There’s nothing quite like starting the weekend off with a good breakfast, is there? Whether that be in bed with the newspapers, at a local coffee shop, or somewhere further afield. An indulgent breakfast is a great way to celebrate the start of two days of freedom and mop up the excesses of the night before.
There are some great places to go for breakfast in London but the one that always stands out for me is Bistrotheque. Hidden away in an old warehouse in Bethnal Green you’d be forgiven for missing it completely. In fact, I almost did the first time I visited; there’s no sign outside and it was only the sound of clattering dishes and cutlery that drew my attention to this little East End eatery as I wandered by after visiting the Vintage Furniture Flea.
Tucked away through a side entrance, the restaurant is located on the first floor and can only be described as trendy. Lots of white tiled walls, concrete flooring and exposed metal beams. Teamed with the original warehouse windows this creates a sense of industrial chic that suits this part of London and embraces the starkness of its surroundings.
The customers are a mixed bunch – on our last visit we were seated next to some American tourists on one side and a woman wearing a fedora and dark glasses on the other. I imagine this is the sort of place you might spot a celebrity or two but its understated sense of cool is more than enough to deter you from partaking in any opportunistic selfies – and, anyway, you’ll be far too busy Instagramming your food to care.
So far, so good – we have industrial, we have hip, we have (potential) celebrities. Oh, and there was even a cute little dog in the bar area – but what’s the actual food like? Well firstly it’s not cheap but given that this is London the prices are pretty reasonable. You’re looking at £12.50 for a full English and £2.50 for a coffee. You can also indulge in a cocktail or two if you’re feeling particularly wild. Personally even a filter coffee is a bit much for me in the mornings so I shamelessly settled for a nice cup of tea and some French toast with bacon. The husband went for Eggs Florentine and a coffee and we were both more than satisfied with our choices. In fact I still think of that soft, sugary bread and crispy bacon on a regular basis…Definitely one of the best I’ve tried. Veggies, look away now…
The husband commented that the poached eggs were a little on the solid side but the food was tasty nonetheless. It was served quickly, presented beautifully, and our waiter was friendly and helpful. I asked for French toast instead of the menu choice of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and this was no problem.
There’s a pianist from around midday which creates a lovely atmosphere and there’s a wide selection of newspapers to hide behind whilst spying on the menu choices of those around you. (Be warned: Food envy will occur). Keep in mind that it does get busy so try to book in advance and expect to give up your table after 90 minutes. They open at 11:00 so we’re really talking brunch rather than breakfast but if you’re anything like me you’ll agree that dragging yourself out of bed any time before 11am on a weekend is just ungodly.
This would be a great place to visit before a day out in London, particularly if you fancy a wander around the nearby Brick Lane with its independent shops and vintage market.
Where do you like to visit for breakfast in London? Are there any other tucked away gems like this one, just waiting to be discovered? Let me know!