Dare to finish the biggest breakfast in Havering?

James Schofield before his Man v Food style breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath, Gidea Park. Pi

James Schofield before his Man v Food style breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath, Gidea Park. Picture Sandra Rowse - Credit: Archant

“Are you a big eater?” These were the words that greeted me as I entered the Café on the Heath to attempt one of the larger breakfasts of my time.

James Schofield after attempting the big breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath. With owners Will

James Schofield after attempting the big breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath. With owners Will Boden and George Dixon.Picture Sandra Rowse. - Credit: Archant

“Are you a big eater?” These were the words that greeted me as I entered the Café on the Heath to attempt one of the larger breakfasts of my time.

James Schofield during his Man v Food style big breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath. Picture Sa

James Schofield during his Man v Food style big breakfast challenge at Cafe on the Heath. Picture Sandra Rowse. - Credit: Archant

The café, on Heath Park Road, Romford, boasts a good selection of breakfasts for both the peckish and the most ravenous of customers, but not even the most starved of people would dare try the challenge put before me.

Weighing in at 9lb and presented on a plate measuring a staggering 19in x 14in, the challenge breakfast takes a full English to a whole new level. The meal costs £20, but if you finish it you will get it for free and your name on the wall.

Contenders must devour six jumbo sausages, 10 rashers of bacon, five fried eggs, three hash browns, three black puddings, two tomatoes, a tin of beans, a tin of tomatoes, a pack of mushrooms, a plate of chips, two slices of bread, two slices of a toast and a fried slice.


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And all within half an hour of taking the first bite.

On the wall hung proudly a blackboard proclaiming the number of people who had completed the café’s challenge. Five before me had tried, and failed, to wolf down the massive meal.

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I took a sip of my tea as I prepared to eat my hearty breakfast, thinking that I might have a good shot at finishing it. It was only when café owners George Dixon and Will Boden, both 21, brought my meal over that I realised the sheer volume of food before me.

The bacon was neatly laid out towards the side of the plate, with the 9in sausages forming a border around the edge. The huge pile of chips was barely visible under the mound of eggs, hash browns, mushrooms and tomatoes. I took a deep breath, put some sausage, bacon and egg onto my fork, and took the first bite of many.

The food was delicious, to say the least. George told me he took pride in the fact that all the food they served was British.

He said: “We put a lot of effort into making good food. Everything’s sourced from the UK – the sausages are from Smithfield Market, and we get a lot of meat from local butchers.”

The effort had paid off – despite not being the biggest fan of black pudding (who is?), I was thoroughly enjoying every bite from my plate. This feeling wouldn’t last for long, however.

After about 10 minutes I was beginning to feel the strain. In the back of my mind I knew that I only had half an hour to finish my breakfast if I was to become the first person to complete the challenge. By wolfing my food down so quickly, I had turned the improbable into the impossible.

One previous challenger managed to eat everything except two sausages, one egg and the plate of bread. With 27 minutes gone, he decided enough was enough and gave up.

I was to get nowhere near that man’s achievement. Struggling to eat even the smallest bite of egg, I resigned myself to failure, having barely made a dent in the huge pile of food.

George and Will proudly added a sixth notch to the tally of those who had failed, as I put my head in my hands out of a mixture of disappointment and a need to rest after my ordeal.

Will told me the inspiration for the challenge came from photos they’d seen online. He said: “We saw someone post a picture of a breakfast challenge that they do in Great Yarmouth, and someone posted about a burger challenge.

“We thought – what would be a good struggle? The portions are big enough to provide a good challenge, but we reckon there’s someone out there who can finish it.”

Asked whether he thought he could finish the breakfast, which to their knowledge is the biggest in Havering, Will replied: “No chance. There are hundreds of people on our Facebook page who claim they could finish it, but we’ve seen none of them yet. We reckon it’s time they put their money where their mouth is.”

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