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The Sunday Salon: Brunch Club in Hong Kong

The Sunday Salon.comBefore catching the hydrofoil to Macau, the neighboring former Portuguese colony an hour away, I had a quick breakfast at The Brunch Club on Peel Street in Central. It’s really a neighborhood cafe and news-stand. I stumbled upon this cozy little place tugged in the little street that serves eggs, french toasts, benedict’s, omelets and other tasty fares. Lined on one wall is a rack full of magazines and newspapers. I browsed a couple issues of Cargo and Culture Hong Kong, along with the Sunday Post (South China Morning Post).

The place is quiet shortly after it opens the door at 8 in the morning. I take up the table next to the rack so the magazines are just stone’s throw away. I brought with me Rebecca West’s The Birds Fall Down, which I started at the gate in San Francisco. It’s not a difficult book to read but West’s poised writing style and sense of time certainly requires concentration. Much of the vital shift and revelations take place in dialogues. The famous conversation between an exiled count Nikolai and a stranger reactionary Chubinov spans over a hundred pages. The long-winded exchanges between the two interlocutors put the book on slow wheels but the information that is revealed renders the novel all the more intriguing. The premise and historical context might make this qualify for the Russian Reading Challenge, since the novel moves in the direction that will eventually lead to the Russian Revolution.

10 Responses

  1. Sounds like you enjoying yourself. I like Rebecca west. Her writing style is good.

  2. We don’t really have a breakfast culture in cafes in England, which I think is a great shame. It is definitely my favourite meal of the day and one to be savoured in friendly surroundings.

  3. This sounds plenty challenging. 100 pages for one conversation! I hope it’s very rewarding in return for the concentration it demands.

    Very fun-looking breakfast nook.

  4. I started The Birds Fall Down six weeks ago and stopped for some reason. I need to get back to it. Though I think I prefer Rebecca West’s non-fiction to her fiction.

    The cafe sounds great. I wish I had a decent cafe here in Vallejo. We have two that are good but neither is open late. I need one open late.

  5. I almost venture to say Cafe Flore, your favorite place, but by the time I usually get there, which is around 11, it’s a mad house! I know you savor the slowness and quiet early in the morning. 🙂

    Rebecca West’s prose has been very challenging for me to read. I second CB James that I had to put it aside because I simply don’t have the attention span. It the sort of book that you really have to be in the mood for.

  6. gautami tripathy:
    I had a great time, although I wish I could have stayed longer. 🙂

  7. Ann Darnton:
    Do you usually have breakfast at home? I certainly enjoy the fabulous afternoon tea culture! 🙂

  8. Janet:
    It’s a gorgeous place hidden in the busy alleys of the HK financial district.

    Rebecca West is a great writer. The 100 or so pages are key to understanding of the book. Persistence through it is very rewarding.

  9. CB James:
    I’m glad to read from your comment on your blog that you’ll picking up the book again. It’s actually a great read, but not for everyone I’m afraid.

  10. John:
    I also add that the book is one that you have to read it on its own.

    I agree that Cafe Flore is an oasis in early morning before all the boys kick in! 🙂

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