3 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BH thelighterman.co.uk
This area of Kings Cross is alive with the sort of workplaces where these kind of men flourish, and The Lighterman is just the sort of place they like to eat. It’s got the big windows that bloke from Grand Designs always enthuses over and these look out over the Regent Canal and its flapping swans and sweating joggers.
We’re here for breakfast, not a meeting, which makes us a bit unique it seems, but it does mean we can tuck in happily and not worry about looking interested in client conversations or discussing budgets through a mouthful of bacon. I remember those days all too well.
It’s a rather lovely space, open and airy and very modern and a bit west coast, the first floor room means you get first class views and the staff have the tattoos and temperament that goes with the concept. Seeing as J is thirty minutes late I have time to appreciate all this.
The menu? Well all the things you’d expect including, of course, the Full English with baked beans, I have never accepted that baked beans are a valid part of an FE, although in my opinion tinned tomatoes should always be. I love that acid, tinny taste.
There’s lots of choice; healthy fruit and grains stuff, crumpets, pancakes and eggs any way you want.
What takes my fancy today is the flatbread topped with smoked cheddar, bacon, Worcestershire sauce and fried egg. Something a bit different for brekkie and not what I would make at home.
The odd thing is that I can’t really taste the cheese or the Worcester sauce, although perhaps that’s because I have a high tolerance to the stuff always turning my Bloody Marys the colour of Guinness, much to the horror of mixologists.
J went for a classic; eggs Benedict in this case made’royale’ with the addition of smoked salmon. It looked good in the sunshine blasting through the windows with perfectly formed poached eggs glistening in the winter light. They were on a brioche, the original cake that Marie Antoinette recommended the revolting peasants should eat. Very classy.
I did like the oniony taste of those chives though, some people don’t like the flavours of midday in the morning but I do.
I even like the garlic hit you get when you use last night’s garlic knife to spread your butter. Or is that just me? Probably.
Good coffees, although J moaned about getting his decaff in a glass because, as he pointed out, it’s far too hot to hold.
If I lived in the area, I’d be all over this place of a weekend morning, especially in the summer when you can sit outside and be well away from cars and other irritants.
The location makes it unique and the breakfast menu is served until a very reasonable 11:30; we don’t all get up with the lark after all. Except maybe those bald blokes, I get the feeling they rarely sleep at all.