There are a couple of interesting breakfast venues in Westminster, both are tourist attractions in their own way. The first and most well known is The Regency Cafe, recently seen on BBC 2 in Michel Roux’s Service, and the other is The Riverside Cafe on Lambeth Pier. The little hut that houses that cafe has made a few TV appearances too, mainly in the background when a great view of Parliament is required, last spotted in Doctor Who – Rise of the Cybermen.
This is well worth a visit for the atmosphere alone, it’s just full of character. You will most likely need to queue for service, alongside the local workmen, businessmen and tourists, but the small team that man this place are very efficient and the queue moves quickly. The place in a strange way was reminiscent of Inopia in Barcelona, especially when the orders are called out by the women with the amazing voice (a tourist attraction in its own right!).
We had the Full English breakfast with Hash Browns and Black Pudding as extras. Not a healthy breakfast option that’s for sure. This place is often described as a Greasy Spoon Cafe, but the breakfast was far from greasy, the eggs were very tidily presented on the plate, the bacon and sausage though were a little heavy on the salt for my taste. I could almost feel a coronary coming on. I liked the way they sold Orange Juice in a milk bottle, might go for that next time along with the Eggs Benedict they were advertising – less dangerous to my circulation!
This is under new management, and they have given the old hut an effective make over with new flooring and seating, a central table and other nice touches like the modern mirror and flower displays. There is not a huge amount of space, about 10 seats inside and maybe a bit more outside. It attracts the tourists due to its location I am sure, but the staff are also friendly and helpful. They seem not to mind being asked for directions or information on the river boat trips. This is a much more relaxing/quieter venue than The Regency Cafe. I accidently dropped my coat on the floor and the staff quickly picked it up for me, which was a nice touch, in most venues of this type it would go unnoticed.
Here we ordered an Omelette with Chips and a Full English breakfast (which came with Hash Browns, Bacon, Sausage, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Beans and 2 slices of Toast – it was a big breakfast). Coffee was extra. The cost of breakfast here is more expensive than The Regency. I have to admit though that I enjoyed this one more.