I’ve always regretted not strapping on a backpack and travelling the world when I had the chance before university.
Although I’ve listened to friends’ gap year nightmares about getting robbed in Brazil and almost dying from an overdose of some strange hallucinogenic drug in Australia, it never extinguished my jealousy.
But life goes on, gets more frantic by the day, and dreams of running away to Thailand to ride around on elephants are locked away in a box for safe keeping – maybe to be opened upon retirement in 45 years.
Walking into Belushi’s in search of a comforting meal, hopes of setting sail to foreign lands all came flooding back when I least expected them.
I was feeling rather ravenous after running around to meetings all morning and honestly, I only went inside because it was the closest pub to Greenwich station.
I made a beeline for the breakfast menu without taking in any of my surroundings and, almost panicked with hunger, I quickly ordered Eggs Benedict at £4.95 from the friendly barmaid.
After picking a comfy red booth to sit on my mind started registering the busy decor of the place.
Belushi’s is home to a treasure trove of souvenirs, flags and trinkets from all over the world that has obviously taken a good few years to collect, perhaps something to do with St Christopher’s Hostel next door.
I suddenly felt like singing Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid – “how many wonders can one cavern hold?”
Beneath the bar are stacks of suitcases and shipping boxes, and notes and coins of all currencies imaginable frame the food elevator where my highly anticipated eggs were due to arrive.
I usually hate going out alone but there is so much to look at on the walls, from Clockwork Orange posters to a grinning inflatable sheep wearing a hat complete with dangling corks, that I was distracted from my fears of dining solo.
The bar gradually got busier until there was a lovely lunchtime buzz about it.
Workmen enjoyed pints at 11.30am and a family who hadn’t seen each other in ages sat in front of me, gossiping about a beardy uncle and nagging a ten-year-old nephew about sending his grandparents more photos.
I listened to the kid order an Ultimate Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows and I kicked myself for not having his reckless attitude towards calories.
Finally, after half-an-hour of waiting I heard the ‘ding dong’ bell of the food elevator and watched my glorious meal emerge just as (no word of a lie) Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran played softly in the background.
I gobbled down every last gorgeous bite of poached eggy weggs, crispy bacon and perfectly toasted muffin all smothered in delicious Hollandaise sauce – yum.
The fitness-mad joggers running past the window will be pleased to know there are healthier options like fruit and yoghurt with granola available too, but if it’s a comforting breakfast you’re after and you have time on your side this is spot on.
I hopped off my seat, returned the hard-working Australian barman’s pen I’d borrowed and went to check out the toilets.
Ok, there was no lock on the door which was rather dodgy, but when I noticed a poster advertising Belushi’s staff performance of Puss in Boots on February 19 – all in aid of charity Build Africa – all was forgiven.
Now, off to Dial-a-Flight to book my long-awaited foreign adventure...
How Belushi's rates:
DECOR **** (fascinating collection and lots of red)
DRINK *** (good mix of lagers, spirits and incredible hot chocolates)
PRICE *** (great value compared to other London bars)
ATMOSPHERE *** (relaxed and welcoming)
STAFF *** (friendly and hard-working)
FOOD **** (lovely breakfast menu served till 12 at nice prices)
Address: Belushi's, 189 Greenwich High Road Greenwich, London, SE10 8JA