Review: Charlie Harper’s @ Eastgate Square

There is nothing like an enthusiastic, over-excited little girl to take the wind out of a curmudgeon man being grumpy about the fact that he doesn’t like celebrating his birthday. The Small Shouty One had to go on a stealth card making making mission early in the morning as she had misplaced the original one she made (read that as her having hidden it so well that she couldn’t find it herself.)

It’s always been a loose tradition of ours to go out for breakfast on our birthday. It gets us out bed and it also gives the Sproglettes the opportunity to run around like headless chickens at home, wrapping presents and making cards that didn’t get made earlier. You know how you sometimes see people in their pyjamas and indoor slippers shopping in Tesco late at night? You sorta suspect that they are so local that it doesn’t even occur to Them how weird that might appear. It’s the same for me. I see the town as an extension of my backyard that I didn’t even notice the chocolate stains on the top I was wearing. There I was trying to hide these stains with my voluminous scarf. Slaveboy couldn’t care less really, he likes his women dirty.

Slaveboy on the other hand had one of my favourite tee shirts on, the type where the hem doesn’t quite cover his belly if he stood up straight and it makes him look like one of those freckled faced naughty little boys you often find drawings of in cartoons.

We went to Charlie Harper’s, which is a cafe brasserie in Eastgate Square of Chichester.

The cafe is actually bigger than it looked from the outside and quite spacious and well maintained. Slaveboy opted for a cappuccino and a vegetarian full English breakfast. The English breakfast also came with the choice of white, brown and granary toast and kudos to the waiter who spotted the Terry Pratchett reference when Slaveboy asked if their granary bread is like dwarf’s throwing bread. I ordered the hot chocolate (with whipped cream) and a Eggs Florentine minus the Parma ham.

Service was actually prompt, unlike my experience at Patisserie Valerie, where I watched my hot chocolate sit on the counter whilst clueless waiters deliberate which table it was supposed to go to. The hot chocolate was well mixed, not grainy and perfectly acceptable.

Slaveboy’s cappuccino also had a respectably restrained amount of froth on it. As you guys probably know, Slaveboy and I take great issue with cappuccino which is a 1/3 froth. What is that all about? Just who likes their cappuccino like that? I can think of a small minority of people who like their cappuccino like that and they like it like that because they don’t really like coffee and have no reservations paying good money for cocoa dusted milk bubbles.

Slaveboy’s full English breakfast was delicious. In fact, I actually regretted not ordering it too. The mushrooms were buttery. The fried bread was exceptionally good – crisp, not soggy and golden brown. The only thing that let it down were the beans, they weren’t special enough and certainly hadn’t been stewed long enough.

My Eggs Florentine was perfection. My plate was warm so I kept my toasted English muffin warm too. The eggs were poached beautifully, with runny golden yellow yolks. The Hollandaise sauce didn’t glow like Patisserie Valerie’s and you certainly could taste it as a discernible flavour. The spinach was warm and well drained.

So, if you are looking for a somewhere for a hearty breakfast, I would seriously recommend Charlie Harper’s. I give it 4 out 5 with a little gold sticky star to the waiter for his social skills.

Whilst waiting for our desserts to chill, the whole family headed down to our local curry house, India Gate with older sister, Bexby and cousin, Chunk. The curry house is literally five minutes walk away. There was a little bit of a kerfuffle on the phone when I was trying to book our table as I was enquiring if they had a highchair that we could use for the 7th Wonder. In all fairness, I think it was a bit of a tall order to think that a curry house would have a highchair so we happily said that we would bring our own.

Chunk did ask if the only reason he was invited along was to be the designated highchair carrier.

7th Wonder was pleased to finally see Lalla and Izzy The Rockstar. They arrived a little later with Firstborn who have all been to their Drama class. Izzy had partially winded himself after falling over backwards standing up in his newly acquired rollerblades.

We were especially proud of Potato Bottom who had just been told that she had received a high merit for her Ballet exam.

Firstborn was thoroughly unimpressed when she didn’t get a complimentary novelty kiddie ice cream. I think she was mistaken for an adult by the waiting staff.

The Small Shouty One is especially keen on hers, she is currently polishing hers with a wet wipe.

You can tell that Slaveboy doesn’t like his photos taken, can’t you?

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