The day before this adventure, I was sent a text asking me to choose one of two options:
1) The Best Egg Sandwich in London + The Tate Britain
2) Oysters and Guinness + The Tate Modern
As tempting as the Oysters and Guinness were, I had already spent a few days on the South Bank (as you are well aware), so choice #1 it had to be.
I met 'M' at Pimlico station, prepared with an empty stomach. Our first stop was the Regency Cafe. The Regency Cafe is renowned in London as one of the best greasy spoons in the city. If you've seen the Daniel Craig movie 'Layer Cake' you might remember a certain gruesome murder that takes place in this cafe. The scene involves scalding tea, if that helps jog your memory (horrendous).
During lunchtime, it's not unusual to find a line-up out the door (and we did), but the service is fast, and if you're not on your toes, you'll find yourself facing a VERY loud man at the counter, sheepishly admitting that you're not ready to order, and you're going to keep all of the people behind you waiting. As I was nervous of this man the second I walked in the door (I could hear his voice before I saw him), I had already rehearsed our order several times in my head prior to ordering so as not to disappoint.
"One Bacon and Sausage Sandwich, One Sausage and Egg Sandwich, and two teas".
Done. As I'd read before, I can confirm the teas were industrial strength, and served immediately, mine sloshing over the top as I walked it to the table. The Sandwiches were ready within minutes.
The Diner is situated in a neighbourhood full of 1930s style mansion flats. The outside of the building is covered in black tile, and the inside decorated exactly how you'd envision. Framed black and white images on the walls, ketchup and brown sauce on all of the tables, and gingham curtains. As an experience, it's fantastic. As 'M' mentioned, it's not uncommon to walk in and find a table of policemen, next to a table of suits, beside another table of 'shady types'. Always an eclectic crowd.
Did I mention the sandwich was amazing? Unpretentious, extremely basic, but AMAZING.
Yes, M. showed up sporting a new beard (note the ginger tones).
I knew it looked familiar...
|To my dismay, he didn't know who Daniel or Henrik was (I know, right?), so I had to keep this new revelation to myself.|
|M's photo of the neighbourhood.|
After polishing off our sandwiches, it was time to head to the Tate Britain.
Someone went crazy in the 'Lush' store...
|Her name was 'Daphne'|
|M's favourite piece of the day: 'Eleven portraits of the artist about to eat his own words'|
And then we had a 'sketch-off'. I will proudly admit defeat.
It's true, M now had a piece hanging in the Tate Britain. If you go quickly, it might still be there.
Some of the sights along the way...
|MI6 Headquarters - Recognize from 'Skyfall'?|
Overall, a wonderful day of 'firsts'. Major props to my tour guide for a well executed day on the town.