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A Simple Thing: celebrity brunch at Prostye veshi

Some things are “relativitily” confusing, some things are absolute. Having a full English breakfast is an absolute pleasure. Having an English breakfast in Moscow, in mid-afternoon, with tea in a wine bar, is apt to stir a few senses. Prostye Veshi, “Simple Things” is a delightful wine bar and bistro, handily placed for the flats or offices of the well-heeled, at 14 Bol. Nikitskaya Ul, but a step from St Andrew’s Church or the Kremlin walls. Owner Elena and manager Anastasia are always looking for inventive new ways to broaden diners’ experiences. Celebrity chefs knocking up their favourite concoctions is the current cunning plan: John Warren of Warrens’ Sausages is one of those.

But what is a sausage? A philosophical question, easy to pose, harder to digest. As unsolvable as “how long is a piece of string (of sausages)?” Traditionally, a simple Englishman would have only a half pound of answers: normal, Cumberland, chipolata and a Frankfurter for the exotic traveller. And in the bad old days of mass production, the easy to spot, colourless, tasteless and odourless packaged sausage. Dull. And thankfully not part of our menus today.

Sausageur supreme, John Warren, has a mission is to lift the humble banger to exalted heights. With his culinary chum, Mike Gibson, the pair were the stars of Prostye Vechi in late November. Warren’s sausages contain only the finest beef, pork, spices and fillings. A ceaseless search for new expressions and newly discovered recipes give a mouth watering hamful of 30 choices. Who could resist a plate filled with his finest bacon, mushrooms, scrambled egg and tomatoes, and a side slice of toast and Marmite? All washed down with a decent pot of Russian tea. Perfect! But it gets better still. Kedgeree, porridge and over a score more possible flavours await the ravenous. All wolfed down by happy families, while being served with great cheer by John, Mike and the regular staff. If this left the sense of space confused, while every space was filled, it made for a timeless pleasure. Do simple things well. Good idea! RDH

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