A workmen’s caff in Mayfair may seem like an anomaly, but this isn’t so much a proper builders’ refuge as an homage to the tradition. Recently taken over by new owners, it’s been carefully restored to enhance the retro caff look: wood-panelled, tiled, even black and white portraits on the walls of iconic Brits such as Norman Wisdom.
Breakfast is the main meal of the day here: our full English cost £9.95 – nearly a Paul McKenna for a fry-up. But the bangers were properly porky, and the presentation pretty, with the baked beans served in their own little preservation jar. Healthier options include porridge, or grilled kipper with wholemeal toast.
Sandwiches are the staple during the day, while hot dishes appear in the evenings (fish and chips, shepherd’s pie). The cooler cabinet is filled with bottled beers and wines for diners not in a rush. Afternoon tea is also served.
But at heart, this is a caff, complete with bottles of HP Sauce and Heinz Tomato Ketchup on the small, beautifully tiled tables. On our visit the service was languorous (despite the 12.5 percent service added to the bill), but this will likely get a bit more vim once the caff gets busier.