i’ve found my new favorite place in london. i know i gush a lot, but this time it’s the real deal. i have fallen in love with the breakfast club and its newest incarnation in hoxton, just a short jaunt away on our trusty steed, the 55 bus. it’s not just the food (which is excellent, as you can see by the BLT above), it’s not just the vibe (which is super cool, as you can see by the lettering above), it’s a general sense of thoughtfulness, maximization of enjoyment, and attention to detail, as you might be able to tell from the photo above). i’ll explain.
chris and i were on the never-ending hunt for free wi-fi this morning since our internet isn’t getting set up until friday (thank GOD – it’s been two weeks of poke-my-eyes-out bureaucratic phone tree customer service hell). all of our favorite places were either 1) not open yet, b) too far out of the way, c) not serving real breakfast, or d) just not getting me excited. then walking near old street, out of the corner of my eye, i suddenly spotted a little sign for the breakfast club tucked down an alley near hoxton square.
chris and i went to another breakfast club location in soho last week to meet up with the London Yelp-ers, a group of super-cool-kids-about-town who know the best of the best in this city. we had a great meeting/chatfest at the cute cafe last week, then met up with them last friday for curry on brick lane. the evening also included a copius amount of BYOCheapWine, lots of NAAAAAN!!!, a chocolate log, mints-on-the-forehead, shots of sambuca, and a whole group of really cool Yelp people. so happy to have met them all! but now back to the breakfast club.
let’s start with the food. i could happily start off the rest of my days with a bacon butty – a soft hamburger bun-like white roll, generously swabbed with butter and stuffed with an intense amount of perfectly fried bacon. the bacon here is different – wider, thicker, less intensely striated with fat vs. crispy dark parts, more uniformly chewy and tender, and seriously freaking tasty. check it out for yourself:
mmm. they also make a really good flat white at the breakfast club, which is good in my constantly sleep-deprived state of workyworkyallthetime.
i’ll move on to the look of the place, which i LOVELOVELOVE. the cafe drew us in immediately with a funny sign and an inviting counter space, plus two really friendy people. one of them i thought i recognized as our server from the soho location. turns out it’s her twin sister. what are the odds? here’s the lovely entrance area:
that sign right out the door says “bob marley once sang ‘no rum and no pie.’ luckily we have both rum + pie.” liquor, dessert, AND a sense of humor? they had me at hello.
once you get inside, the breakfast room has several distinct areas full of furniture of all kinds that’s weathered and antique-y, but in a well-worn and well-loved style, not an expensive Louis XIV style. seating varies from comfy cracked leather couches to fading wooden picnic tables to mismatched colorful chairs, all of which make you feel at home in the best sort of way.
then there are all sorts of charming touches like hanging lamps of all shapes and sizes, old enamel signs on exposed brick walls, photos and articles tacked haphazardly all over, and cool vintage metal machines of various sorts. i had no idea the restaurant was as big as it was – i turned a corner and found a whole other room with bright orange walls that made me very happy. here’s a photo of the back half of the main room:
however, the best part by far about the whole place was…the loo. i’m not kidding. my good friends know that a combination of small bladder/obsessive water drinking means that i am a frequent visitor to the restrooms (too much information? sorry). also, i always like to see how restaurants decorate their bathrooms. i think it indicates a certain level of attention to the full experience of the diner, and it’s always nice to see thoughtful touches like great art or flowers (if you’re in SF, go check out the bar jules bathroom…super cute and great soundtrack). however, the breakfast club has now taken first place in my personal BEST BATHROOMS EVER contest. check this out.
upon first approach, you are forewarned that something exciting this way comes:
LOVE IT. they’re not lying – those shadows do attest to the presence of a slowly rotating disco ball for your very own bathroom dance party pleasure. i would have greatly enjoyed this restroom visit if it ended there. but it doesn’t. because every stall was individually and lovingly wallpapered with HAPPY MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD. to explain this statement, i’m giving you individual pictures of each stall because they all connect to a very joyful place in my 80’s American upbringing. indulge me in a little reminiscing. or, ignore my ramblings and just scroll down and look at the pictures.
first off, stall #1. he-man and the masters of the universe, she-ra and the princess of power, and skeletor.
this reminds me of the time my super awesome cousin larry, who used to work for mattel, gave my brother andy and i masters of the universe action figures, including a he-man vehicle that could smash skeletor over the head and a pink translucent princess of power pony. you may never again see such happy children.
stall #2: strawberry shortcake and blueberry muffin. LOVED her. she adorned my favorite set of sheets.
stall #3: one of my favorite television shows as a child, fraggle rock! i can still sing you this theme song if you like, although i really wouldn’t suggest taking me up on that offer.
stall #4: who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
to be fair, this one reminds me less of childhood than of a drunken race across new york city called the idiotarod, an urban adventure based on the famous alaskan dog sled competition called the iditarod. however, instead of racing sleds attached to husky dogs across alaska, you race shopping carts attached to fully inebriated people in costumes from brooklyn to manhattan. my friends and i dressed up like ghostbusters in grey jumpsuits, green soda bottles made into proton packs, and even made a green felt slimer mascot for our cart. doesn’t get any awesomer than that.
you can ask chris, i came out of the bathroom giggling goofily like a five year old girl, which is basically what those wallpapers brought me back to. thanks breakfast club for filling me with caffeine and bacon, providing a comfortable and relaxed place to sit, and instilling a warm and happy sense of pure childlike joy. i may see you in the morning.
the breakfast club hoxton square,
2-4 rufus street,