The Soho branch was the first of The Breakfast Club café. After success in the west they moved east and now have three other locations in Angel, Hoxton and Spitalfields. A little yellow cafe tucked behind Oxford Street, it is the type of place that you would have to know about to find, but the queue out the door is testament enough to the power of word of mouth.
My friend and I arrived at 10.30am and waited for about half an hour for a table for two – a larger group might be waiting longer (you can’t book a table for brunch). The food comes quickly though, so you won’t be waiting once you’re inside. I was also impressed at not being rushed out after we had finished eating. We were sat on a table with another couple, but we were asked if we minded first and it was far from cramped. There is one thing to be said for waiting in the queue – it makes the food taste even better once it’s in front of you.
Inside, the décor is bright, eclectic and homely, with memorabilia and photos on the walls and flowers on the tables. The atmosphere and the staff are friendly and relaxed – considering how busy they were, I was impressed with the service (memories of my own waitressing days remind me of how much I sincerely hated the general public during rush hours).
Breakfast is a meal about which I feel quite strongly, and the fare did not disappoint. We both had the All American Pancakes; pancakes with maple syrup, eggs, sausage, bacon and hashbrowns (although ours both came with fried potatoes instead; not something I minded, but Clare was devastated). The food was good quality and not too greasy; just right. Both of us easily polished the whole thing off, along with our coffees.
Also on the menu are full English breakfasts, healthier options for those keen on getting their five-a-day, wraps and sandwiches, French toast, Eggs Benedict alongside other ‘eggulars’ and a variety of smoothies, juices and shakes. Brunch is served from 9am until 5pm and there is also a lunch and dinner menu. The other three branches also serve alcohol and the Soho branch allows BYOB.
The verdict matches the reputation – a warm, comfortable environment with great food. The minor queues to get a table were not an issue (although – shockingly – it was not raining when I visited) and the service was speedy once we got inside. Most certainly somewhere I will brunch in the future.
The Breakfast Club
33 D’Arblay Street
Tel: 020 7434 2571