Breakfast in Mayfair comes in many, reassuringly lavish forms. It’s the London neighbourhood where even the scrambled eggs come with a dollop of caviar and the notion of starting the day with a wagyu steak is very much on the menu. Even without a Mayfair bank balance, you can taste the lifestyle at one of these local spots.
The Wolseley has Mayfair’s best breakfast pastries
Opened in 2003, The Wolseley shares the same stretch of Piccadilly, Mayfair’s grand southern boulevard, as The Ritz. Its interiors evoke the London of the 1920s, and the service mirrors the busy thoroughfare outside, running full pelt from breakfast through to late-night snacks. By far the standout stars of the breakfast menu are the home-made viennoiseries. The renown of these French pastries, and the fact that Buckingham Palace is just a half-mile walk away, mean The Wolseley is solidly on the tourist trail, so reservations are advised.
CUT at 45 Park Lane is the European outpost of the steakhouses created by legendary chef Wolfgang Puck. Just as at his original restaurant in Beverly Hills, this Mayfair restaurant’s menu is a celebration of fish and meat, one conducted in luxurious surroundings and with attentive, whisper-quiet service. And no meat here enjoys quite as much fanfare as the Japanese wagyu. However, if you’re not quite feeling the whole breakfast-steak idea, you can go down a more traditional route with eggs, pancakes and french toast. At brunch, the tempura onion rings make an unexpectedly tasty addition to the scrambled eggs.
Breakfast milkshakes in London means a trip to the Riding House Café
Cafe, Restaurant, American, Dessert, $$$
The Riding House Café is an affordable breakfast spot that keeps its customers trendy by exposing them to new music and great art exhibitions. The milkshakes, particularly the hard shakes, are why you go here, and the reason you keep going back. If you’re struggling to choose, go for the Racer shake: a combination of espresso, bananas, milk and chocolate liqueur. The creamy, comforting kedgeree – a traditional British-Indian dish of curried rice, smoked fish, boiled eggs, parsley and lemon juice – is superb as is the (not so) appetisingly named burger and eggs benedict hybrid, burgerdict.
Founded in 1966, this historic restaurant is the place in London to eat salt beef. Located in the corner of the Selfridges food hall, you can chow down on a mid-morning sandwich not much smaller than your head while people-watching the department store’s glamorous clientele. The Brass Rail opens at 9.30am, which technically makes it more of a brunch spot, but breakfast items are served all day. So, if you’ve had a late night in one or more of Mayfair’s cocktail bars, you’re in luck.
Conduit Street’s sketch occupies an 18th-century townhouse a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus station. Filled with fine restaurants and bars, it’s a lively spot of a Mayfair evening. But, at breakfast, The Glade, a small bar area decorated to look like a sun-dappled forest, is a peaceful, intimate retreat in which to plan a day on the town. The french toast suzette, served with orange sorbet and caramel sauce, is the ultimate breakfast dessert.
Cecconi’s Italian Coffee will set you up for a day in Mayfair
Restaurant, Italian, British, $$$
The team at Cecconi’s know their beans, and theirs is the best coffee around. Pair a cup of rich black coffee with the eggs florentine in this Mayfair institution’s light-filled dining room and you have the beginnings of an exceptional London day. The ham and cheese omelette is another sure-fire breakfast option.
For a properly upmarket start to the day, look no further than Berners Tavern, awarded the GQ Best Restaurant Interior 2015 and AA Restaurant of the Year 2014. Breakfast is available from 7am during the week, making it perfect for early business meetings or for anyone looking to get a jump on the day. Under the direction of Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton, the restaurant delivers the best ham-hock croque monsieur in the city and a lovely roasted sweet potato, halloumi, poached egg and pine-nut pesto medley, served with sourdough bread from Borough Market.
All Day, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Nightlife, Arty, Gourmet, Cosy
Scrambled eggs and caviar at 45 Jermyn St is a classic Mayfair breakfast
Restaurant, British, $$$
Owned by department store and world-renowned purveyor of hampers Fortnum & Mason, 45 Jermyn Street is where you go for an authentically British breakfast experience. The kippers and crumpets are good shouts, though possibly not in combination, but the real day-maker is the scrambled eggs and caviar. Order this, and a caviar trolley – yes, a caviar trolley – will appear by your table in the blink of an eye. The range of bloody marys is another major draw. The Hinomaru Mary – Japanese gin, smoked salt, sriracha and rice wine vinegar – is particularly delicious.
For an Insta-friendly breakfast, try the açai bowls at Farm Girl @ Sweaty Betty
Restaurant, Healthy, Australian, $$$
Farm Girl, the Australian café chain with locations in Chelsea and Notting Hill, specialises in nourishing breakfasts. The offering is focussed on plant-based dishes that taste amazing and photograph beautifully – good morning, Instagram! The pink, shabby-chic tables, ample plant life and pretty little jars of wildflowers make it cosy and welcoming, and the friendly staff add to the chilled-out vibes. The açai bowls and avocado toast are just what you need to refuel your body (and your social-media game).