CRÊPES À LA BRIXTON

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The smoke billowing from the oven was not an encouraging sign for the smell of my clothes once I’d, but a sure sign that I was going to be treated to a deliciously gluttonous dinner, served with all that tender lovin’ crèppy care.

Having been starved of any internet connection all day (I mean, I am a millennial) I was jubilant at the sight of ‘Senzala Guest’. Less jubilant at the padlock to the right of it, but that could be remedied.

Excuse me! What’s the wifi password please?

BANANABANANAMOTHSFACE!

Sorry?

BANANABANANAMOSSPLACE

Sorry, didn’t quite catch that?

BANANABA-

The manager cut off her off, gesturing a space and saying slowly, and very clearly ‘banana banana no space’.

Ah! Lower case?

Lower case.

I rapidly tap it in as quickly as my clumsy fingertips will allow.

Senzala Guest not available.

I frown, bashing it in, just a bit more carefully, but not a lot.

Senzala Guest not available.

Cautious not to be an irritating customer, but ruthlessly determined enough to not give a damn, I wave over the manager.

I’m sorry. But this password isn’t working. Could you help?

Manager looks at my iPod, looking sad and lonely without the zing of wifi flowing through its slim gold body, and taps in the password ‘bananabanana’ very very slowly. One key at a time.

Senzala Guest not available.

Understandably fed up, she places my iPod back on the table, shrugs, and asks for my order.

Having been recommended the King Prawn Cajun by a friend who’s a lunch-time regular to the crêperie, I ordered that with my most apologetic expression (“I’m not a dick!”) and asked if they sold mango juice. My thick and creamy fruity elixir was not available, so I went for fresh apple juice, a solid choice for any 5-a-day-conscious type.

I smiled, taking in the décor of the cafe as she briskly barked my order at the chef. A charmingly unpretentious display of Mediterranean coziness, with Madonna’s and (somebody’s) pious looking relatives, staring down at the diners, just begging them to make a mistake of complaining about the food.

The smoke, although it had begun to sting my eyes, gave me a comforting feeling of being at mama’s kitchen, which may never appear in a Condé Nast publication, but is sure to leave you with a full belly and the knowledge that the recipe you just enjoyed has been enjoyed by many before you (and hopefully will be enjoyed by many after you.)

A hand appears in front of me as I sip my on the house tap water, my fabulously presented dish steaming with satisfaction, my aquatic King resting on top of his doughy castle. A small side of salad, to fool me into thinking that what I am about to eat will be good for me; a little melted cheese spouting from the nose of the crèpe, a preview of the cheesy delight that waits within.

I smile, nod, and viciously snatch the forks from the holder, hacking at my prawns beast, my hunger telling me to throw all memories of table manners away for this one special moment.

That one special moment when you’ve been so busy all day you’ve forgotten to eat, and you allow yourself the luxury of tucking in!

The first morsel is delicious, if piping hot, but I know my stomach will send its apologies to my burnt tongue.

The Cajun spice sizzles on my already scalded tongue, but I carry on chopping and forking until I reach the prawny centre.

My manager friend approaches my table “Everything good?”, to which I nod positively, fearful that I will release the ‘seefood’ I am in the process of demolishing, not just for manners sake but because I was darned hungry.

I remember myself.

A small sip of my apple juice to let the room know I’m not a savage.

Perhaps a little dab of my napkin to appear composed.

And it’s gone.

Manager swipes my plate away before I can rub my finger along it, so I slurp away my both bought and complimentary liquids.

Gathering my things, I hear manager speaking Brazilian Portuguese to her staff.

Languages so being my thing, I let them know that “Eu fallo um pocinho português,” which they applaud and tell me they’re very impressed.

“An English person who speaks more than English!”

I tell them Brazil is waiting for me, and I’ll be back very soon to practice (and of course devour more delicious crêpes.)

“Obrigado!”

I slide the door shut behind me, proud of my oral achievements.

 

 

 

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