You are here: Southwark \ Food & Drink \ BREAKFAST BRILLIANCE AT THE GARRISON
3 May 2012
99-101 Bermondsey Street,
020 7089 9355
In 2003, a Daily Mirror reporter (with probably not a lot of scruples) went undercover at Buckingham Palace. His mission: To find out what the Queen had for breakfast.
Posing as a footman, the slippery hack snuck into the Royal Breakfast Room, and there upon the Royal Breakfasting Table found a dazzling array of Royal cereal – very sensibly stored in Tupperware.
Whether Her Majesty preferred Coco Pops or was more of a Crunchy Nut girl was not established (lets hope the tabloid snoop was slung out on his rear end before he could start poking around to find out) but what it did affirm was that from the very top of this country down to its toes, we, a people who proudly give our name to the Full English, are a nation of breakfast lovers.
That in mind, the task of testing breakfast at foodie haven The Garrison in Bermondsey Street – a brekkie stop that has been accumulating some right royal reviews in a number of London guidebooks – was one I approached knowing that the very reputation of our country was at stake.
The boyf and I arrived at The Garrison at half eight on Tuesday morning (I’ll admit it’s not the earliest of a morning I’ve found myself in a pub…although I’m normally approaching it from the tail end of an evening) and having braved the puddles and pedestrians of London Bridge, were surprised to find the place heaving with well-heeled business bods and waterproof clad tourists. Even tables that weren’t occupied wore a reserved sign.
A pub is obviously not the first place you think of for breakfast, and purists will no doubt argue that if it’s not a greasy spoon with tannin-laden tea and a woman in a tabard, it’s not worth having, but sight of an open kitchen revealing a chef armed with a basket of eggs looked promising.
We were seated and swiftly brought some strong coffee by staff who managed to expertly navigate the fine line between nice-and-friendly and just-too-perky-for-that-time-of-the-morning. The manager came over to own up that the fridges were unfortunately undergoing their annual check-up, so smoked salmon and smoothies were off the menu – but seeing as The Garrison has an entire A4 menu dedicated to ‘the most important meal of the day’, it wasn’t much of a problem.
Their ‘full and proper’ breakfast boasts Orkney streaky bacon, Lincolnshire sausages, as well as Portobello mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and some top notch bread and homemade jam.
Other options include smoked haddock and potato pancakes, scotch pancakes with strawberries, clotted cream and maple syrup. For anyone who doesn’t wish to fast track it to a coronary, there’s also healthier options like porridge, fruit salad and greek yoghurt, and a wonderful selection of teas and fruit juices.
The boyf went for Eggs Benedict (they also do Eggs Florentine and Eggs Royale) while I, miserable vegetarian that I am, went for the full vegetarian breakfast.
Within a quarter of an hour, our table was groaning under the weight of our breakfast haul. Alongside the eggs that were poached to perfection and covered in a sunny yellow hollandaise, the boyf had a pair of big, jolly sausages.
My veggie breakfast came with eggs, beans, tomato, mushrooms, as well as the more unusual additions of halloumi and spinach. I have to say, I’ve never woken up of a morning and thought “Ooh, I could murder a bit of spinach”, but it actually worked well. The bill of more than £10 each was admittedly a bit of a shock, but in fact we’d eaten en oeuf (sorry, couldn’t resist) to last us all day, so I like to think of it as more of an investment.
There are very few places that I am prepared to get up early for, but breakfast at The Garrison might be one of them.
It was Oscar Wilde who once said: “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast”.
Well, you lovely people at The Garrison, I hate to break it to you, but you must be terribly tedious folk – because at breakfast, you’re pretty damn brilliant.
Full vegetarian breakfast £8.50
Eggs Benedict £7.20
Apple juice £2.70
Orange juice £2.70
English breakfast tea £1.70
Two Lincolnshire sausages £2.00
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