Balthazar

by isabelleldn

Balthazar, on the edge of Covent Garden, turns up on almost every “best brunch in London” list I’ve ever come across. I feel like my entire brunching life prior to going there had a distinct void – something classy, eccentric and bustling was very much missing from it.

Making a reservation is an absolute must at Balthazar, and because of Sunday engineering works I had undertaken an hour long bus journey and blustery walk across Waterloo Bridge to get there. I was meeting my antipodean-brunch-philosophy devotee, Stephanie, there – ever since moving from Sydney, we’ve been touring the London brunch scene trying to find places that are up to the Sydney standard.

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Balthazar definitely is, but it’s also got the kind of atmosphere you just wouldn’t find in Sydney. It’s a cavernous room with a lofty ceiling, and loud with the chatter of happy brunchers. Oozing glamour, I felt like Jay Gatsby might walk in at any moment.

Stephanie had the eggs florentine, which were very tasty but there was a little too much hollandaise for her liking which meant when you broke the eggs, it all got a bit runny. But, she reported, the coffee was excellent.

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I’ve elected to give up meat for lent this year (I’m seriously struggling… I miss chicken so much already) and therefore decided to go all out and have the full English breakfast. It was a difficult toss up between that and the scrambled eggs with cornish crab, which I haven’t seen on a menu before and looked extremely good. I’ll have to have that next time, as I will obviously be returning.

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The full English comes with little sauteed potatoes and perfectly creamy scrambled eggs. I swapped the baked beans for spinach which was no problem. They don’t scrimp on the vegetables either – you get a delicious grilled tomato and mushroom to go with your mountains of meat. Despite some of the more eclectic things on the menu, making a good job of the classics is equally important.

 

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