It’s not often that you have to walk past a dozen other people’s dining rooms in order to have your own lunch, unless you work in a hotel, but that is how the Geffrye museum is laid out.
A row of old alms houses has been knocked into one long corridor with each remaining alms house living room left as a display of life in the past. The museum is one of my annual pilgrimage venues for how they decorate the place for Christmas.
However, I was in the area, and hungry, and it was pouring down with rain, so the Geffrye seemed an ideal place to stop for lunch. After squeezing past the people looking at other dining rooms first that is.
Unlike the heritage of the alms houses, the rest of the expanded museum is modern in nature — although an attempt to expand with a bit more modern was blocked recently by a vociferous campaign against knocking down an old pub to make space.
The restaurant is called a cafe, although in this case it really is more of a restaurant, with table service and menus.
Contemporary fittings sit ill at ease with a stone floor, leaving me with a wobbly table.
Being in the east-end, and not favouring a salad on a cold wet day, I took the East End Hash — a mix up of local sausages, Spanish chorizo, bacon, potatoes and duck egg.
The egg was scrambled, and taken off the hob just before all the moisture had solidified. Some don’t like eggs that way, but I prefer it. The chorizo was unusually strong, but that added a necessary spiciness that could otherwise have left the meal feeling filling, but a bit flat.
In fact, this was more a good breakfast than a lunch, but no quibbles about that.
Coffee was late, but the waitress apologized and said she would look into it even before I explained why I had called her over. At least it gave me more time to rest and read after I had finished lunch.
Then time to squeeze back along the alms houses to get back outside, where it was raining even harder.
Cost: £10.25 for the Hash and Coffee
Stars: 4 out of 5
Date: 4th October 2014
Summary: Pleasant little venue found at the end of the museum with lovely views over the garden.