Despite being the home of the “Full English” London does not have the breakfast culture of the United States or Australia. There is more of an inclination to go to a pub on a Sunday than to spend a lazy late morning and afternoon over breakfast, numerous coffees and the papers. In that vein, a lot of pubs actually serve breakfasts. I have to say that the last place I want to be if I am eating my breakfast in a slightly delicate state resulting from the night before is a pub that still smells of stale beer.
The tides are turning though, there is even an excellent blog devoted entirely to breakfasts in London, the London Review of Breakfasts. To add to the debate, I recommend the following breakfast destinations:1. Providores
Providores does not open until 10am and there are queues outside on a Sunday prior to opening so popular and well loved are its breakfasts and coffee. MTV boyfriend who is an expert on these things rates Providores coffee as perhaps the best in London (with Monmouth at Borough Markets snapping at its heels). Of course Providores is run by Kiwi chef Peter Gordon so it all makes sense. The breakfast menu includes the traditional fry ups and more unusual combinations such as brown rice, apple , maple syrup and miso porridge with tamarillo compote. The miso porridge was a little too weird actually, the flavours just did not really work in combination, however my Sweetcorn and Blueberry fritters hit the spot perfectly and MTV boyfriend pronounced the fry up as perfect.
Details: 109 Marylebone High Street, W1 (Marylebone)
There are two Raoul’s, the original in Maida Vale and one in Notting Hill. The one in Notting Hill is my local and so I frequent it almost every weekend. The menu offerings are not as creative as Providores, however it ticks all the breakfast boxes. Outside seating for those rare sunny London days, room to spread the Sunday papers at the table and a menu of staples such as the (excellent) Eggs Benedict, Full English and for the days when you are not oozing last nights alcoholic excess from your pores, Granola. All are perfectly executed for a minimum of fuss and you don’t get any grief from the staff when you choose to linger longer at your table.
Details: 105 Talbot road, W11 (Notting Hill)
202 is such a Notting Hill scene that it is famously mentioned in Rachel Johnson’s novel Notting Hell. 202 is not hell at all, in fact it is a rather delightful breakfast spot and much beloved by locals particularly yummy mummies as there is sufficient space between the tables to squeeze designer prams into place. In fact the tables themselves are for sale as 202 also functions as a homewares store, although judging by the prices sticking to breakfast rather than homewares is the most economical option. MTV boyfriend and I went with two friends who were about to brave the Portobello road markets. To gird themselves for the crowds and chaos they chose the blueberry pancakes which I have to say looked amazing, huge and fluffy. I was feeling virtuous so opted for the fruit salad topped with yoghurt and granola. MTV boyfriend unsurprisingly ordered the full English. At least his consistent ordering patterns enable a valid comparison between breakfast places. The full English was so large that he could not finish it, which is in MTV boyfriends eyes, a sign of a successful breakfast. All four of us left satisfied and as ready as you can ever be for Portobello road at its Saturday morning peak.
Details: 202 (where else?) Westbourne grove, W11 (Notting Hill)