5 Full English Breakfasts to Kick-Start Your Day

By Mary Anne Evans  |  December 4, 2013

Sometimes, a smoothie won't cut it. A proper full English breakfast - in all its meaty glory - will fuel you up for the morning, if not the entire day. Here's where to get your fix in five different neighbourhoods.

  • City of London: Duck and Waffle

    Tear your eyes away from the mind-boggling panoramic view from the 40th floor of one of London’s new skyscrapers, and order either the full English or a just-as-patriotic smoked finnan haddock with hash browns and mustard cream. Many of the financial movers and shakers around you will be tucking into the signature dish that gives the restaurant its name, but they’ve been working all night, so crispy duck leg confit with dried duck egg and mustard maple syrup makes the perfect end to a busy day. 

    110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY; 020 3640 7310

  • Covent Garden: Simpson’s in the Strand

    The Grand Divan’s Bill of Fare (not menu, note) fits with the Edwardian decor of London’s clubbiest restaurant. You can go for smoked haddock kedgeree from the days of the British Empire, but English breakfast experts usually opt for the Ten Deadly Sins, which adds liver, fried bread, bubble and squeak, and baked beans to the order. 

    100 Strand, WC2R 0EW; 020 7836 9112

  • Clerkenwell: Bistrot Bruno Loubet

    Bruno Loubet might be an ace French chef, but he cooks a mean English breakfast for the hipsters of Clerkenwell. The spacious, light dining room wrapped around a long curved bar buzzes with early media types and creative birds ordering ‘The Works’. Free-range eggs, bacon smoked over sweet applewood, a Cumberland sausage of rare quality, black pudding (with a whiff of the more potent French boudin noir about it), tomatoes and mushrooms are the order of the day from a menu delightfully decorated with a chicken perched on top of a steaming coffee pot. What else?

    86-88 Clerkenwell Rd., EC1M 5RJ; 020 7324 4455

  • City of London: Hawksmoor Guildhall

    After the rigours of a night trading millions, busy bankers in the City of London revive themselves at Hawksmoor Guildhall. The uncompromising vaulted, brick-walled industrial-style decor is the perfect background for the uncompromising breakfast of smoked bacon chop, sausages (made especially for them by the famed Ginger Pig company), black pudding, bubble and squeak, grilled bone marrow, baked beans, fried eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes. Topping it all off is a large dollop of gravy made with that must-have British staple, HP sauce.

    10 Basinghall St., EC2V 5BQ; 020 7397 8120

  • Soho: Breakfast Club

    Diners at the Breakfast Club have a pretty wide choice; with a name like that, there’s every option from the ultrahealthy to the downright indulgent like the Full Monty, which is just what the doctor would not order. Or you could remember your doctor’s orders and go for the Half Monty of bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, tomato and toasted bloomer at £8. The great-value venue is as far from the posh Establishment venues as you can get: it's more in the greasy-spoon mould with rough walls covered in postcards and photographs of dodgy staff celebrations. But this is Soho, not Mayfair.

    D'Arblay St., W1F 8EU; 020 7434 2571