Archive for June, 2012

June Breakfast

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Back to the tavern theme for June … and this one claims an even bolder heritage than Simpson’s Tavern, pre-dating it by nine years if you believe their respective dates of origin.

Breakfasting venue: Bleeding Heart Tavern

Date of Breakfasting: Wednesday 13th June

Time: 8:00am – 8:45am

Nearest tube is:  Farringdon

Location:   Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8SJ

Named after Lady Elizabeth Hatton (who was found murdered here), this place has a long history, and a plethora of plaudits.  These both speak well enough for themselves that I have nothing to add to the following excerpts:

“The Tavern Bar on the corner of Bleeding Heart yard has had a history of conviviality stretching back to 1746, when its slogan was ‘drunk for a penny and dead drunk for two pence’”

“Bleeding hard to find .. but well worth it” – The New Yorker

“I doubt there’s a better venue in Europe” – The Guardian

“The Tavern is open for breakfast, with freshly squeezed orange juice, home–baked croissants and warm baguettes from Bleeding Heart’s own bakery and very generous Full English. The Tavern is licensed from 7am so, yes, you can have a glass of Champagne with your Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon.”

See you there!

The Cock Tavern (or not, as the case may be …)

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

A curious, but sad tale for the May breakfast … all was set for a glorious return to possibly the best located breakfast venue in the capital, the Cock Tavern beneath the hustle and bustle of Smithfields Market.  The freshest ingredients right on your doorstep (literally .. no, actually literally in this case); a ready supply of hungry market workers in need of a slap-up meal at the end of an early morning shift; a license to serve a refreshing pint alongside the vittals.  What could be a more perfect recipe for success, you might wonder?

Unfortunately some vital ingredient must be missing, because those unacquainted with the venue had a little difficulty in finding it as when we arrived all references to the Cock Tavern had been hastily covered up – on the building, the signboard and the menus (well, not quite all … but enough to throw you off the scent) – and replaced by a quickly scrawled “The Breakfast Bar”.  A notice on the door at the bottom of the stairs morbidly informed that cards could not be accepted.  No ales were available at the bar, just Stella or Kronie.  The Cock Tavern, it seems has gone under.

Fortunately for us, like its namesake, the Tavern appeared to be able to function post-decapitation – at least temporarily – in a remarkably lifelike way.  The breakfast menu remained the same – most importantly of all, retaining the legendary “Butcher’s breakfast” … and having chickened out of it at the last visit, I certainly wasn’t going to pass it up now with the possibility that I might not have another opportunity.

The Butcher’s breakfast, as the title suggests, is an all meat affair.  With the exception of a solitary egg, everything on the plate is dead animal.  Delicious dead animal, mind.

Yup, that’s black pudding, bacon, steak, sausage, egg, liver and kidneys.  You pretty much need a pint to get through this lot.   The company this time round was select, but good to see some familiar faces that have been absent for a while.  A good breakfast, but with a tinge of sadness as we contemplated the possible demise of a London institution that ill deserves to fizzle out.  Let’s hope that there’s something of the phoenix in the old Cock Tavern.

If not, I can give it no more fitting tribute than this:



Simpson’s Tavern breakfast

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

It’s official – 250 years experience does help in making a good breakfast.  While it may not be quite up to the stupendous standard of the legendary lunch fare, the breakfast here is certainly highly palatable.

A finer sausage than the Simpson’s Tavern sausage is certainly hard to come by on the London breakfast scene, and the accoutrements are all up to scratch.  What I particularly liked about the place though was their “come one, come all” approach to sauces.   Anything you want, you can have it here – pretty much … ketchup of various varieties, brown sauce, Lee & Perrins, the lot.

What’s more, the tea comes in a proper tea pot and, although I was sadly unable to participate, they also offered a St. George’s Day special of Full English and pint of ale … and any place that does this is truly a bastion of civilisation.  All said, good grub, great service and a memorable breakfast.  Now if only I could get them to pop that fantastic stewed cheese from the lunchtime menu onto their breakfast bill of fare, I would consider my work in life done.