Thursday's Child: Breakfast at the Fox and Anchor

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Photo used courtesy of Philip Wilkinson
One of the pleasures of travelling is enjoying the food of our destination.  Visiting France as a poor, young student,  I picnicked on bread and cheese every day.  I remember thinking I couldn't possibly be eating better, and I was right.  Regardless of my budget, I remember the meals I've eaten on trips as much as any of the sights I've seen.  This month I'm going to share some of my favourite trip memories as they relate to food.

A contender for my most memorable meal was breakfast at the Fox and Anchor pub in London, England.  We had arrived in London the night before and were predictably jet-lagged.  Andrew’s relatives graciously served us an elegant gourmet meal with a different wine at every course.  The meal went well into the night.

All of it was fine, except for this: Andrew’s cousin had made us breakfast reservations at the Fox and Anchor the next morning.  When the alarm went off at 6:30, I thought there was some kind of mistake.  Yes, judging by the glimmer I spied through the window, the sun had risen and logically it must be daytime.  Logic aside, there was no reason to believe I was even living. 

At a time like that, this is what I might enjoy for breakfast.  Two slices of toast, lightly buttered.  Half a grapefruit.  A pair of sunglasses to keep out the extra light.

Here is what I received: a generous plate of fried eggs, two slices of toast covered in baked beans.  And a side dish of black pudding.  (If you’re not sure what that is, know that it’s a near relative of the aptly-named blood pudding.  And weep.)

I am nothing but a good sport.  I scraped the baked beans off my lightly buttered toast and ate the toast as cheerfully as possibly.  This left a plate that still appeared completely full.   I remember looking at that plate, and the black pudding looking back at me.  I stared it down; I was not admitting defeat. I managed to pick away at my fried eggs and baked beans.  The black pudding remained untouched.  (My victory lay in staring it down.  You didn’t expect me to eat it, did you?)

The Fox and Anchor is one of London's iconic pubs.  It serves a range of British food from scotch eggs to game pie, from mince and tatties to goose fry chips.  I'm thrilled to have eaten there and if I ever go back to London, I'd love to visit the Fox and Anchor again.  For lunch.


24 comments:

lisa is cooking said...

I'm looking forward to this new series! I spend as much (or more) time planning where to eat on trips as I do planning what else to do. For the record, I wouldn't have eaten the black pudding either.

Kayte said...

LOL...I am the same way with early breakfast, give me a spoon of yogurt and a slice of cheese and I'm out the door, don't talk to me about any kind of full meal until well after 11ish. You are a good sport!! I have never been brave enough to try black/blood pudding either. It just doesn't seem right. Great post...always love traveling with you.

Valerie said...

I would not have been able to eat the pudding either! And I know how difficult it must have been, especially when you want to be a gracious guest. There are some food lines we just cannot cross. :D

I love the names of London pubs! The Fox and Anchor...how delicious.

Jess said...

My husband LOVES English breakfasts. I rushed over to his desk (he works at home some days) to show him your post and he said, "What? She didn't eat it? And where was the lovely slice of tomato with the breakfast?" Anyway, you've given us a definite place to check out if we make it to London together one day, so thank you! PS- I would have skipped the black pudding either.

Claudia said...

You are a good sport - and now you have that experience! As a poor college student in Europe - I remember existing on cheese and bread. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mary said...

You really are a great sport! OOOOOOH MY GOSH! I just looked up blood pudding and I actually gagged. First thing in the morning that just might have made me cry.

Beth said...

I'm glad to hear you're all with me on the black pudding!

Mary, I came close to crying myself. And Jess, there may actually have been a tomato on the plate that was obscured by the tear in my eye.

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Traveling and eating. My two favorite things in the world...I can't believe they serve stuff like blood pudding. gag me!

Sweet And Crumby said...

Oh goodness...I don't think I could have swallowed much of my breakfast either if it included black pudding and beans.

Belinda said...

Hmm. I might need to make a stopover here!

laurie said...

Thats a good story...I enjoyed reading your post!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I used to love beans and toast. Did you have pork pies? Loved those too. (I grew up in England). I went to buy some recently in a British store in one of our malls. But then I saw the fat and calorie count. I think not, thanks. ;)

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I love the idea of this series!

Breakfast can be hardcore divisive. Some people really love it and other people can't bring themselves to touch anything. I can only imagine you trying to be enthusiastic and conscious in a situation like that - I'm rather proud of your effort at rallying.

Joanne said...

I love the idea of this, the stories behind the food. There's always more there than meets the eye, or stomach, in this case!

Dulce Dough said...

Thanks for sharing such a great story! There is no way I could have eaten the black pudding!

Carol said...

I feel as you do, who is even coherent at that time of day? Just give me coffee and more coffee. Great story! Looking forward to more.

Elaine said...

I remember those hearty English breakfasts and your post made me smile. don't think I ever touched black pudding while I was there either. :)

Angela Felsted said...

Now that sounds like a filling breakfast. What, exactly, is black pudding?

Beth said...

Angela, the definition given on wikipedia is "a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled." Are you sorry you asked?

Gloria said...

this is a nice and lovely post!! gloria

LDH said...

I don't think I would had done half as well at that breakfast! I am a hearty breakfast person but after the evening before I am not sure I would had done breakfast at all.

Looking forward to upcoming posts :)

Barbara said...

No way on the pudding, or the beans! My tummy just couldn't have handled that. Coffee and beans at the same time? uh uh.

shaz said...

Oh you brave, brave soul Beth. I eat a lot of strange things but the thought of black pudding just doesn't appeal.

Amie Kaufman said...

We had a very similar experience recently! We arrived in London at 5am, and as we couldn't sleep at our hostel at that hour, we headed off to find breakfast. We had a huge fry up near Regent Park--and of course, being raised in Ireland, I mowed my way through the pudding without a second thought!

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