It’s the day after Mothering Sunday 2018. I have driven four hours to see my mother. Having rested the night, my stomach clamoured for breakfast. I call my sister, who lives 10 minutes away. “Go to Earnest and take me with you”. I’m paraphrasing of course.

So off we went. Grace (my car); Mother; my sister and I arrived in what can only be described as a developing neighbourhood. Tall grey apartment complexes which had replaced a myriad of paint factories surrounded us as we were seated in Earnest.

The bar itself was an oasis in the desert. Beautifully decorated. Sparse yet ornate in a way. There are red supporting pillars abounding. There is a generous selection of alcohol and a wide variety of art on the wall. Encased in an oblong glass panel running alongside one wall is a complete set of collectable Star Wars figurines.

I order my breakfast: a Chorizo and Halloumi Hash Bowl (featured image). Mother takes Eggs Ernesto with Smoked Salmon as opposed to halloumi (pictured below). My sister, in her millennial wisdom, decided to have something called “avo toast”. Likely for a catchy hash tag on one of the innumerable social platforms which people disseminate their every move on today. Like this blog, for example.

My portion was enormous and reflective of the price. Value for money if ever I saw it. And let me tell you, the combination of chorizo and halloumi is nothing less than inspired. I make the same observation as I did at En Diagonal in Barcelona: there is such a thing as too many potatoes. They’re extremely filling and lead to what we call “wastage” when you have to throw away half the food. However I will say that I have rarely seen so pretty a poached egg. Cooked just right.

My mother and sister too enjoyed their meals. I can’t give an in depth analysis of either because a) I deplore of millennial trends like “avo toast” where more value is ascribed to how succinct and Instagram-friendly the title of the dish is, rather than focusing on quality of food or appropriate portion sizes. And, b) I’m extremely apprehensive of eating fish in this country.¬†However I will say they photographed very well.

On finishing my delicious breakfast, I moseyed around the back of the bar. There I found some delightful artwork on the wall from local art company Dove Illustrations. Reminiscent of early 2000AD comics, this really impressed me. I will have to invest in one before long. And so too should you.

The back room was covered by wonderful illustrations such as the one pictured to the left.

In all, this was a delightful surprising experience. Proving the mantra of not judging books by their cover. While this may be in a questionable area of Newcastle for those of us brought up in conservative (small C) households, it is most certainly worth a visit.

Just don’t order the porridge. Nobody should have to pay $5.50 for oats and warm milk.