The Luxe, Spitalfields
109 Commercial Street,
020 7101 1751
by Sunni Sidup
One of the things that I like best about Saturday morning breakfasts is the routine of dividing and reading the paper. Sarah gets the self-torture out of the way early by reading the Work section first. I start with the magazine and then swap with Kate for the Review, and Raoul goes straight for the news, dictating the world’s events to me as I salivate over Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s latest recipe. Sport is ignored entirely, and it takes a particularly long and lingering breakfast for the Family section to make an appearance. We can be quiet like this for hours, with only the crunching of toast and the trickle of tea to disturb us.
Not so at The Luxe, recently opened in Spitalfields market. Sat beneath a speaker blaring electronic remixes of generic British boy bands, the music is so loud that I’m having trouble discerning if I ever actually left last night’s party. Time is also against us. It seems that half of East London has come to sample the new local, and so the waiters fuss around us, clearing our plates before we can even put our forks down. It’s evident that we’re wanted out, and I’m not even halfway through the Review yet.
For £5.50 the vegetarian breakfast is generous and well-priced: eggs, beans, bubble and squeak, mushrooms, tomatoes, veggie sausage and toast all vie for attention on the same plate. The toast is soggy on the bottom but overall no one complains too much. I opt for poached eggs on toast with bacon and am similarly disappointed with my limp and unappealing slice of white bread. The poached eggs make up for it somewhat with solid white exteriors and gushing yolky goodness, and the bacon is cooked to a crispy perfection.
I am in need of caffeine and order a tea and an espresso coffee, and I am disappointed with both. The tea comes in a mug with the bag still in. As someone who usually drinks her tea black, I am dismayed that the brew (or should I say stew?) is totally undrinkable without milk. The lukewarm and bitter espresso is also a let-down. Despite my fatigue and its diminutive size, I cannot get it all down.
Having only been open a mere few weeks, I’m willing to put my gripes down to teething issues and return to The Luxe at a later date. Open until 11pm and serving as a bar as well as a restaurant, perhaps it's best to enjoy this place from lunchtime onwards, and leave the breakfast papers at home.