Whether sitting down for business meetings or bottomless brunches, decadent menus are always the order of the day in Mayfair and St James’s. Two of London’s most prestigious quarters, well-heeled Londoners start their day in style here with eggs topped with caviar, seafood specials and morning mocktails. Here are the best brunches and breakfasts in Mayfair and St James’s to book now.
45 Jermyn St, St James’s
For old-school elegance in modern-day London, head to 45 Jermyn St: the Fortnum & Mason-owned restaurant in the heart of historic St James’s. Park up on a terracotta chair and fill up on Welsh rarebit, Burford Brown scrambled eggs topped with white truffles, and crumpets with Marmite and fried duck eggs. The Bloody Mary menu is next level, with no less than five iterations, including a Hinomaru Mary with a Japanese twist.
45 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6JD, visit 45jermynst.com
The Wolseley, Mayfair
Breakfast at The Wolseley is so good that A.A. Gill wrote a book about it (look for the lobster and caviar omelette named after him on the menu). The Piccadilly institution is next door to The Ritz and serves modern European cuisine, plus all the classics including bacon rolls, muesli and a Full English. Select from signatures of grilled kippers with mustard butter, devilled lamb kidneys, The Wolseley fishcake with a poached egg and hollandaise, and fried haggis with duck eggs and whisky sauce. On arrival, accept the maître d’s offer of a newspaper: it comes in handy when a celeb walks in and you want to ogle with some degree of subtlety.
160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB, visit thewolseley.com
Smartly positioned on Burlington Gardens opposite the Royal Academy of Arts, this Soho House-owned, all-day restaurant is a permanently buzzing media industry favourite. Punchy green leather furnishings nod to Cecconi’s Italian heritage, while the menu sticks to the classics and does them well: avocado and poached eggs on toast, ham and cheese omelettes or a Full English spread (with a vegetarian option available), washed down with a selection of cold-pressed juices, including green, carrot, ginger and berry.
5A Burlington Gardens, W1S 3EP, visit cecconis.co.uk
The behemoth Sketch on Conduit Street excels at every hour of the day, including breakfast. The morning meal is served within the picturesque and theatrical surrounds of Glade, the rococo-style velvet lounge with a découpage forest backdrop and a distinct moody glamour. While the decor is flamboyant, the menu is traditional, serving fresh fruit, pastries and eggs any way you like, with a range of toppings. Eggs are sourced from Cornwall’s St Ewe, and are served scrambled with feta cheese and fried mushrooms, or poached with rancheros sauce, guacamole, grilled tortilla and baked beans. Don't forget to visit the world-famous bathrooms, made up of glossy egg-shaped white cubicles.
9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG, visit sketch.london
Franco, St James’s
As continental as London gets, this Italian haunt has been a firm favourite of jet-setters, movie stars and chic Europeans for more than 60 years. We recommend grabbing a table outside for the full European experience, taking your morning slowly with a cup of coffee and a broadsheet. Choose between a typically continental breakfast – fruit, croissants, pastries, eggs – or a Full English. Prices are fairly reasonable, considering the area…
61 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6LX, visit francoslondon.com
A lack of signage makes this enigmatic restaurant hard to spot, but just look for the imperial yellow and blue frontage on Albemarle Street. Isabel is an offshoot of Notting Hill’s Casa Cruz, owned by Chilean investment banker-turned-restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz, and delivers high glamour, mixing Chinoiserie with 1970s disco-style decadence. The menu draws on Argentinean influences, served by waitstaff in custom outfits by Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz. The lavish bathrooms were made for Instagram selfies, beautifully decorated with hand-painted silk De Gournay wallpaper, featuring tactile Oriental gardens and tropical jungles.
Brunch, however, is only served on a Sunday – but it’s worth the wait. Menu highlights include English muffins topped with smoked salmon, poached egg and passion fruit hollandaise, homemade pancakes with banana, chantilly and chocolate sauce or maple syrup and Maldon oysters doused in shallot vinaigrette. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all…
6 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HY, visit isabelw1.london