I’ve noted before that I’m willing to go to some lengths to get a decent breakfast; for example, braving the wilds of Holloway Road to get to Assiette Anglaise, though if they don’t start introducing a French attitude to child discipline to go along with their French cuisine, I may have to reconsider.
That said, travelling to Holloway Road in the morning isn’t actually that big a deal. Anyone likely to stab me probably isn’t even out of bed yet, and there’s a bus that takes me from just outside my flat almost to the door of the restaurant.
Hawksmoor Guildhall, though. Breakfast is only served Monday to Friday and only between 7am and 10am. Guildhall is in the heart of The City which means to reach it during those hours on those days I have to travel with the hordes of dead-eyed suits heading to Moorgate and whatnot for a busy day of emotional self-harm and Pret sandwiches eaten forlornly at the desk as their reflection stares back at them, its gaze silently wondering just exactly when their dreams died. Also, Monday to Friday means I can only eat here when I’m on holiday, because unlike most of the people who work in The City, I actually have a job to do.
This, then, is clearly a restaurant that knows its market, and that market doesn’t include me; I don’t even have a mortgage of my own, let alone hundreds to recklessly gamble with. Usually when I’ve managed to visit the clientele has been heavily male, all wearing suits, all with nasty, braying laughs and Basildon tones and each one competing against the rest to be the most obnoxious, the loudest, the blokiest, and in the end all really just to compensate for what I assume are hilariously tiny genitals.
But, enough of these financial workers and their vestigial gonads; I want to discuss a different type of sausage. The menu is, frankly, absurd, and reads like a feast scene from a Dickens novel. Plum pudding bacon, steak and eggs, potato farls, short-rib bubble & squeak, smoked salmon, Manx kippers, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, mutton sausages, pancakes with roasted plums, porridge with syrup, plum and cream doughnuts and even a Lobster Benedict for £35, for Christ’s sake. All that’s missing are some starving, snub-nosed orphans pressing their faces up against the glass; I suppose the people who eat here have legions of underage Chinese workers at their beck and call though, so they’re there in spirit.
The food is amazing and the portions are usually intimidating; the quality of the ingredients is about as good as it gets. So, while Hawksmoor Guildhall is a City restaurant serving a City breakfast for City people, it may also be providing the best breakfast in London, and that makes it worth the effort.
10 Basinghall Street