Thirty Two: Crossroads Cafe, Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15

The venue:
Crossroads Cafe, Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15 

The website:

The Sunday dinner:

The price:

Hello. This week’s review, which is already late, will be short. I have neither the time nor the energy to put a great deal of thought or effort into this post. It’s already 7.40pm on Monday evening and I am tired and I am distressed. Why? Because my guitar gently weeps. Oh, it’s not my guitar. It’s one of my main fucking limbs. 

Not content with biting my throat last week, insects have violated my walking apparatus causing blistering, open sores. I haven’t slept properly for three nights as a result, so am as mardy as my arse. Which is a Grimsby/Cleethorpes saying, that makes little sense, I imagine. I can’t be bothered to explain. In short, I will be angry and not funny. ‘”Nothing new there,” mutters Paul Benbow, as he relaxes in his Austrian hot tub, I imagine. Although the image I conjure up has him wearing a suit in there, as I do not wish to see his bare body/nipples. 

Right. Let’s do this before the sepsis takes hold. My friend Lashes, who also suffers from crippling anxiety, sent me an article a few weeks ago about a bloke who got sepsis from a ladybird bite, so my concern isn’t that far-fetched. She fully understood the distress it would cause, but sent the link anyway, which I actually respect her for. 

Despite using my Monday Mantra AND playing Daniel Bedingfield’s ‘Gotta Get Thru This’ six times on the trot as I walked to work last Monday, the week didn’t start with the levels of optimistic spirit I’d hoped. 

Lashes, who features twice this week, had used Bedingfield’s floor-filler after reading an article about how music is a great motivational tool. I didn’t think there’d be any harm in giving him a whirl. I don’t have a problem with Dan. It’s only his sister, Natasha, that I am still pissed off with, because of her pronunciation of the word ‘hyperbole’, in her only UK number one – ‘These Words’ – back in 2004. I went a bit Paul Gambaccini there. I hope you appreciate that I looked up those additional pop facts, despite my leprosy. It might come up in a pub quiz. If it does, and you win, I want 30p. 

While I enjoyed Daniel’s dulcet tones, my dog started poorly. Justin asked me if I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards as soon as I walked in to the office and Skeletor made me a cup of tea in the smallest cup he could find in the kitchen, because he thought it’d be funny. The last laugh was on him, however, when I promptly threw it over myself. 

The lack of liquid meant that I only had third degree burns over a quarter of my leg, rather than the whole limb, so I’d probably still have been able to model swimwear. 

I took myself off to the toilets to clean up, and walked into air thick, warm and cloying with someone else’s morning dump. Great. If someone were to join me in there, which they did, I knew I’d be the prime suspect. I thought about announcing my innocence, but instead spent the rest of the day thinking about how she must have returned to her team and gossiped about my rancid backside. And how everyone would just think I did horrible shits in the workplace, and forget about my skills as a dynamic thought leader. 

Tuesday featured a trip to the gym. I am a fan of the cross-trainer, upon which I also perform some rhythmic writhing in time to my music to add an element of dance. I like to think I look cool and sexy, but I often catch a glimpse of myself in action, and I don’t. 

Hand on Your Heart by Kylie Minogue, born on 28 May, 1968, the eldest child of Ron and Carol, started playing. I’d added her greatest hits to my gym playlist when I was a bit pissed. I listened to the lyrics. In short, a bloke has finished with her and she’s not having any of it. She keeps pestering him. “You sound fucking desperate, love,” I told her, while remembering the time I wrote a pathetic letter to a man who broke up with me, begging him not to, and driving to Walsall, of all fucking places, at 2am in the morning, to protest my love in person. And, while he allowed me to fellate him that night for my troubles, the arrogant prick, nothing good came of it. He also looked like Michael Barrymore, so it pisses me off even more about the petrol money I wasted. 

On Wednesday evening I attended an awards event at The Emirates Stadium. A colleague was worried her heels would get caught in the grass, until I assured her the ceremony wasn’t taking place on the actual pitch. Let’s have a quick look at the food: 
Awful. Beef, a potato fondant thing, tortellini and leeks. Two carbs, living on just one plate. And, no matter how much I love gravy, I don’t think it goes with pasta. Especially when it tastes like cheap, tinned oxtail soup. Australian Gary (who believed there was only one type of monkey until around five months ago) thought the food was great. Skeletor and I shot each other a knowing look that said: ‘Gary is both easily pleased and uncultured’.

