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Breakfast in London

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  • Mortz Jan 18, 2008 05:14 AM
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I am after a breakfast in london that is not a "fry up". Coming from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney I am used to being able to get up in the morning and being able to walk to one of the many quality cafe's and order a great coffee and fresh breakfast to go with my weekend paper. I am yet to find much like this in London. Ideally somewhere that uses quality ingredients and Great Coffee - Bircher Musli would be a bonus. The closest i have found to date has been:
1. Ottolenghi in Angel (highly recommended - great breakfast, especially the jams, and coffee)
2. Dayelsford Organic in Pimlico (good coffee but overall quite pricey)
3. Wolseley in Piccadilly (they do a good, but small, Bircher but awful coffee)
4. Flat White in Soho (great coffee and Banana Bread but not sure about the Breakfast)

Any one else have any ideas?

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  1. Breakfast club
    D'Arblay Street, Soho.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nii

      Thanks for the suggestions all. The wife and I drove out to Climpson and Sons on Saturday for the Bircher and Coffee. Almost didn't make it as i had to walk up the FANTASTIC Broadway Market (which has to be one of the most accessible and interesting Foodie/boutique markets in London). The reason i nearly didn't make it was because i was tempted by so much on the way: the whole hog roast, artisan bread and quality breakfast stalls amongst many othes. Still, we persevered and were really pleased with the both Coffee and Bircher. Then spent the next hour or so buying cheese, organic veg, gifts and browsing at the market. A great morning out. We will be back.

      Sunday we checked out Breakfast Club in Soho. However, it was closed. Closing on weekends is a big no no as far as I am concerned when it comes to Breakfast eateries. The jury is still out for me on this one.

      1. re: Mortz

        Try the Breakfast Club in Islington next time!
        So glad to have been able to help...;)

    2. I had that problem when i arrived from same burbs but its a lot better after 7 years! Ottolenghi is my favourite place almost bar none these days. Prefer Wolseley for afternoon tea and its so hotely.
      Agree with above as well b'fast club in islington is very sydney - fresh juice & everything with O/L doesnt do! also maybe try elk in the woods...
      East in London is full of gems... On Broadway Market there is Climpson & Sons http://www.climpsonandsons.com/ which is run by ex-flat whiters. It feels very much like home if the sun is shining but isnt all that comfortable to sit in, its very 'local' like dov was. Best coffee Ive had here including flat white!
      You might want to try St John Bread & Wine in Spitalfields on a sunday, its still more restauranty and very English - but well worth a visit because of the quality.
      I used to really love tom's cafe in notting hill as well - am sure they used to do bircher - maybe call and ask.
      But truly amazing is the tapa room at providores - which is run by peter gordon (kiwi!!), killer coffee, boiled eggs with vegemite soldiers and fusion additions (though still no bircher). I think we should start a new thread just for bircher recommendations. Or start making it at home! Ill have another think and get back to you though...

      2 Replies
      1. re: condimentqueen

        Thanks Condimentqueen - really useful. Was actually musing to my wife just last night that we should start up a "Bircher and Porridge" restaurant to fill the gap in the market.

        1. re: Mortz

          Good to see this thread - we miss our Darlinghurst brekkie as well.
          We love Monmouth for the coffee in Borough Market as it the closest we have had to the taste of home. However, we will be sertain to try these as soon as we can. Thanks.

      2. I have to agree with everyone, the breakfast scene is a little lacklustre in London, but I have dug up some places - predominately brunch, but breakfasty none the less.

        Harlem on Westbourne Grove is a great bit of NYC Americana, the pancakes are great and the Coney Island Hot Dog is to die for!

        Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane, yes a smide up market, but great proper grazing style brunch, and steep at £39, but not so bad as all drinks are included (champagne, bloody marys and gorgeous iced tea martinis).

        Lastly, Mestizo, one of the only reputable Mexican restaurants in London have started serving brunch - a bit of a twist, and I haven't tried it, but definitely worth mentioning.

        1 Reply
        1. re: clkristoff

          actually speaking of US themed breakfasts in notting hill - the electric does yummy stuff but my favourite diner is lucky7 on westbourne grove as well!
          hadnt heard of harlem though.
          eastside there is sabor on essex road that does wicked brunches/lunches on the weekend. i never knew fish tacos could cure a hangover!!

        2. Monmouth coffee - the one in Borough Market (stoney st) has a big communal table with lovely breakfast, and really great coffee, Leon or Canteen in Spitalfields, or Pain Quotidien - I think the one on Marylebone High Street's the nicest, the one on the Southbank seems to have service problems.

          1. Are you all forgetting Providores Tapa Room on Marylebone High Street?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Tango

              no way! posted in my original reply above. this is my favourite thread ever...

              1. re: condimentqueen

                My fault for speed reading!

                1. re: Tango

                  Perhaps Food Hall on Old Street? I can barely afford their preserved lemons, but it looks like they are getting some exciting yogurts.

            2. Apparently...there is a stand in liverpool st station that apparently sells bircher (not EAT) that someonen mentioned in passing to me the other day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: condimentqueen

                The stand should be from Moma Foods, although I've not seen it at Liverpool St even though it's stated on their website that they sell there. I get mine from the Waterloo Station stall (there are two, one on either end of the train station). I've also seen them selling at a coffee stall in the passage leading to the underground at Vauxhall train station. They've got several flavours (my favourite is Wild Berry) and a special Twitter promotion going on every Friday apparently.

