Simpson's-in-the-Strand, Covent Garden
020 7836 9112
by Blake Pudding
After being accused of miserliness by a disgruntled reader I decided to repair my bruised ego by taking breakfast at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand. I took along my much put-upon assistant Laura and London’s most notorious hypochondriac John O’ Connell. I arrived late and hungover having spent the night hobnobbing with right-wing socialites at the Spectator’s summer party. The moment I staggered through the revolving door a pretty Russian with an accent that could turn Elton John straight asked me if I was Mr Pudding. She then showed me to my table where my guests awaited me.
The breakfast menu was extensive, taking in the full English, pastries, porridge, fruit, kippers and the like. But in surroundings this old-fashioned I think only a fool (or a foreigner) would order anything other than kedgeree. When it arrived it brought back memories of the colonial childhood I never had. It was gooey and beautifully spiced like a kind of Anglo-Indian risotto and it came with lavish amounts of lightly smoked haddock. The hard-boiled eggs, however, were overcooked. My companions went for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (are they fools or foreigners?). Both seemed happy with theirs, though I think John muttered something about his eggs being on the cool side.
The bill including service, juices and teas was about £50. This does seem very expensive but bear in mind that we could have had fruit salads and pastries too, as they were included in the price of our mains. The mains themselves were designed for our increasingly chubby transatlantic cousins; I did not need to eat again until supper. So if you are a generous sort with a generous appetite then Simpson's is the perfect place to breakfast.