You may not be familiar with the name House of Bread, but their run on The Strand (twice a month) is a fixture of life for many. The House of Bread is actually a church, and their soup run activity goes under the name The Vision.
Established three years ago (the run, not the church), and under the direction of Elder Frank Simon, it shares the Sundays of a month, the other two being covered by a sister church. On the second and fourth Sundays every month, House of Bread provide a breakfast for the morning crowds. From around 6.45am they set out their stalls on the north side of The Strand, at the Charing Cross end (near Coutt's Bank).
The basic fare is wholesome and varied, with a minimum of porridge or sandwiches and hot teas and coffees. However, on the second of their monthly excursions, the fourth Sunday of the month, they do things with style. Although often neglected or shunned in these health-conscious body-beautiful days, the Great British fry-up lives on with the House of Bread. And it is spoken of with a distinct pride by Frank Simon who extols the menu they provide. "We always try to do a proper fried breakfast once a month," he told us, "including eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, buttered bread and black pudding."
This is achieved with stoves set up for the purpose, although the bacon is precooked (thus losing a few points in this guide), giving them a lead on those runs that rely on hay boxes to keep food warm. There is nothing like fresh-cooked food first-thing, to set you up for the day.
Friendly service goes with the good food, and a supply of clothes is often provided to those in need. They also frequently invite those interested back to their church afterwards, where a wash-up and rest from the rigours of the daily grind are available.
Rating: 3 out of 5