The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Breakfast Club, Soho

The Breakfast Club
33 D'Arblay St
Soho
W1F
020 7434 2571

by Poppy Tartt

I’d dreamed of The Breakfast Club. This, surely, was breakfast-Mecca: its name, its concept, its jouissance. But no.

My companion was my dear old Uncle Feather. Feather is easily rattled and the shock of the menu was very great: The Breakfast Club does not serve a proper English breakfast. How I longed for the simplicity of such establishments as ‘Chicken and Rib’ or ‘Pizza Time’. This place, I said to Feather firmly, will not be getting my vote for The Ronseal Tell It Like It Is Award. Mercy, no, said Feather.

My poor uncle, desperate to have his breakfast any which way, opted for the Breakfast Wrap, yet another meal that fashion has seen fit to snatch from its plate and roll up in a pancake. It arrived, an attractive cross section of pale colours, screaming with nutrition. But to me the ubiquitous Wrap is the enemy of diversity. It rolled into town like a tortillo typhoon some time ago, wrapping up everything in its wake, slashing the very bread from sandwiches.

Out of sheer desperation I chose the ‘Healthy Brekky’: cereal, toast, tea and orange juice. I did not want orange juice – but the tiniest venture off menu led the staff to form a huddle and thence an unyielding wall. You must pay full price nonetheless, they insisted cheerily. Further entreaties were deflected like so many rays of sun by a jaunty visor.

All in all, there is something bleakly Neighbours about the BC, putting it rather at odds with its Soho location. Predictably they do produce excellent smoothies, a word I can hardly bear to pronounce. But with no smoking throughout and a freakishly healthy vibe, this place should be peddling its vitamins on a beach in Australia somewhere, not knocking on the door of London’s dirty heart.

13 Comments:

Blogger Tolerant Brit said...

Well, Poppy dear, this is shocking. I was going to try exactly this place when next passing.

It's difficult to say which is worse, the lack of breakfast or the hopes of a breakfast dashed.

In general, though, so scrumptiously munchy are the LRB reviews, that I can almost treat them as a meal substitute.

BW
TB

11:54 AM, May 20, 2006  
Anonymous The Brekky Club said...

Guys - if you want an English Breakfast just ask. It's all there, but like the Da Vinci code, you just have to follow the clues. (Pork and Leek sausages, eggs, bacon big fat granary toast and beans) Popps and Uncle Feather hope to see you soon and if we do we will give you one on the house.

Sorry about the neighbours feel - we're children of the 80's. Personally was more of a home and away man.

Regards
Jonathan
The Brekky Club

11:53 AM, May 31, 2006  
Anonymous Poppy Tartt said...

Dear Jonathan,

No doubt there are all sorts of things are available under the counter in Soho, but I never suspected an English breakfast would be one of them! If you let us in on your secret handshake, Feather and I would be delighted to partake of your free brekky - does it come in a brown paper bag?

Love, Poppy

1:15 PM, May 31, 2006  
Blogger Doug said...

I love the Breakfast Club's sandwiches (their sausage one is particularly good) but I noticed recently they have put their prices up - otherwise I would wholeheartedly recommend it. I agree that the staff need a good prod now and then to whip them into action though, laidback is all well and good but there is a limit to one's patience...

4:02 AM, July 14, 2006  
Anonymous Bruncher said...

I second those comments regarding the smoothies and the breakfast ciabatta with sausage... both fantastic.

Would also add the staff were most pleasant, and the lack of stinky smokers an added bonus.

In terms of criticism, they're a little short on seating and might benefit from bit better food presentation.

7:00 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Mindthegap said...

Here's my take on the Great Fry.

http://27ways.ca/english_breakfast.htm

Including a couple of places where I used to go to enjoy the best meal of the day.

Robert

6:25 AM, August 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to the Breakfast Club in Angel and was so impressed with the American breakfasts I took my husband to the Original BC in Soho to treat him to the same.

Much to my horror the menu is a fraction of the one at Angel and 'Reggie the Veggie' my vegetarian breakfast was so bad I wished I hadn't bothered. The sausages were stodgy and unpalatable and don't even get me started on the snotty eggs !!

Almost made up for by the smoothie and huge cup of tea, but not nearly enough to justify the price tag of just under £20 !!

No room for feedback as they don't seem to be interested, but on the plus side our order arrived quickly - at least we were able to make a hasty exit !

12:32 PM, November 26, 2007  
Anonymous Hungry Harry said...

Sadly have to agree with above comments regarding woeful vegetarian breakfast and service. Having waited an age for food to arrive, despite being the sole customers, our party was treated to lacklustre fare topped by inedible veggie 'sausages'(salted stodge). In a spirit of helpfulness I offered that the sausages were extremely salty, to be greeted with a curt "Yes, they are". So that's alright then...

12:11 PM, September 09, 2008  
Anonymous Tim said...

Good Job! :)

8:27 AM, September 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All too tradgically true. Very disappointing place. And slow to boot.

7:44 PM, November 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went to the Breakfast Club in Soho for breakfast, and thought it was rubbish. Incredibly slow and inattentive service - although the waitress seemed friendly enough when she did appear - and my bacon and egg sandwich was very uninspiring. The bacon was limp and the egg overcooked, and the smoothie took a small lifetime to arrive. Give it a miss.

10:47 AM, March 04, 2009  
Anonymous Muse Lee said...

I have to say that I'm shocked by some of these comments, as I've never been anything but delighted with The Breakfast Club. I'm also a trifle mystified by the perceived lack of a full-English; perhaps Poppy made that old but fatal error, oft lamented by many a failed eleven-plus candidate, of not turning her paper (or in this case, menu) over. Anyway, from doorstep granary toast, via steaming bowls of porridge topped with fruit and honey, to the promised land of aforementioned FEB or the positive nirvana of pancakes and maple, The Breakfast Club has never bought anything but a small tear of joy, and possibly even a discrete but complimentary belch, to this petit dejeuneur. True, the service can be a little chaotic, and my friend once found a small patch of mould on the crust of her toast, but this was met with the sort of scrambling apologies and promises of replacement breakfasts/complimentary coffees/marriage and several children, that can't fail to be endearing. As for the 'Neighbours' comment, all I can say is if, whilst breakfasting, I happened to bump into Paul Robinson bemoaning the slow trade at 'Lassiters', or even Charlene with news of her upcoming wedding, I might well think that I had actually died and gone to heaven. Keep up the good work Jonathan!!!

10:34 AM, March 28, 2009  
Anonymous Breakfast Club Essay said...

well post, i was looking the same for my breakfast club essay help.

Essay on Breakfast Club

8:16 PM, October 24, 2010  

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