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Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you might as well spoil yourself. From breakfast meetings to weekend brunch, Square Meal has 10 mouthwatering suggestions for where to spend your morning – and 10 good reasons to get out of bed. Read on for a list of London’s best breakfasts and brunches.
This kitsch 1980s’ mini-chain has become an institution in each of the London areas it has put down roots so far, including Islington, Hoxton, Soho and Spitalfields (pictured, right). Choose from the pun-laden menu of ‘eggulars’ such as The Full Monty English breakfast or fluffy pancakes with vanilla cream and berries. Whatever you order, it will arrive with sunny-side-up service.
Back on its feet following a fire, the renamed and re-branded Electric Diner has returned in an all-the-more American guise – and we all know that if there's one thing Americans do well, it's brunch. Tuck into an omelette with spinach, onion and blue cheese, or a fry up with thick-cut peppered bacon, eggs any way, hash browns, and black pudding.
Hungry? You’d better be: Hawksmoor Guidhall offers one of the biggest breakfasts around: the Hawksmoor – a £35 mega-meal for two. And with a rather hefty morning drinks menu, Hawksmoor gets down to business early. Get your ‘caffeine buzz’ with the Climpson’s Martini – vodka, homemade coffee liqueur, Climpson’s Coffee and Demerara sugar – or try a more sedate Buck’s fizz. Freshly squeezed juices, fine teas and coffee are also available for early-morning abstainers.
Peter Gordon’s favourite meal of the day is breakfast, and it certainly shows in the energising kickstarters on offer at his fusion temple Kopapa. Look out for the signature cilbir, a Turkish invigorator of whipped yoghurt, poached eggs, chilli-butter and flatbread, or indulge in one of the restaurant’s many fresh-fruit smoothies.
This ‘wonderfully quirky’ Antipodean café manages to tread the line between bustling and laid back. The menu is such a pleasure to read you’ll struggle to choose just one thing – good bets are the grilled haloumi with fried eggs, sun-blushed tomato salsa, rocket and sumac served with toasted Turkish bread, and the sweetcorn fritters with bacon, rocket, roasted tomatoes, smashed avocado and chilli jam.
The bright and uncluttered dining room of Clerkenwell gem The Modern Pantry welcomes regulars for jasmine blossom, fresh mint and Earl Grey iced tea, saintly Bircher muesli, or the signature sugar-cured New-Caledonian prawn omelette with spring onions, green-chilli coriander and sambal.
It’s the little touches that keep fans of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Middle-Eastern fusion food coming back for brekkie, such as a toaster for each table and a chic but family-friendly environment. Treat yourself to bruschetta with braised Portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, feta, and basil pesto, or cinnamon French toast with Greek yoghurt and berry-and-muscat compôte.
Perfect for a business breakfast, this class-act restaurant serves gutsy British favourites such as ‘The Full Borough’ with smoked streaky bacon, sausages, fried bread, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms, bubble-and-squeak and your choice of egg, as well as more refined dishes. The kitchen also turns out health-boosting smoothies to start your morning, plus quirky offerings such as mango ‘granuesli’ with poached rhubarb and yoghurt.
Readers report that Tom Aikens’ casual Chelsea brasserie is ‘great for that weekend hangover’. The kitchen throws everything diners’ way, from Bloody Marys and iced lemon tea to homemade granola, pastries, fresh fruit, eggs any-way – and even a choice between ‘American-style’ (sweet) and ‘English-style’ (savoury) breakfasts. A fab way to get the weekend going.
Whether you’re eating there for business or pleasure, breakfast at The Wolseley will send you out into the world ready to face anything. Try the house fishcake with a poached egg, get stuck into the French toast with blueberries, or push the boat out with a caviar omelette – and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the restaurant’s many celeb regulars.