Sometimes, early in the morning, when the sun breathes gently at the back of your neck, like a lover caressing you in your sleep, with headphones to play the soundtrack for your life (the song in question for me being Sophia by Nerina Pallot), you walk down the streets and can’t stop smiling. You have no real reason for being happy – except that of enjoying life. Of enjoying the fresh, gorgeous air brought by the dawn of the day.
I came across Breakfast Thieves during my usual stalking of food blogs and rumbling stomach routine last night, and their website looked absolutely delicious. Moreover, it was on Gore Street which is right in my hood! At first, I forsake any actual capacity of me to explore breakfast venues due to my condition of sleeping until 2PM; yet, as everyone should, I set my alarm and I told myself: I can do it. Surprisingly enough, I woke up quite fresh and ready for adventure at 8AM.
The staff was incredibly delightful, full of life and cheery, even greeting a half-zombie me that would not function properly at such early times. As I sat there, one of the customers managed to spill her coffee; this act prompted the waitress in a flurry of napkin provision and, to exemplify the good nature of the place, had swiftly told her that her coffee will soon be replaced – even tho the coffee had been spilled by the customer and had already been half consumed.
I patiently awaited for my Brioche Pain Perdu (16$ – French toast served with raspberry coulis soaked cherries & white chocolate
mascarpone & candied pistachio) , sipping from my latte (3.5$) and enjoying the quite atmosphere provided most probably by the lack of customers; I always find Alain de Botton to be quite inspiring, and I would wish to share some of what he said with you. Sitting there in the coffee shop, I myself enjoyed watching and paying attention to the people that worked there.
The author recounted how Diderot and d’Alembert, when publishing their many volume Encyclopedia, celebrated the particular genius and joy of more menial tasks, such as baking bread or forging an anchor, which society up until that point held to be unworthy of much attention. It reminded me of the Meiji Era within Japan when there are no written account on peasants, agriculture, or anything less than poetry because it was held to be irrelevant and even menial to write about such things.
The bourgeoisie of the 18th century managed to push beyond the equivalent idea within Greek philosophy that work can hold no joy. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am always rejoiced when I see people trying to do their best even in jobs that to many might not seem as valuable. There is a difference between a good waitress and a bad waitress, just like there is a difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer. Certainly, the consequences of a bad waitress might just be spilled coffee or a slightly uncomfortable experience, whereas a bad lawyer could ruin your life. Yet such mentality is to ignore the importance of small acts to one’s happiness.
The food. Off course; sometimes it’s so easy to just delve into philosophy. The entire menu looked simply exquisite, yet I had chosen to go with something sweet for this morning. The french toast was quite lovely, as was the attention that was paid both to the flavour and to the aspect. The entire dish looked like a little castle made out of Lego, with mint leaves ornating the little gardens. If you have a sweet tooth, I would definitely go for this dish. Too bad I only later figured out that whilst I do love sweet food, I can’t eat much – this being the reason for which I also force other people to eat the cakes I bake. The place is well priced, I think, not necessarily cheap but not expensive either, and the food is well made. The dish is quite playful, with cherries and little mountains of apple puree and some sort of sweet cheese with pistachios which were coated in sugar (I think).