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In an attempt to remain connected with a world that has become important to me, here I am.

As my first offering let me tell you about this morning's breakfast. An inane topic to be sure but we all need to start somewhere.

I enjoy going out for breakfast. Despite my foodie tendencies and my oft made promise to try something different I invariably order the same thing, no matter where I go. Eggs Florentine with a side of crispy bacon and a decaf skinny flat white.

This makes it easy to compare breakfast venues. Were the eggs cooked well? Was the hollandaise sauce good? Was the spinach washed properly? Was the bacon really crispy? What was the toast like?

But it also means I can compare ambience. Were the wait staff up to scratch, was the decor any good, was there a happening vibe? Did they provide news papers? I like choice, not that I necessarily take advantage of it, but I want it goddamnit.

Personally I dislike communal tables. They are clunky & I like my personal space. I like a busy cafe but not one so over crowded it is impossible to move. I love the smell of coffee but not if it is so strong I feel like I am eating coffee scented eggs.

This morning I went to breakfast down a back alley, off a carpark, to a place that refused to sell decaf, served only a vegetarian menu, ate at a communal table, in a space so jam packed that you could hardly move…….and it was one of the best breakfast experiences have had in a long time.

Monk in Balaclava pride themselves on their coffee. They roast it themselves on the premises & source only organic, fair trade product. This philosophy carries through their entire menu. Milk is organic & from a small Victorian dairy for example. OK, I cn forgive them for not providing decaf. I get that I am th heathen in this situation and they do provide an enormous range of blended teas…and a decent hot chocolate.

I had to sit at a communal table. Thankfully the children were down the other end all crammed together. I had enough room to read the provided newspaper so I was able to create my own sense of personal space. OK maybe this ain't to bad after all.

At first I was disappointed with the menu. No eggs, no bacon, lots of hippy shit. Hmmm.

I opted for the french toast with lemon ricotta & poached pear. Mr Pxx had museli. Ho Hum.

The meal arrived looking lovely. Fried baguette with drizzled syrup, a large pile of creamy ricotta with pistachio nuts to one side & a whole poached pear with a lovely display of cinnamon quills, bay leaf & cardamon pod in a light poaching syrup. OK, for hippy shit it looked OK.

My first mouthful had me hooked. I have no idea how they made that lemon ricotta but the smoothness, creaminess, sweet lemony goodness had me melting. The french toast was crispy, chewy & mooshy all at the same time. The poached pear was to-die-for. The balance of flavours was sublime.

What communal table? What crowded room? What coffee smell? My focus was totally enthralled in that breakfast.

Screw the bacon, stuff the decaf. I'll be trading it often for just a morsel of that lemon ricotta and heavenly pear again. Maybe these hippies are on to something!

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