The fact that this restaurant sits on the 31st floor of the Shard in London Bridge means it has a rather fantastic view whether it be from the atrium bar, the dining room or even the urinals (women you’re missing out!). Breakfast here is served between 7-10:30am.
Because I’ve never seen it on a menu before I couldn’t resist ordering the lobster Benedict (£18) which was as indulgent as it sounds. It not only looked beautiful but was a joy to eat; the lobster was cooked perfectly and its subtle sweetness combined with the thick hollandaise sauce was divine. I think I just dribbled on my keyboard!
My gentleman companion particularly enjoyed the smoked salmon (London’s longest hand sliced smoked salmon in fact) and scrambled eggs (£12.50) which also looked rather pretty. The velvety eggs sat atop crisp toasted sourdough next to some corn fritters sandwiching creme fraiche. This is the sort of breakfast I dream of; absolutely faultless.
We also loved the Shard full English which featured Old House Farm eggs, Staffordshire dry cured streaky bacon, a cumberland sausage, vine tomatoes, grilled mushroom, hash browns, black pudding and toasted sourdough (£14.50) – you get a lot for your money! The unusual addition of spinach and salted ricotta was actually rather a brilliant one. If you’re after a satisfying breakfast then look no further than Aqua Shard.
Duck and Waffle
Sitting at the top of the Heron Tower in Bishopsgate obviously gives Duck and Waffle a rather magnificent view and the fact that the lift is on the outside of the building makes it all the more fun to get there. But the food alone is worth a trip if you ask me.
Breakfast here is served from 6-9am and brunch from 9-4pm and the menus offer an eclectic choice. I went for the English breakfast (£13) which was served on a rather large plate. The sourdough toast could have done with a smear of butter and the bacon could have done with thirty seconds less under the grill (it was very crispy) – other than that I loved every mouthful. Giant crisp hash browns, a herby sausage and rich Scottish black pudding – YUM. Being a hater of any type of bean I asked them to leave off the trotter braised beans but my Dad can verify – they were great.
My Mum liked her smoked Finnan haddock (£11) which saw two of those giant hash browns surrounded by a rich English mustard cream and a nice big chunk of soft flakey haddock. The most filling and satisfying of breakfasts and a mesmerising view to go with it.
Corbin and King’s The Delaunay is one of those restaurants that I never get tired of; a schnitzel and a side of pickled cucumber hits the spot everytime. Feeling indulgent one Sunday morning, we popped along for a breakfast feast (served until 11am at the weekend), and we weren’t disappointed.
The bacon roll (£5.25) was bursting at the seams with crispy and perfectly fatty, streaky bacon. After a generous dollop of ketchup it was a good’en. Pancakes topped with more of that lovely bacon drizzled with maple syrup (£9.75) were heavenly and a seriously sweet treat. They could have been a little thinner but at least they soaked up every drop of the syrup. The smoked salmon with scrambled eggs (£14.95) was worth every penny as there was masses of smoked salmon and its quality was sublime. To top it all off, we couldn’t resist ordering a small eggs Arlington (£9.25) which was basically an eggs benedict with smoked salmon – and there was plenty of it here too. Simply divine.
Admittedly it was a hell-of-a-lot-of food between two people but it was certainly worth the stretch marks. If you’re after a bit of indulgence with charming service – here’s your place.
Caravan Kings Cross
In a recently redeveloped and now rather beautiful part of Kings Cross you’ll find Caravan (right next door to Grain Store – go there!). It’s a large restaurant with a really buzzy atmosphere and a great place for brunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I opted for the Caravan fry (£9) which featured eggs, field mushroom, slow roast tomatoes and bacon on top of St.John Bakery sourdough toast. The quality of all the ingredients was sublime but sadly the eggs (I’d asked for mine poached) were very nearly hard boiled and had little goo factor – sacrilege! I love a gooey yolk!
My gentleman companion went all healthy for some reason and ordered the fresh fruit salad, super seeds and goji berries (£4.50). It looked vibrantly colourful but could have done with a spoonful of yoghurt to bring it to life as it was verging on dull. It wasn’t the worst breakfast we’ve ever encountered but it certainly wasn’t the best.
Other than Jason Atherton’s new Berners Tavern, I don’t think it gets much grander than The Wolseley – it really is a stunning restaurant. At 9am on a Tuesday morning the place was positively packed and doing a roaring trade.
Because I was in the mood for some decadence I opted for the large eggs Arlington (£17) – that’s eggs royal to you and me. Now, it wasn’t cheap but you get what you pay for; it was massive and looked pretty as a picture. The poached eggs burst to reveal the gooiest of yolks and the hollandaise sauce was as unctuous as it gets. The salty smoked salmon was in abundance too. Indulgent heaven! The eggs Arnold Bennett (£10.75) which was a rich creamy omelette with smoked haddock was equally decadent/divine. Beautiful surroundings and beautiful food; it really doesn’t get much better.
Frank’s Cafe, Southwark Street
You may be pleased to know that I’ve found the perfect cure for a hangover – and it comes in the form of a bacon sarnie and a sugary cuppa from Frank’s Cafe in Southwark Street.
It’s a proper builders’ caf and is possibly the manliest place on planet earth but I defy you to find a better bacon sandwich in London. And at three quid for that and a cup of tea so filled to the brim it’s overflowing, it’s fantastic value. The only downside is it’s rather surprisingly shut on the weekends – big sad face emoticon.
Maria’s Market Cafe
Maria’s Market Cafe is slap bang in the middle of Borough Market and I can quite honestly say they serve the best fry ups I’ve ever shoved in my face. It’s a simple affair; you queue up (there’s always a queue), find a seat at one of the tables topped with a gingham PVC tablecloth and wait for your name to be bellowed from behind the counter.
Just over £7 got me bacon, egg, sausage (that’s a deep fried sausage), mushrooms, a big ol’ dollop of Maria’s legendary bubble and squeak and a can of Coke – not cheap for a fry up and it’s certainly not much to look at, but my God was it delicious. The quality of the bacon and sausage was faultless and the “bubble” tasted of everything else it had been fried alongside that day – mmmmm.
Maria’s certainly a character (in fact they all are who work there) and her market cafe is 100% worth a look in. Camilla and Prince Charles even popped by for a cuppa on a recent visit – if it’s good enough for them…