“Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life” – A A Gill
26 August 2020
Seabird at The Hoxton, Southwark
Seabird sits on the 14th floor of The Hoxton hotel in Southwark, the latest addition to The Hoxton’s folio of hip boutique boltholes. The rooftop restaurant has been designed by the team behind Williamsburg’s acclaimed Maison Premiere and serves a similarly cool combo of oysters and atmosphere. Settle in among piles of velvet cushions and wafting palms and enjoy panoramic views over London, with the Thames, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's and The Shard all in scope. The brunch offering spans lavish seafood platters and charcuterie boards, as well as Mediterranean small plates, accented by Portuguese and Spanish flavours. There are no less than five Bloody Mary cocktail options, as well as a zesty marmalade-infused Bucks Fizz. Dishes are served on Instagram-perfect marble tables, adorned with a chic scallop-shell pattern.
Time: Currently every Sunday 11am-3pm
Location: The Hoxton, Southwark, 40 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8PB
Closest Station: Southwark
B&H Garden Room, Clerkenwell
Following the success of its Clerkenwell brasserie, last year Bourne & Hollingsworth opened a biophilic breakfast spot with floor-to-ceiling windows in a building that most Londoners don’t even know exists. Just far enough from Leicester Square, where overpriced restaurants tend to cater to clueless tourists, the laidback Garden Room is on the 10th floor of the Assembly Hotel, and offers respite from the ticket-touts and selfie-takers below. Unlike some of the city’s loftiest dining spaces, the Garden Room doesn’t seem to charge extra to eat and drink at its prime piece of real estate – which means you can spend a bright, leisurely morning here ordering fresh miniature patisserie, vegan drop scones and seasonal smoothie bowls beneath a canopy of greenery. Gather a group or go it alone – there’s enough to keep you occupied from the inspiring interiors to the city street view below.
Time: Saturday and Sunday weekend brunch menu, 10am-4pm
Location: Bourne & Hollingsworth Garden Room, 10th floor above Assembly Hotel, 31 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0LS
Closest Station: Leicester Square
Darwin Brasserie, Sky Garden, The City
One of the three restaurants and bars found at Sky Garden, the public viewing gallery at the top of the Walkie-Talkie, Darwin Brasserie occupies a mezzanine floor set back from the skyscraper’s enormous exhibition windows. The restaurant is a simple, stylish space, encased in its own glass box. It offers views of The Shard and the Southbank, which are pretty spectacular.
The top of the breakfast menu is lined with three drink options – a Bellini, Mimosa or good-old-fashioned Champagne. Well, when in Rome (by which we mean the City). You can choose to share a muffin basket or charcuterie and cheese selection before the menu moves onto a list of signature dishes, including smashed avocado toast, the Full English and a vegan option thereof. Other highlights include a stack of buttermilk pancakes, coconut quinoa porridge and the usual assortment of egg-based favourites.
Time: Reopening Saturday and Sunday from 29 August from 8am. Also open Bank Holiday Monday (31 August)
Location: Level 36 Sky Garden, 20 Philpot Lane, London EC3M 8AF
Closest station: Monument and Bank
Ting at Shangri-La, The Shard, London Bridge
Occupying levels 34 to 52 of the 95-storey The Shard is the Shangri-La, the second European property (after Paris) from the Hong Kong-based hospitality group. The hotel’s signature restaurant and bar, Ting, takes its name from the Chinese word for 'living room'. It’s located on level 35 and offers hands-down the best view of any of London’s skyscraper-restaurants (the next best vista is seen from Sky Garden).
The Ting Breakfast (as lofty as the restaurant itself at £34) is a sumptuous Western and Asian buffet that spans from yoghurts and cereals to noodles and curries. Alternatively, you can opt for the Full English. It’ll set you back £22, but that’s three quid less than the View from the Shard, a harried, human-conveyor-belt of an experience that doesn’t come with a serving of baked beans and black pudding.
Time: Daily from 6.30am-12midday
Location: Shangri-La, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU
Closest Station: London Bridge
Duck & Waffle, The City
Perhaps not best suited for acrophobics, a visit to Duck & Waffle begins with a speedy ear-popping ride to the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate. If you can handle the height, the views will be worth it: perched in the heart of Square Mile, the building has one of the best vistas this side of The Shard. Short of whipping out your binoculars, opt for a window seat for a chance to spy on revellers in the neighbouring Gherkin. Scott’s and The Ned alumni Elliot Grover heads up the kitchen, where he cooks up British-European dishes based around an all-day dining concept. Don’t miss the restaurant’s namesake waffle dish, a crispy duck leg confit served with a fried egg and lashings of mustard maple syrup.
Time: Daily from 6am-10:30am
Location: Duck & Waffle, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Closest Station: Liverpool Street
Portrait Gallery Restaurant, Piccadilly
The Portrait Restaurant's celebrated views stretch from Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, with such close proximity to the sites you don’t even have to take out a pair of binoculars. Plentiful and courteous staff waft around the lofty space, serving breakfast classics such as chargrilled hanger steak with fried egg, grilled kippers on buttered toast and buttermilk pancakes. And if the view isn't enough, then there are more than 215,000 works of art to peruse below.
Time: Daily from 10am-11:30am
Location: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE
Closest Station: Charing Cross, Leicester Square