Regency Cafe, Westminster, London
Regency Cafe was the closest eatery to my former flat here in Westminster, and boy, is it a legend. This greasy spoon (a quaint term the locals use here) takes you into a different era. And it’s easy to understand why films like Layer Cake have used the cafe as a location. As a neighbour, I can attest that this place has queues at all corners of the morning, including mine on this weekend day.
A London institution
It moves quick enough so be sure you have you order all worked out when you get to the front. The serving lady does not take any prisoners – and wow, has a jaw-dropping booming voice you can’t miss. So much character here.
I had the set breakfast deal with substitution of hash browns and black pudding (£6ish). Coffee was drop awful but the plate and the food is is complete morning glory. There’s well-cooked bacon, plentiful, crisp hash browns (fried to oblivion) and plenty o’ bread to assemble a makeshift sandwich with. I’ve dined around a bit now to know a good piece of bacon when I see one. And at under £7 this is one piece of history worth travelling back in time for.
My love of black pudding is more recent, and has only progressed from an earlier curiosity. It’s a bloody (geddit?) good bite. At Regency Cafe the pudding is deep fried, as is the hash browns and well, everything. Diets disappear at venues like this.
Classic diner action
All the food does come quick, and with such a loud notification, it’s hard to miss. I can’t comment too much on the coffee, other than it tasted like brown water, so I’ll go for the orange juice on my repeat visit. If you want the full greasy spoon experience you should dive in for the baked beans and fries (at this hour?!) too. Good luck finishing.
Back for more
And I had one more visit. This time on an evening, and it’s a very different affair. Gone are the crowds but still here are the cut priced, greasy meals. I love the staff and the regulars here. I feel as if I’m in a storybook cafeteria and everything is going around me. Everything feels authentically British. This time I had the cheeseburgers with a side of the fries. It’s all laughably priced, but make sure to always bring cash – no futuristic payments permitted here.
A mouthful of nostalgia
I liked the burger, I liked the fries but it’s does feel cafeteria-level basic. I suppose that’s not entirely a bad thing, just makes for a more simple type of affair. And sometimes simple is a perfect type of affair for a hearty meal on a cold weeknight.