On English Road Trips…

Being a connoisseur of the finest Full English Breakfast has always proved a heavy load to bear, as one is consumed with an overarching attempt to find the one that beats the previous holder of the title, at Every Given Opportunity.

That said, a recent road trip to the UK with Charlotte was one of highs and lows in the cuisine department of early morning comestibles, a bit like taking the high road round Dartmoor to arrive at Torpoint for Alfie’s Passing Out Parade was most definitely the prettier route than the one leaving, that saw us taking the ferry (Charlotte wasn’t seasick you’ll be pleased to hear) and then the low route below Dartmoor to the M3. 

Just as views of this wonderfully diverse and interesting world can take your breath away, good or bad, so can the food served under the guise of the ‘Full English’. If there were a school or college that taught even the mere basics of what one of these meals contained, all hoteliers, hospitality givers, Bed and Breakfast establishments and overnight roadside stopovers purporting to offer the best meal of the day, they should avail themselves of this education as a prerequisite requirement and standard operating procedure for the one meal of the day that purports to set you up for whatever lies in store for the traveller or holidaymaker or worker in need of lodgings and morning sustenance.

In our travels to the Motherland, the Home Counties, the West Country, Black Country, Northern Climes et al, Charlotte and I sampled, partook, tried and tested the offerings of multiple residences.

The Lodge or Inn that extols the wonder of having ‘Everything you need at your fingertips’, much like that witty retort which ever remains on the tip of your tongue, tantalisingly just out of reach and inaccessibly unattainable until the moment has passed and by uttering it now you’d appear crass or just mentally slow, or ‘Say hello to sleeping like a rockstar’ which offers the whole world to the weary traveller, who could just as easily have bedded down on a lumpy horse-hair stuffed Hessian sack and achieved the same level of quantifiable slumber when positioned next to a main arterial trunk road motorway that never sleeps but keeps churning on throughout day and night. Even the heavyweight curtains do little to drown the incessant thunder of tyres on tarmac. 

So as an aside, if I could offer one thought to the designers of these obviously necessary evils, it would be to do away with the windows facing such ‘highways to hell’ and not bother offering a view of what you are soon to be thrust back into as your journey continues, (following taking on board the equivalent calorific value of a whole week’s usual breakfasts at one sitting), to build the external, road-facing wall at least a metre thick like in France and give peace from the hustle and bustle of the commuting world that the searcher of rest so obviously needs.

As far as being a ‘rockstar’ or knowing how you should sleep like one, all I can imagine is a haze of booze and drugs and ripping the TV off the wall to be hurled out of the non noise suppressing window to the passing lorries below! 

To get back though to the main theme of today, which is breakfast food offerings. Never far from my thoughts, as the gnawing pangs of hunger will often begin less than an hour after any previous intake. How I maintain my racing snake figure is a total mystery unless it is due to the hard labour it’s been rumoured I am party to when in French France. 

As the recent memories of Christmas and the holiday season are recorded in the annals of Life’s Rich Tapestry, with the usual expectations and heightened excitement that that time of year offered, the increased intake and subsequent ‘letting out’ of the waistband to accommodate restful repose on the sofa in front of the TV to watch, once again, The Great Escape or one or two Netflix Christmas film offerings, early morning meals morphed into noontide lunch, as bacon rashers either found their way onto the succulent breast of the stuffed bird, or had been wrapped around sausages which had somewhat shrunk from their thick breakfast meatiness to a little finger sized mouthful where comments of Oxford Street and the throwing of chipolatas vied for position alongside ubiquitous carols sung by Aled, Bublé and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, conducted by the late departed Sir Stephen Cleobury. You know the scene, along with the Christmas jumpers and condensation rivulets running races down the kitchen windows.

Following a night’s sleep at an ageing inn that purported to be premier in its own league, one was sent off into the spume and howling morning gale to the restaurant across the external pathway that has more tables in its name than one, to be greeted by the Mancunian staff who were delighted to welcome you to their establishment and serve you at one of the many available tables. Evidently not many folk had braved the inclemency. Us hardy folk from down south brushed off the drenching as a second shower of the day and requested the Full English. The waiter had a list. Got to love a list. As he ticked off the items, you had the chance to request a quantity of each item! Joy was unconfined. I could really get used to that kind of service. 

But hold yourself in readiness, we haven’t sampled the quality yet. Quantity is no use to man nor beast if the quality is nonexistent.

However and in conclusion, the Table Table restaurant in Cheadle Royal, Manchester, UK, most definitely takes the winning title for the Full English Breakfast on our sojourn to the wilds of England. Congratulations to the front of house staff for their attentiveness and to the kitchen staff for their ability to produce a first rate, edible and enjoyable first meal of the day!

Set us right up for the next 300 miles…

Carry on regardless


P.S. I’m not sure what the upstairs apartment flushed down the toilet at 3am, but it sounded like a family of rabid rats scampering down the pipe in search of freedom!

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