26 February, 2013

Ladies who Brunch

A restaurant recommendation from your Programme Coordinator

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I think it’s the satisfaction in not having eaten for at least eight hours and the subsequent hunger that make whatever I eat to ‘break the fast’ even more enjoyable. I don’t think I could even tell you what my breakfast preference is as it depends on how I am feeling that morning and what day of the week it is. I love a good bowl of cereal during the week – more cereal than milk to avoid sogginess – but at the weekend when I have more time on my hands a croissant (ooh la la) or if I’m feeling ravenous, the famous English Breakfast is just what I need on a lazy Sunday morning. The bitter weather that we are experiencing right now has even introduced me to porridge, which warms my belly and keeps hunger at bay up until the next meal time comes around. Of course this all has to be washed down with a cup of tea.

So when I discovered The Breakfast Club (Soho, Spitalfields, Hoxton and Angel), a café that serves breakfast ALL DAY I knew I had to go. Take a look at the menu online and you’ll see what I mean and if you’re still not convinced read a few reviews and I promise you will be running to join the queue of people waiting to enter the small yellow café. Feeling hungry? Tuck into a full English or try the pancakes as I’ve heard the portion sizes are huge. Adventurous? How about some Huevos Rancheros or the Chorizo Hash Brown combo? Vegetarian? Not a problem as there are veggie options. Health freak? Why are you reading this? Well…there are real fruit smoothies to cleanse your system (and soul) plus fruit salad and muesli options too. The food choices seem endless and overeating is inevitable.

It was 3 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and I had led some of my ‘Northern friends’ on a Politics and Royalties tour around London. We were frozen – I couldn’t feel my fingers…or legs… – and our energy levels were wearing thin. I had sent one of the girls the menu of this place a few days previously and we had agreed that it was a necessary stop on our tourist adventure. We jumped on the tube toward Tottenham Court Road and thanks to Google maps (gotta love smart phones) we found ourselves about five groups back in the queue for The Breakfast Club. I had read the reviews and was forewarned about the wait but little did we know that we would be stood for an hour and a half (!!!) to be seated. It was worth it. About an hour went by until we were in front of the yellow entrance door and by this point it was too late to admit defeat. In the words of one of my friends; “we needed to beat the establishment”.

looking smug/cold

I am ashamed to admit that we spent more time queuing than we did inside. Some brief persuasion from my friends assured me that ordering the All American (eggs, sausage, potatoes, bacon, pancakes and bottomless maple syrup) was “acceptable”.  The waiter advised us all that we should eat the savoury foods first, all except the bacon and then cover our pancakes with maple syrup. It was heavenly. It may have been freezing outside but inside I was toasty. My belly was smiling. Naturally I accompanied my breakfast with a cup of tea. I think we all felt quite guilty at the feast we had just devoured and so each of us ordered a fruit smoothie to make us feel better. I had an apple, orange, carrot and ginger drink, which I am hoping counteracted the ‘heart attack’ I’d eaten. You could taste the goodness. I believe we walked out of The Breakfast Club glowing…or waddling…

I feel like I have just re-lived the experience. I write this blog post not only for my own self-indulgence but to recommend the all-day Breakfast Club to each and every one of you ICLC students. If you can endure a wait – start queuing before hunger strikes – once you are inside I promise the café will redeem itself. The waiters are attentive and friendly, the décor is uber-cool (too cool for Jess) and the food, as I think I have expressed quite clearly is literally to die for.  So next time you are wondering where to go after staying up all night finishing a last minute essay or happen to be frequenting the ‘posh’ Primark at Tottenham Court Road I encourage you to try out The Breakfast Club. Just don’t go too often or you may find your pants feeling a little tighter and your cholesterol levels soaring.

PURE JOY on a plate.

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