Breakfast at Candies. Of hot buttered toast, the softest chicken sandwiches in the world and a Christmas tree that could not wait any longer

I am often asked about my breakfast favourites at Candies. Well, there you go.
Chicken sandwich, fried eggs and toast, Cappuccino. Double shot.
When looking for variety. Egg sandwich. Grilled. Not today.

We are just back from Candies and I thought that I must write about our morning there. We went there after ages for breakfast today and life seemed so beautiful there as always.

I used to go there every morning at one point. Especially when I had started navigating my new life as a freelance writer and when I desperately sought assurance and comfort. The two of us, K and I, would go there for breakfast together too whenever we got the chance.

We do not go there that often. I have finally found my rhythm while working at home you see. 

As Mr Bond, Ruskin not James, said at the Kolkata Lit Fest, a writer should be able to write anywhere, and he is one man you should take very seriously if you want to learn how to write. 

I do not go to Candies that often to eat now as I have shifted to a life of of whole-grains and homemade breakfasts after a health check up a few months back. My body asked for that. I call them my #LittleJackHornerMeals and I cannot say that I am unhappy about the new order.

Nor can I hide the fact though that my soul still calls out for Candies.

Everything felt the same the moment we stepped in to Candies today. The Christmas tree is up and we took selfies before leaving for that's what you do at Candies. 

The petite fours called out to me. The chocolate chip cookies to K. 

She wanted chicken sandwiches.  The softest sandwiches in the world. The most soulful ever. 

I knew what I wanted and this morning was about wishes coming true. I kept my current sourdough bread and hung curd dip and espresso mantra aside and called for fried eggs and toast instead. 

'White bread toast,' I added. 

For the win, as the kids on social media say these days.

Everything seemed the same at Candies no doubt, but the ordering system had become very efficient it seemed. Despite it being a crowded Saturday, one did not have to call out to Sylvia for help. The queue moved quickly but I still did say hi to Sylvie as every old timer at Candies does. The weekend chaos of weekends at Candies seemed absent this time.

The ladies at the cash counters were all smiles on seeing us. As were we on seeing them. 

Subhash, who would often deliver my orders from Candies home, looked at me and said, "itne din baad." After so long?

I shrugged and smiled bashfully in response.

The girl at the delivery section was new to me and I stood there keeping a hawk- eye on her to ensure that our order reached us the way we wanted. That the cappuccinos were hot when we picked them. That the bread was white. Toasted before the eggs went cold. 

I stood there as if I was in my own kitchen. The girl getting our orders decided she was better off indulging my idiosyncrasies while she went about her work efficiently.

I took the trays once our order was ready. My idea of a good bicep work out.

We settled down for breakfast at the corner table by the door, looking wistfully at the long wooden table next to us. K and I call it 'our bench'. We have spent hours there together. When alone, I used to write over there. We wished that we could have snared that but it was occupied.

I balanced myself on a wobbly wrought iron chair with a big, broad smile as I lavishly spread salted Amul butter from a tub on to the hot toast. 


I broke a bit of the hot buttered toast and swiped up some yolk with it, and took a bite. It felt so good. For the win!

We washed down the our breakfast with cappuccinos. Double shot for me. Single for her. 

It was about the #FirstCappuccinoOfTheDay today and not #MyEspressoMornings. 

If you follow me on Instagram you will know what I mean. 

If you have been reading my blog over the years, you would know what this cappuccino means to me.

Candies is not just all about the sandwiches and petite fours and buttered toast and cappuccino of course. Nor is it just about the soundtrack (it was Dire Straits today).

It is about the smiles all around too.

To our left sat three college kids. At 'our bench'. Nursing coffee mugs. Splitting a cookie. Heads flopped on the table. Resting.

Sitting ahead of them was a family where a toothless granny in a sari happily munched on a mayo filled sandwich. The softest sandwich in the world. Her daughter or daughter in law was there with her. And her teenage grandchildren. Smiling and lost in their own world as they exchanged notes with each other.

In front of us was a couple dressed in terry-cot. Surrounded by a sea of cotton and linen.

Sitting opposite the croissant and breads counter were two kids. Around 8 or 9 years old. 

The brother showing something to his sister on his mobile. Then another tiny one joined them. A curly haired young lady of 5 or so, with her own mobile. The three were fixated to their screens till their mother/ aunt/ friend's mom came with their breakfast or brunch. It was past noon. 

The curly haired one then scrutinised her burger with an intensity that no Michelin inspector could match. 

Satisfied, she munched on.

I said bye to a friend I had met at a table close to us and then K and I left but not before I insisted on taking our annual Christmas tree selfie at Candies.

"The thing about Candies is that everyone feels at home here," said K while we sipped on our cappuccinos earlier.

I know that I do so and I am willing to bet that so did everyone who joined us for breakfast at Candies this morning.

The annual Christmas selfie at Canide
Do you have a Candies in your life? 

I truly hope that you do and if you do, please tell me about it. 

Better still, take me with you there the next time you go and I will take you to Candies in return.


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