Paradise Cafe, Lower Holloway
129 Holloway Road
020 7607 2886
by Hamish Pastry
The Holloway Road, though not beautiful, scores points in a number of areas. One, it is where that most noble of thoroughfares, the A1, begins. Two, it’s home to a collection, an embarrassment even, of fetish emporiums. Reader, if gimp suits are your thing, head to Holloway forthwith. Thirdly, and most pertinently, it presents a staggering selection of breakfasting opportunities.
At precisely 12.50 the Paradise was packed. An abundance of Arsenal shirts signalled a match in the offing. Despite this it offered a welcoming ambience – warm, clean and well kept with a jaunty décor (one wall blue, one wall peach reader!).
The menu gave a good choice of combos, with a distinct leaning towards the broke breakfaster – Budget, £2.80, Mini £2.50 and the frugal Small, £1.80. Starting with egg, bacon, sausage & chips you lose sausage and then chips as the price drops. The most expensive option is the Double (egg, bacon, sausage, beans, mushroom, tomato & toast, twice) at £4.95. I should mention that all of these come with a tea or coffee as standard.
I opted for the Single (as Double, once, £3.95). The tea was delivered promptly but with the bag still floating. Unsure of how to proceed, I dumped it in the ashtray. Perhaps a breakfasting faux pas, but no matter – I was master of my own brew.
What followed was as fine an example of the greasy spoon breakfast as one could wish for. Egg? Blessedly runny. Bacon? Crispy, not soggy. Sausage? Astonishingly long, not herby but good. Best of all, I was accidentally given double toast – a most welcome error with so much to be mopped.
With plenty of change from a fiver I happily departed Paradise and, observing my bulging waistband, decided to forgo the rubber dress fitting for another day.