I’ve been learning lately about the relative perceptions of success. Six year old me thought that ‘making it’ was being prima ballerina Margot Fontaine. When I was in high school it was getting grades as good as my sister. After finishing university with a fashion degree I saw it as becoming head designer at Dior. Fast forward a few years and with those lofty goals shelved I am trying to understand what it means to be ‘successful’ now. To me specifically, since we are now in a new age where we have more freedom to create the details and definitions for ourselves.
Which brings me to one of the most important things in my life – breakfast. On Saturday I enjoyed the feeling of breakfast satisfaction that can only be created by a genuinely good one. I dragged my hungover housemate out of the house, and we plodded down to lovely Broadway Market a short ten minute walk away (he plodded – I skipped and was as chirpy as a bluebird). It was still early enough that when we arrived at El Ganso, we were seated immediately, and then;
1 – We drank the most delicious bloody Mary’s and experienced the pleasure born of the exact right levels of Tabasco spiciness and a zing of lime.
2 – My celery stick was more decorative than his so I had the satisfaction of gloating, waving it in his face, and pulling off the leaves to throw in his water glass. He said his unadorned stick was better, I still disagree.
3 – Breakfast was exactly what I was looking for. What I was craving. The garlicky zing of aubergine, with tahini lemon and sumac, lemon gremolata, a perfectly cooked egg (just a little bit runny in the middle), tomato for colour and acidity, delicious fluffy flatbread to cut the acidity and grilled Moroccan merguez sausages that I could dream about. Sausages that I actually did dream about.
4 – The cafe has a lovely vibe. It’s relaxed and airy, with hams and dried chili hanging on the wall and friendly amenable staff that are there when you need them and not hovering when you don’t.
5 – I made my friend laugh. He was in a bad mood when we left the house. I’d wager he was in much less of a bad mood when we left the cafe.
It occurred to me later that perhaps right there and then, this was enough. It was everything that I needed in that moment, and I explored the idea that perhaps the markers of success didn’t have to be the job, the house, money, a car. They can be as simple as good friends and a great breakfast.
El Ganso – 59 Broadway Market, Ph 4, London, E8 4PH · (020) 7241 1793