On Thursday, I mostly felt tired and sick. I saw two pigeons fucking, but didn’t get as excited as I usually would, because of feeling sick and tired. 

On Friday, my mum came down for the weekend. I made her play my fun game of ‘WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE?’ You can watch it HERE if you can be bothered. 

Later, Mr Jus played the game too. You can watch that one too, by CLICKING THESE WORDS. Multimedia, guys.

My mum and I were thrilled to hear with how much we sound like common, northern, male dockers. We also thoroughly enjoyed being chastised for how we’d opened a packet of Cheddars. Like we gave a shit. We’d had two bottles of Prosecco by that point. 

Let’s quickly review this week’s meal. I haven’t kept this short at all. It’s 9.07pm and my sores are leaking down my shin. The liquid’s clear, you’ll be relieved to hear, but I could do with having an evening scratch. Hungry? Let’s eat. 
We had a late breakfast on Sunday at my favourite local cafe – Crossroads. It is not themed in the fashion of the soap opera of the same name, although I am named after one of the show’s characters, fact fans. 

Until a few years ago, I believed I’d been named after Faye Dunaway, due to my excellent baby cheekbones. But no. Turns out I’m named after a character in Crossroads called Faye. Far less glamorous. What makes it worse is that the character of Faye Mansfield, my namesake, was also FRIGID. Look. 

Crossroads is a traditional cafe with traditional values and a yellow menu board. Here it is. Just look at those prices if the light isn’t blinding you. Minimal spelling errors too. 
It also has a fruit machine, as you may have noticed. Not that it’s a selling point. I like it at Crossroads because it’s not pretentious or expensive. The woman who works there is warm, friendly and really makes you feel welcome. I feel happy about her attitude towards the fried breakfast experience. She should win a customer service award. Or at least get a tip from me in future. I feel bad I didn’t leave one, but I paid on my card. I’ll pop in and give her £3 tomorrow. Or £2. Or just not bother. Anyway, here’s my meal again:

I made the schoolboy error of failing to ask for tinned tomatoes rather than regulation ones, so I’ll take a couple of points off, although it’s completely my fault. I was devasted, truth be told, but I didn’t want to cause a scene and get them replaced. Although the lovely lady would have been happy to do so. 

The sausage was superb. I’m not saying it contained more than 80% meat, or even 20%, but it was an exemplary example of a sizzling cylinder. The bacon was thick and crispy enough to catch my attention. And keep it. The fried egg had that heady combination of part runny, part solid yolk. The toast had a cracking crust and the tomatoes weren’t bastard tinned ones, were they? 

The coffee at Crossroads is a mug of frothy milk with a spoon of instant granules lobbed on top. If you’re working class, you’ll know that a coffee made with just boiled milk is a right treat, so this just added an extra frisson of delight at proceedings. The drink was included in the £4.70 price tag.

And finally, because I’m still rambling on, and it’s now 10pm, Mr Jus gives us his verdict:

“I was disappointed you didn’t have the roast dinner. I admire your commitment to being such a good daughter. Having that meal reminds me that I’m confused whether a full English breakfast or a full Irish breakfast came first. And what the differences are. And who thought it was ok to call it a ‘full Irish’ if the other had been invented…”

He carried on for eight minutes on the subject, but I drifted off and started thinking that I’m not a good daughter because I firmly tell my mum to stop talking incessantly and I almost lose my shit over it, which is not kind and nice. I also say ‘WAIT’ to her when crossing the road like she’s an ageing Labrador. I’m not a good daughter at all. 

Mr Jus was a good host to my mum and made her two delicious meals, and didn’t tell her to shut the fuck up, so I haven’t slagged him off much this week. WELL DONE, JUS. I’LL MAKE UP FOR IT NEXT WEEK. 

So, despite not being a traditional Sunday dinner, my meal did not disappoint me. I couldn’t face cabbage at 11.30am. I shall return to Crossroads to sample one. They’re just £5.90. Get in. 

Score: 28/33


3 thoughts on “Thirty Two: Crossroads Cafe, Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15

  1. I can’t believe he’s having a go about how you open a packet of crackers. Abusive monster. Somewhat redeemed by being lovely to your mum but you’re skating on thin ice Jus.


  2. I do wonder how long till the greasy (or non greasy) spoon cafes are gone from London .. where will black cab drivers eat then .. will there be black cabs even … Gary knows nothing of course – he’s that great contradiction in terms “Australian and innocent”

    Liked by 1 person

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