Every so often, I visit an eatery and it’s love at first sight. Terry’s Café in Borough is just such a place.
I arrived early to find what can only be described as a scene from a film – the terrace was full of diners enjoying a colossal fry-up, the manager and owner were gliding around checking everything was running smoothly, and then there was the queue of people, politely waiting for their tables.
It felt as if this was the hottest seat in town.
This scene was poetry in motion – happy customers and staff taking the time to read the floor and meet customers’ needs.
The service here is on point. I chose Terry’s to give an American family member the Full English experience.
We were shown to our table and introduced to our waitress, who effortlessly managed to keep an eye on us and appear at just the right moments, while practicing service with a smile.
Terry’s does accept walk-ins but it’s best to join the virtual queue an hour before arrival.
Terry’s wrote the rule book on how to run a decent cafe.
The carefully constructed menu takes into account the numerous possibilities when it comes to fry up configuration, carefully selected high quality ingredients wouldn’t be out of place at nearby Borough Market, and lashings of steaming hot tea is available at the merest of glances.
The Standard is an acceptable £10 and includes egg, bacon (three rashers), Cumberland sausage and baked beans or grilled/tinned tomatoes.
The Blowout includes an additional egg, bubble & squeak or chips for an extra £2.50.
All eggs are served fried, unless requested to be cooked otherwise.
Terry’s carries on that long tradition of cafes as no nonsense environments, with this message on the menu: ‘Please note, we do not swap items. Drop any item in exchange for toast at zero cost. Add any item from the extras list, at additional cost.’
One of our party’s polite request for far less baked beans than are normally served was met with a warm smile.
Breakfast is served from 8am until 12.30pm, when the Brunch menu takes over, offering All Day Breakfast, The Full English and non-meat versions, alongside British classics, such as sausage & mash, ham, egg and chips and steak and eggs.
There is also a range of hot and cold sandwiches available, including Ploughmans and Hot Salt Beef.
You might think a traditional café such as Terry’s is solid hot drinks territory but if you fancy a tipple,order a pint or even a cocktail to accompany your meal.
Happy Hour lasts all day on Saturday and Sunday, when you’ll find two pints of Terry’s Pint (a locally brewed lager) for £12.
Cocktail lovers can grab two Aperol Spritz, Bellini, Mimosa, Kir Royale and Bloody Mary for £12.
Terry’s has moved with the times and offers no fewer than five alternatives to dairy milk.
The mug of tea is king here but you might be surprised to see Chai Latte, Turmeric Latte, Matcha Latte and Beetroot Super Latte on the menu.
You might be wondering what our American visitor thought of Terry’s?
She was suitably impressed but then so were the home-grown contingent of our party.
I am only sorry that I didn’t make it here years ago as I would have loved to meet the great man himself, before he passed away.
Things seem to be ticking along quite nicely in the safe hands of Terry’s son, Austin, who continues to provide a shining example of what a London cafe should be.
TERRY’S CAFE, 158 Great Suffolk Street SE1 0DT
Picture: Terry’s Cafe Picture: Terry’s Cafe
Tracklements has launched a trio of hot sauces to pep up any al-fresco dining menu.
Tracklements Rocket Hot Sauce, Tracklements Sriracha Chilli Sauce and Tracklements Smokin’ Chipotle Sauce have been created with every chili palate in mind.
Check out the Tracklements website for some delicious summer recipes at www.tracklements.co.uk/recipes/seasonal-eating/
RRP £3.50 for 150ml, available from delicatessens nationwide or online.
Picture: Tracklements sauces. Picture: Tracklements
Michelin Guide-recommended Peckham Cellars has launched its fabulous July menu, with dishes including baked crab, and blue cheese and caramelised onion croquetas.
There’s big baby news from the restaurant, wine bar and wine shop. A new wine bar, Little Cellars, and wine shop, Cellar Next Door is on the way.
Both are due to open on a street in Camberwell this autumn.
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