                Link: http://www.momafoods.co.uk/

              2. All a quick update - having tried most of the suggestions above.
                Ottolenghi's is still a favorite but found myself going to...
                FoodHall more and more as it has, all in all, fairly reasonably priced and fresh breakfasts with good coffee (not withstanding the modern cups - yuk).
                Climpsons is also terrific though a long way out of my way.
                The Breakfast Club is a bit ho hum to me - nothing original or seemingly particularly fresh.
                Monmouth at Borough is good and it's fresh bread and jam breakfasts for £2.50 + coffee is unbeatable!
                I don't go to Dayelsford - coffee is too eratic and breakfasts overpriced.
                Providores Tapa Room is the only spot i have yet to frequent - mum is over soon so we will go.
                Never did find the Bircher person in Liverpool street station.

                By the way did you hear that Flat White is changing its coffee? They are moving away from Monmouth and instead to City Coffee (??) which I tried last weekend at a small stall at the back of Columbia Road Flower Market. Aparently the coffee has been top 5 in a barrister competition last year. Can't get it online or in a store yet but they are setting up a shop in the east end soon???

                Oh and Roast have a 50% deal for breakfast Mon-Fri which looks good.

                So that is it - 1/2 dozen decent places to get a fresg breakfast and a good cup of coffee in London!

                7 Replies
                1. re: Mortz

                  Mortz I totally sympathise with you - I am a Melbourne girl and I think breakfast/brunch is not the tradition here that it is in Australia and the States. The more English tradition on a weekend is Sunday lunch at the pub. That said, there are some good breakfast spots - I agree with the reviews re Providores and think that you really should try it - it is excellent and best coffee in London I think. Gets full very quickly though once it opens at 10. I have reviewed it and two other breakfast spots - Raouls and 202 on my blog: http://gourmet-chick.blogspot.com/.

                  1. re: Mortz

                    Square Mile are the guys who roast coffee for Flat White.
                    This years World Barista Champion, last years & Anette who roasted coffee for both winners
                    It is very good stuff

                    1. re: Gwilym

                      Enjoyed a couple of really good coffees in Flat White last weekend - even though the decoration on the top looks like a silver fern...!

                       
                      1. re: PhilD

                        To chime in: I brought two separate coffee-loving out-of-town guests to Flat White because they begged me for decent coffee and I remembered reading the rec on this thread.

                        Each time I ordered a decaf cappuccino just to be polite and keep them company. I never drink coffee (caffeine makes me jittery) but Flat White's was so good, I found myself asking my guests eagerly each morning whether they needed a coffee to help them get going. If they happened to say no I would feel incredibly disappointed that I had no excuse to make a detour to Flat White so I could get one too. Since I want to keep it as a treat I'm going to have to carefully limit myself.

                        Thank you, Hounds, for pointing the way.

                      2. re: Gwilym

                        Gwilym,
                        Yes it is. We just got online and bought their special offer - 6 different roasts delivered (1 a month) for six months. Not cheap but sounds great - our first package should be posted tomorrow!

                        1. re: Mortz

                          The Scandinavian Kitchen on Great Titchfield street off Oxford Street do good coffee, breakfasts and brunches.

                      3. re: Mortz

                        am so glad you liked Climpsons - I just love that whole Broadway Market vibe.
                        I had my parentals over recently and took mum to The Wolesley which she *loved* - but she said she still likes providores best, probably also because the coffee was COLD (!!!) so Id be interested in what your mum thinks too when you finally do make it out there ;)
                        didn't hear about the flat white coffee change - Ive never been the biggest fan of monmouth so Im not too upset about it.
                        on the bircher front - ive moved jobs and am again near a Konditor & Cook - they do a really lovely version topped with rasberries. the nearest one to you at liverpool st is the one in the Gherkin.
                        did i put sabor on your list at all - they do amazing south american brunch. its not like anything in sydney but its really brilliant to have tacos in the am (except the suspiciously sweet juices).
                        did you make it over to the Electric in Notting Hill yet either? Thats another good breakfast/brunch in my humble opinion.

                      4. Here's a great blog that I keep on my blogroll which you or others may find useful on this subject http://www.londonreviewofbreakfasts.b...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: thebigblackpudding

                          Honest Foods
                          424 Coldharbour Lane
                          Brixton

                          Phoenix Cafe
                          441 Coldharbour Lane
                          Brixton

                          Both places offer good breakfasts/brunches in no frills surroundings, although it's in Brixton. I love the potatoes pancakes at Honest Foods.

                          1. re: Nii

                            The breakfast at Honest Foods really is very good indeed.

                            1. re: greedygirl

                              Rosies in Brixton Market is nice as well, i love the scrambled egg on toast with prosciutto and chilli jam.

                        2. what's up with the green taxi driver shacks?
                          every time i walk by the box in belgravia i hear folk laughing and gossiping.
                          can a civilian (and tourista) pop into the cramped space and order a breakfast? is it any good? i know take-out is permissible but the insider stuff is the attraction.
                          anyone been?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: steve h.

                            what is bircher musli?

                            1. re: HickTownBarnaby

                              It is pretty common in Australia and even Qantas used to have it on the breakfast menu.
                              When I make it I soak oats in fruit juice (usually apple or pear) overnight. I then grate a couple of pears into the oats , add a few spoons of good yoghurt and sprinkle with toasted almonds and blueberries.
                              It is a recipe from Bill Granger of Bills Cafe in Sydney, most of his cookery books have variants of a bircher recipe, with different fruits etc. It is really tasty.