I romanticize breakfast like you wouldn’t believe. I think it’s such a beautiful time of day. I always feel filled with expectation that ANYTHING could happen. The sound of my seven-espresso caffetiera spluttering and hissing makes my heart swell. Breakfast must have jazz or classical music; it must have aspirational reading material; and it must be eaten sitting down at a big weathered timber table with a giant vase of fresh flowers. One of the disadvantages of being a creative freelancer is that you sometimes have to wrap yourself up in a scarf and giant sunglasses when leaving your own home because you haven’t paid the rent in two months and your landlord is waiting for you to emerge. This small inconvenience is completely made up for by one of the glorious advantages: 3-hour breakfasts EVERY MORNING. 🙂
Here are my favourite spots for coffee breakfast or brunch in London.
This place is where I go when I want to feel like I’m in Paris. The little details like the vintage bathroom with wood panelling, the checkered tiled floors, the cosy lighting, the crisp white linen napkins, the elegant waitstaff who take your order with a formality and politeness that feels out of a different era. You’ll find it in the stylish location of London’s strut-and-be-seen Sloan Square and this place attracts all ages. The menu is classic and offers both French and full English breakfast options. I even found they would bring avocado with my poached eggs on thick toasted pain de campagne. It can get very busy and it isn’t an all-day breakfast so go early.
Okay, I probably shouldn’t put this one because you can only get in if you know a member but it’s worth asking among your friends (this group has houses all over the world and members are generally media creative types). You can dine there if you’re a hotel guest. The view is the best over the whole of London. There’s a rooftop swimming. The crowd is young, cool and creative. The food is healthy and hearty. The decor is highly Instagramable although no photos are allowed to protect the famous members. Despite the fashionable crowd, this is the most serene place to come when I want to work and eat and watch the clouds roll across the city from high above.
This place is a little hole-in-the-wall heaven. All those places selling you expensive juice that’s supposedly going to cure your hangover, clear your skin, fill you up in place of a meal, charge you for the day or delight you with sugar-free flavours are lying to you. These guys are so serious about quality organic non-harmful ingredients and their cold-pressed juice, bone broth and sugar or gluten-free snacks have drawn in a cult following. Get your juices and snacks to go then wander the markets and vintage stores of Redchurch St, Brick Lane or the Columbia Road flower market.
The coolest part about this place is that it’s open 24/7 so you can order breakfast after a night out of dancing at 4am or at a more civilised breakfast hour or if you wake up late and find every other kitchen in the city is telling you they’re only serving lunch to lazy late risers like you. The second best thing – the 360-degree view from the 40th floor. And the final attraction – the food is so damn decadent you will remember this experience long after you’ve licked the last of that maple syrup from your fingers.