When it comes to going out for a full English breakfast in Coventry, many immediately think of your standard greasy spoon coffee. But the Bell Green Working Men’s Club threw all those notions aside with its recent breakfast menu.
The club has been quietly advertising its breakfast food menu on social media since late 2021. So, as someone who lives locally and loves a good fry-up, I decided to give it a try.
Growing up in Bell Green, my late father had been a member of the club and I have many happy memories of Saturday afternoons spent with him in the living room drinking lemonade and eating crisps. Having only been there once as an adult, it is a place intimately linked to my childhood.
Read more: The Primitives and Trevor Nelson: what’s happening in Coventry this week?
So I went there with some trepidation, but I immediately felt at home when I entered the building and smelled a whiff of that smell that only accompanies social clubs – a hint of cleaning products under a warm and extremely nostalgic aroma of alcohol that seeped into the walls and furniture. over the years and years. It’s a smell you couldn’t get rid of if you tried – but frankly, who would?
I walked into the lounge and was greeted by a friendly bartender/chef and placed my order for a hearty breakfast with a cup of tea paying cash (they don’t accept cards) , amounting to 8. I then chose a place to sit – choosing the same corner where I spent countless hours on Saturday afternoons playing cards or dominoes with my father and his drinking buddies.
I waited a reassuringly long time, about ten minutes or so, for my breakfast to arrive indicating everything was cooked fresh. He was put in front of me smoking hot and of an impressive size. I was not deceived.
Full English sounds simple enough but is easily mistaken. Undercooked hash browns and cheap sausage will take a breakfast from a respectable 7/10 to a 4/10 right away.
Luckily, my new friend at the bar knew his stuff from a three-and-a-half-year training in the now sadly defunct Henley College catering department, which I learned in a conversation before breakfast. The hash browns, three of them, were golden and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. The sausages, three more, were short, thick and sprinkled with herbs in the middle, delicious tasting and of good quality.
Beans, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes were all cooked to perfection. My only slight criticism would be the bacon which I like crispy (almost burnt) but that’s not the chef’s fault and just my own taste. Overall I would give it a solid 8/10 and would definitely stay there again.
Two things I would say the club have their favour. First of all the staff were very welcoming – the bartender/chef who greeted me was very friendly and we had a good chat. I also spoke with the weather club cleaner and established that we shared knowledge from the local elementary school.
Second, although I opted for the Yorkshire tea, it’s not every greasy spoon you can order a pint with your breakfast. This makes the club ideal for those big days when you want to crouch your stomach while wetting your whistle at the same time.
The Bell Green Club is open daily for breakfast from 10am. Find out more on their Facebook page.