The fickle Victorian weather meant that the sunniest times were when we lingered over long breakfasts, on a veranda overlooking the sea. More dedicated types may have used this warm window of opportunity more productively, walking on the beach or exploring the tidal pools. But not us. Though this is a blog about the joys of eating and drinking, this post is not dedicated to the actual food but is a tribute to the ambience surrounding dinning.
Music for breakfasters is a delicate choice. I have fond memories of Marios in Brunswick Street always playing cool jazz at this time of day. In that café, nothing else would do and it was always perfect. The sound accompaniment on the coast, day 1 was Crowded House. Just loud enough to hear the words, but not so intrusive to annoy if the trio was not your cup of tea. I happen to have a soft spot for the younger Finn so this lulled me into an even better mood.
The staff were young and relaxed. They took the order and delivered the food, offered more drinks - all totally appropriately. They seemed happy and at this point in the season before the Christmas onslaught, there was no pressure for the table. This way after over 2 hours, 5 drinks and 2 meals, they were not attempting to move us on from the prime spot we had scored. The wicker chairs had comfy cushions to pad the back and bottom, which made it all the cosier to stay a little longer. On holidays such padded lingering is much appreciated.
There was a stash of magazines and newspapers. This became vitally important on day 2 when we both had the urge to attempt the giant weekend sudoku (not entirely successfully, but that seemed irrelevant). A spare copy was found and peace ensued.
The food arrived promptly. By mid morning I have usually been awake for hours and if left unfed I could probably gnaw a leg off a small animal, if indeed I ate meat. My biggest gripe about breakfasting out in the world is ‘the long wait’. A full café, who can seat more than the kitchen can comfortably accommodate is the worst crime imaginable to the hypoglycaemic. The weekend favourite did not commit that crime. As beautiful as the seaview was, it would have been marred if my stomach had to grumble half an hour or more to be fed.
The chef was not precious. You could eat lunch food at breakfast and alter the menu if the choices on offer didn’t appeal. Such flexibility is a boon for the holiday eater, who perhaps had a little too much crayfish or sav blanc the night before. Or whipped up by the fresh air, wanted their own take on a creative combo. No condescending looks from waiters. No stupid rules about what may be consumed at such an hour. After all this place had soup on the menu right next to the other breakfast specials.
And the whole time the soft air swirled through the open windows straight from the sea and the sun streamed in warming our bodies.
And all was well in the world once more.