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hoshuteki in londonbreakfast

Frank's Coffee House, Fitzrovia, W1

So let me preface this breakfast with a story. It was my first day going to work at a job based a few metres away from this very cafe, a few weeks after I'd arrived to live in London. Before heading in for my first day, I felt like I could use a coffee, and having only recently relocated from New Zealand I did not realise that, in 2003, a coffee in London was a pale, weak, milky thing. Seeing the name of this establishment, I ventured in for a cappuccino, and it remains in my memory as the worst coffee I've ever had (competing with one from a platform-level outlet on Nunhead station years later, though undoubtedly there are far worse ones in the world). I barely got past the first sip and I vowed never to darken Frank's doors again after the lie perpetrated by their name.

Which brings me to this breakfast, as I had to return if I was to finish my reviews of Fitzrovian breakfasting spots. I chose instead, rarely, tea as an accompaniment, and though I recognise that, even in 2013, tea in Britain is a pale, weak, milky thing (which is far more right for tea than it is for coffee), yet I persist in having mine black (still weak, though). It was very good; I have no problems with it.

Frank's Coffee House, Fitzrovia, London

In fact, there are many many things to like about Frank's, not least in its unreconstructed caff-ness. It is old school in all the best ways: it looks the part, it has some fantastic unpretentious signage that has clearly not changed in 30 years, and it feels right. There's brusque yet friendly service from behind the counter, and even if their cooked menu sticks to the 'stuff on toast' formula, it's good stuff, and the toast is right for the plate (it's white and it's buttered, and a bit limp). So I get this, which is egg, bacon and sausage on toast. All the ingredients were decent quality, and if the egg wasn't exactly runny (the yolk had mostly hardened), at least there wasn't anything horribly distracting on the plate. I finished it off quickly, I enjoyed it, and my feelings about Frank's have greatly improved since that first, offputting coffee.

Address: Frank's Coffee House, 50-52 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7QH.
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Ah yes, I recall all too well my first NZer-in-London coffee experience *full body shudder*