or brown sauce bottles on each table, and service that's both relaxed and welcoming. Adding to the Saturday morning atmosphere were a couple of tables of Chelsea fans fueling up before the game.

When you're finished, take a stroll along the river bank beside Bishop's Park, location of the scene where Father Brennan gets speared by the church spire in the 70s devil-movie classic, The Omen.

13/20 "nice fry up"