Achieving a discrete yet classy atmosphere that suggests wealth but not bling (on the part of both the establishment and its clientele) is hard effort to pull off successfully. Yet this is what Claridges manages to do. Against this background, breakfast in their Reading Room – just off the main hotel foyer – is one of the most civilised ways to begin the day. For lovers of art deco, there are few more beautiful public rooms in London and beyond the mirrors, wall panels and light fittings, no element is left unconsidered. Even the tea cups and the tongs for extracting sugar cubes speak to the same theme of classy discretion. Although part of the excitement of breakfast is the panoply of options available – from uber-healthy muesli to full English with all the works – both my dining comrade and I were reassuringly predictable in our choices. To start, a refreshing pink grapefruit juice followed by smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, accompanied with Earl Grey tea. It may be a bold claim to make, but I believe I can say with some confidence that the scrambled egg/ salmon combination is definitely the best I have had in London, superior to the same dish in other top hotels such as the Savoy or the Connaught. The eggs were light and creamy, the salmon fresh and not too salty, and the relative portion size of the two was ideal. Service, as one would expect, is also impeccable, timed pitch-perfect with nothing, seemingly, being too much trouble. Of course, the experience does not come cheap, but as an alternative to the more prolonged and expensive afternoon tea option that is available in the same room, breakfast represents a superb opportunity for enjoying the unique atmosphere of Claridges.