a city through the eyes of a girl who's not sure how she ended up here

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Brunching at The Breakfast Club, Soho

Sunday mornings in the city are all about breakfast.  No rushed slice of toast as you dash out of the door to work, no hastily munched bowl of cereal eaten standing up as you do your make-up.  At the weekends we have time to sit and drink decent coffee and eat full plates of breakfasty goodness.  But after a hard week at work we sometimes can't be bothered to do the percolating and frying ourselves, so we go out to breakfast (or if we're sleepy, maybe a later brunch.)
Whilst mediocre cafes are two-a-penny and can be found in pretty much any area of London, with their greasy table tops and burnt coffee, a good venue for breakfast is far harder to find.  You need somewhere with enough space to seat more than two very closely acquainted people, decent coffee, decent juice, tasty breakfast (anywhere with plentiful pancakes wins my undying patronage) and speedy service.  Nothing makes you want to eat your copy of The Sunday Times sports section like an hour-long wait for a bowl of muesli and yogurt. 

On the hunt for the perfect venue, I had heard wonderful things about a place called "The Breakfast Club".  Now with four branches across the capital, the original cafe sits cheerily on D'Arblay Street in Soho, painted bright sunflower yellow. However every time I had attempted to breakfast there I and my breakfasting companions had been met by a lengthy, slow-moving queue of people with a similar idea, and we had given up and headed elsewhere.  But this morning I finally stuck out the queue long enough to earn at table at D'Arblay Street, and it was definitely worth it.
Inside the vibe of the 1985 film of the same name (which I may be one of the only people in the world to have hated with a passion) filters through the cafe.  Americana is affixed to a bare brick wall that runs along one side of the cafe.  Chic mismatched chairs and wooden tables crowd a fairly small space, which made maneuvering into our table something of a limbo challenge.  But once seated we were swiftly provided with menus groaning with breakfast options.  You want eggs?  They do them any way you could possibly imagine eating them.  You want pancakes?  Just say what you'd like inside them, alongside plenty of maple syrup obviously.  The cafe serves lunch and dinner too, but rather nicely given its name, breakfasts are the speciality of this eatery.
The Accidental pal I ate with and I both chose pancakes; hers were topped with berries and a wonderful dollop of vanilla cream, whilst mine sandwiched perfectly crispy streaky bacon.  As they should be, all their pancakes are doused in maple syrup, but not too much to saturate the fluffy pancakes.  The coffee was excellent (Antipodeans can delight in the fact that The Breakfast Club even knows what a Flat White is), and the service was with a genuine smile (and an unexpected kilt!).  Aware of the hungry queue outside the door we did not linger overly long once we were finished, but were not exactly chased away by the wait-staff who seemed capable and unfazed by the popularity of their little place.  As we left, an hour or so after we arrived, those in search of eggs, sausage, hash browns et al were still arriving in D'Arblay Street.  Long may the queue continue to grow.  Except when I am in urgent need of breakfast.

Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

  1. Those pancakes look amazing! I'm so close to dribbling right now it's unreal. MUST visit this place!!

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  2. It looks really nice. Thanks for the tip. As for me, I like a week-end's breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien. Have you tried it yet?

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  3. Best pancakes I've eaten this side of the Atlantic Ocean, Twad-dler! Go and indulge...

    I have indeed tried Le Pain, MuMuGB, but have been frustrated by the rather inattentive staff, which makes for rather a slow, hungry wait for one's food. Maybe I should give them another try.

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  4. I ate there on Sunday around noon! It was delicious!

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  5. Automat's in Mayfair is also a great brunch spot.

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