Forge your own special relationship

AS THOUSANDS of tourists, tattooists and traders jockey for position outside the Tube on a baking hot Saturday lunchtime.


2 Jamestown Road, NW1

Tel: 020 7485 223

AS THOUSANDS of tourists, tattooists and traders jockey for position outside the Tube on a baking hot Saturday lunchtime, Camden Town feels like London's very own land of the free and home of the brave.

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But just off the bustling High Street lies a star-spangled corner of NW1 that has recently benefited from an all-American makeover - and perched before a towering froth of strawberry milkshake on the decked roof terrace at The Diner my frazzled partner and I soon start to perk up.

Opened a little over eight weeks ago, it certainly seems to have a struck a chord with its intended market and the Pulp Fiction-style booths and banquettes steadily fill up throughout our stay.

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For those wanting a quick pre/post-gig night-time bite there's no fewer than 11 different burgers, three hot dogs and six servings of fries to choose from, not to mention meatloaf, burritos, corned beef hash and chilli.

But its breakfast and brunch where The Diner really comes into its own and an exhaustive all-day menu is thankfully light on muesli, fresh fruit or granola.

Passing on the gargantuan Hungry Man Breakfast ("two of pretty much everything", we are helpfully informed) I opt for bacon and poached eggs on pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and a side order of cinnamon-dipped French toast.

Its a little light on the bacon (the Uncle Sam trimmings don't quite extend to the portion sizes) but the sweet syrup is heavenly with the smoky meat and gooey yolk of the perfectly done eggs.

My partners' Calamity Jane Omelette - bell peppers, sausage and Swiss cheese - is a tasty but unadventurous choice.

The juices are a bit of a disappointment but the coffee is good and strong and comes with free refills while a well-mixed Bloody Mary with the Saturday papers is a must.

With Heinz Tomato Ketchup nestling next to French's Yellow Mustard in the condiment rack and the Kinks following Springsteen over the restaurant speakers, I'm feeling positively transatlantic as I unwind into the weekend.

I think I've just forged a special relationship. - MATT HUMPHREYS

Main courses: from £5

House wine: £13

Disabled access: Yes

Children welcome: Yes (kids menu £4.50)

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