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Eat My Words: We try Mickey's Diner on Blue Bell Hill between Maidstone and Chatham and after England's Euro win go for the Del Boy fry up


What would Del Boy and Rodney eat the morning after an England win over Germany?

The scriptwriters of the '80s sitcom would, of course, never have written such a ludicrously far-fetched storyline. But life is stranger than fiction, so I found myself sitting down to a big breakfast named after the Only Fools and Horses cast on the morning which followed that historic win.

Mickey's Diner on Blue Bell Hill
Mickey's Diner on Blue Bell Hill

Unlike much of the nation, I wasn't actually nursing a hangover, but, like everybody else, things maybe seemed just a little bit brighter, even on an overcast Wednesday morning, so Mickey's Diner on Blue Bell Hill, near Aylesford, was probably already on to a winner when I pulled off the A229.

The cafe next to the Shell garage is frequented by plenty of bikers, though there was only one in when we were there, and its interior is covered by film and music posters, with picture discs hanging from the ceiling (even I had to google the name for these, so many reading this may not remember them).

The themed interior of Mickey's Diner
The themed interior of Mickey's Diner

We were greeted by a face-masked-up man who ushered us towards a table for two. The table alongside looked a nicer and a better bet though, so we opted for that instead - much to the chagrin of our host who stayed grumpy for the rest of our stay. The bright and breezy waitress, however, was lovely, and clearly her face mask was masking an actual smile.

She also brought my large mug of tea (£1.70), and a Pepsi for my teenage companion. The tea had the bag left in - getting a big thumbs up from me as I like my tea strong.

The Mickey's Diner menu
The Mickey's Diner menu

The breakfasts are all named after Only Fools and Horses characters, but, inexplicably, there was also a Monroe thrown in as well. I'm not entirely sure Marilyn Monroe ever sat down to sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, baked beans, mushrooms and toast, but if she had wanted to, she could get it all for £5.90 at Mickey's Diner.

It would have been remiss for us not to have ordered a Del Boy - two eggs, sausage, two bacon rashers, a hash brown, tomatoes, mushroom, baked beans and toast for £8 - but as I'm vegetarian I had to leave this to the teenager, while I had the Marlene vegetarian breakfast.

The Del Boy
The Del Boy

Marlene may have been the most ladylike character on the show but I suspect she was not vegetarian - how often did she wear a fur coat?!

It was toasted muffin with scrambled egg, veggie sausage, grilled sliced tomato, mushrooms, hash brown and baked beans for £6.90. There was a note on the menu expressly telling guests not to ask for any amendments to the line-up, but when I asked for no baked beans, I was allowed. (I didn't dare ask for no tomatoes too. Yes I'm fussy!)

The muffins, sausage and mushrooms were all excellent, and so was the hash brown, though I swear mine was thinner than my companion's. The only real downside was the rather albino-looking scrambled egg.

The teenager reported the Del Boy to be excellent, especially the fried eggs, and the hash brown, though the larger than average sausage did look slightly pink inside. It still got polished off though regardless.

While we were eating, we couldn't help but be surprised by the steady stream of visitors. The indoor seating - there were conservatory tables too - was full. And the range of guests was astounding.

Next to us was a man in orange high vis who, we surmised, had been on a night shift, as not only was he completely coated in something black, but also was having a steak and ale pie at 9.15am. There were a number of groups of men at various tables, and a family group, as well as an older couple who would not have been out of place at a National Trust property. As we were leaving a couple in their early 20s also pitched up.

I did, a la Secret Drinker, check the facilities and can report the toilets were clean and surprisingly spacious. (But not like Secret Drinker, I'll spare you any photos).

I cannot remember the last time I went out for breakfast on a Wednesday morning, so it's possible that my view of Mickey's Diner was positively coloured by this, but I felt very comfortable in Mickey's Diner; it had a nice, relaxed atmosphere, and, despite my fussiness, the food was pretty highly rated by us.

I think Del Boy would approve.

Marlene's Vegetarian Breakfast (minus beans)
Marlene's Vegetarian Breakfast (minus beans)

Mickey's Diner, Old Chatham Road, Blue Bell Hill, Aylesford ME20 7EZ

Food: Apart from the albino scrambled egg, top nosh ****

Decor: If you run out of conversation, there's loads to look at and film stars and pop stars to name ****

Staff: Probably my fault that 50% of them didn't like me. The waitress got top marks ***

Price: Pretty good at £19.70 ****

Read more of our Eat My Words reviews here.

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