There’s nothing like a good brunch to set the weekend straight. And when you see a statement as assuring as the one outside The Breakfast Club’s Spitalfields outpost and a whimsical, neon-red sign inside promising ‘Sex, Drugs and Bacon rolls’, you really start to believe it’s going to be a great day even before walking in…
Whereas many chains often deteriorate in quality as they grow, I’m convinced that the Breakfast Club’s franchise has actually gotten better as they’ve expanded out of their original Soho hub. With branches across Shoreditch, Angel and now Spitalfields as well, the decor has gotten increasingly chic and the operation seems far more slick relative to my prior visit at TBC’s Shoreditch branch in early 2010. Although there was a short queue building up when we turned up just before noon in the midst of a bustling Sunday service, tables were turned over relatively quickly and my neighbour-cum-brunch-buddy JL and myself were seated after a 5 minute wait.
If it’s a refined, superbly cooked brunch you are after, you will probably fare better at Hawksmoor or the Modern Pantry. But where TBC lack in quality, they more than make up for in buzzy ambience as well as variety of food. The wide-ranging menu here is unchanged from their other branches, offering everything under the sun from Pancakes, to your Classic Full English to Huevos Rancheros even. Their Bloody Mary and coffees are also pretty decent for those nursing a hangover or needing a pick-me-up.
Craving a full-blown NY-style brunch of Pancakes, Bacon, Sausages, Eggs and Hash, I stuck to their All-American which I’ve had a couple of times before. Even though the hash was a wee bit greasy and poached eggs a tad overdone, I still thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my plate. Although, I must admit, I was properly envious of JL’s glorious looking French toast with Bacon and Bananas (something I’ll definitely be ordering next time I’m back here).
Just when I was finishing up my food though, I was slightly baffled when I noticed one of the waiters opening the door of their vintage Smeg fridge, then disappearing like Houdini himself through the wall with a group of customers!
And no, I wasn’t drunk or losing my mind. It’s just that the people who designed the place decided: ‘hey… there’s a retro looking fridge… let’s stick a Secret Bar behind it!’. An ingenious idea if you ask me which adds to the psychedelic buzz of the place. If you enquire with one of the staff they will happily lead you through the mysterious door for a drink if the bar isn’t jam-packed…
With grub coming up to a tenner each, it was an exceptionally good day after all. And though I didn’t end up visiting the Secret Bar on this occasion (it was far too early to start drinking that Sunday morning), it gives plenty of reason to revisit outside of brunch hours for a bit of a tipple.
Any one have a retro ol’ Smeg fridge for sale =)?
12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS, Spitalfields | www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com |