Town mouse: Adieu to a local hero

Fat Louis has gone. A man whose figure did ample justice to his apron, he ran the greasy spoon on the other side of the street from us. The commercial vehicles and white vans double-parked outside the premises bore witness to the appeal that his hearty-if not always healthy-breakfasts made to the workers of Westminster. We ate for a week there when our kitchen was being renewed in the 1990s. I may still be digesting the steak-and-kidney pie.

Fat Louis was, as our builder used to say, a Bubble (bubble and squeak, Greek). The new proprietor is Turkish, offering what we’re told is a fine line in kebabs, although without, as yet, a licence for alcohol (good for Lent). I’ve Googled the Cockney rhyming slang, but neither Captain Kirk nor Second-Hand Merc has the ring of authenticity to my ear.

An even greater problem is presented by the superior Tachbrook Bakery and Pâtisserie a few doors down: yes, such is the cafe culture of the street that we have a choice. Voya and Natasha, who run it with great aplomb, come from Montenegro. Not even Google can help with Montenegrin (Eugene Onegin? It won’t catch on). But, with London’s rapidly changing demographic, the need for new rhymes is there.

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