London: who offers the best traditional English breakfast?
looking for the classic from bangers and bacon and eggs and kidney and all the rest (fill me in on what constitutes a classic traditional breakfast). and would not mind going off the beaten path to a quality workingman's greasy spoon, as we might say in the States.
The best fry up (greasy spoon style) can be found in the fruit and veg market at New Covent Garden Market, there are many cafes that do a great fry up but my fave is Tony's.
For less than a fiver you can get a full english, tea and toast.
if you walk into the market there is no entry charge and its only a 5 minute walk from Vauxhall Tube.
We have had many great "traditional English breakfasts" (traditional to us yanks, at least) at Butler's at The Chesterfield, Mayfair, London: http://www.chesterfieldmayfair.com/di...
Normally, we are guests at the hotel, and this is included, but we've also gone, when we use our flat just around the corner on Curzon St.
Remember, this is a rec. from a "yank," so go with the locals' recs. first.
Well, if you want a truely memorable experience go to Simpsons in the Strand (as perviously mentioned) and the Wolseley for the height of a decadent breakfast with all the trimmings. And a pint of Guinness to wash it all down.
Don't be put off by the stuffy restaurant looking interiors in the photos as they'll be the best fry-ups you'll ever eat, but do expect to get turned away for wearing jeans and trainers (sneekers?).
And in regards to the price, I know from friend's bitter experience plenty of chain hotels will happily charge £15 in central London for their rubbish fried breakfast (left to sit around for hours on hot plates as well), so the extra you'll pay to eat there is really worth it.
IF you fancy heading to a more colourful side of town, may i suggest you perhaps go head down to Brixton, where i discovered one of the best breakfast places in a long while.
The joint is called 'Honest Food' halfway down Coldharbour Lane. I wouldn't say its a workmans cafe, its a bit more trendy than that, but the surrounding area is a bit rough and ready (in a good way).
£6.95 gets you a monster plate of quality brekkie, made with the finest ingredients. 2 rashers of thick back bacon, a mini cumberland sausasge ring (which in itself is big!) 2 juicy grilled tomatoes, (cooked just right) a juicy field mushroom and 2 organic eggs (poached, fried or scrambled) on a choice of artisan breads. As Harters says, so many places mess up something as simple as a fry up with substandard ingredients and poor technique. This place excecutes it very well, well above a standard greasy spoon, but without the expense and stiffness of a high class hotel.
address is 242 coldharbour lane, Brixton.
Turn left out of the tube station, and walk up the street. left round the corner at KFC and walk a minute or so. its opposite the Phoenix Cafe, which is another more typical greasy spoon caff, which does do great bread.
A place I haven't tried but looks good is Inn the Park, in St James's Park. They have a choice of two kinds of hen's egg, or duck egg, various bacons, three choices of sausage and thre or four black and white puddings. Also home-made crumpets. And a pretty view of ducks, reeds and a fountain.
re: Jenny Sheridan
I really like Inn the Park. The bacon and toast are really quite tasty. I think one of the better things are the surroundings and the fact that there is quite a lot of room around all of the tables inside - they are not crammed together and you can have a quiet conversation in nice environs. The service sometimes leaves something to be desired, but the napkins are cloth and the coffee good.
Bear in mind the traditional fry-up can vary from the truly wonderful (rare) to the truly vile (often). Price is usually a good determiner, but not always. Quality of sausage is the key factor, IMO - you can get an acceptable feed with lower quality bacon, but not with low quality sausage. Some of the best breakfasts are probably in the top class hotels but I would always look for a well recommended greasy spoon - particularly as you're a visitor and may want to soak up the atmosphere as well as soak up the grease.
The classic components would be sausage, bacon, black pudding, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans (or tomato) and some form of carb (fried bread, potato or potato cake). London breakfasts offer "bubble & squeak" - an unusual addition to this northern lad's taste, but it does work. Stuff like kidneys havnt really figured since the early 20th century - although I see they feature on the menu at Simpsons-in-the-Strand which might be the place if you want to go "upmarket traditional", taking a deep wallet
This is a great blog - full of humour, full of reviews of brekkie.