On my visit to this delightful cafe, I don’t get to meet the man himself, big Keith, who Keith’s Food and Wine Bar is named after, but if I did I’d shake him firmly by the hand. Keith’s a a firm favourite with locals, and one of the highlights of Liverpool’s highlight-heavy Lark Lane. It’s a few doors down from Freida Mo’s, a very different kind of cafe experience, and just as excellent in its own right.
Today, I’m here to try out their breakfast options. Let’s cut to the chase: it’s near-perfect. A thick slice of what seems to be homemade bread, toasted to a light golden hue and spread with the correct amount of thick, salty butter. Some nicely-grilled slices of bacon – not too thin, not too thick, and with pleasingly even grill marks – sit next to a darkly cooked sausage, a fried egg with a runny yolk and no white gloop, a big splodge of beans, a big mushroom, a cooked non-sloppy tomato, and a few cubes of roasted potato – not the most common feature of an English breakfast but certainly a nice little addition.
But of course, a great breakfast isn’t just about the food, it’s about the location and ambience and Keith has it nailed. It doesn’t try too hard, like so many self-consciously artisan cafes, but it’s certainly geared towards the independent thinker, with walls plastered with posters and flyers for left-leaning, thought-provoking events. The staff are great, happy and laid-back but keen to help out and make sure you have a good time.
My dining partner goes for the kippers, a bunch of strikingly-orange, smokey, buttery fillets lay across some thick toasted brown bread and topped with yet another flawlessly cooked egg (this time it’s poached). It looks great, it tastes great, and everyone agrees: Keith’s is great.
If you’re Liverpool-based, or in town for a visit, head south to Aigburth and do a mini-tour of the wonderful Lark Lane. Think Chorlton before the sharp-elbowed middle-classes colonised it, think of the most welcoming, most eccentric, most charming street in the North – that’s Lark Lane. Start your day at Keith’s, grab a cup of tea and cake at Freida Mo’s, then finish off your day with an evening meal at Hafla Hafla. Thank me later.