I was invited to lunch at The Breakfast Club, Artillery Lane, Spitalfields (think Liverpool Street Station if you don’t know where Spitalfields is) which although sounding a bit of an oxymoron was something I was looking forward to. Having worked for an internet company in Artillery Lane many years ago, I know that there was very little to enjoy around there; expensive restaurants and cheap take-outs. But that was many years ago, so I was really looking forward to going back and seeing what was there.
Entering the place is like walking into the diner on the set of Grease. Total immersion in retro décor, posters, ornaments and layout, but done with a local feel. All the tables were made of old Spitalfields Market stalls, with its own labelling, and side tables made from sports dressing rooms cages. Neon signs, humorous posters, and a wall you can put your own posts up on (that’s real paper and writing) made a real atmosphere.
A friendly, smiling waitress showed us to our table; I ordered a cold tap beer and a Breakfast Club Mojito. I think she thought that having the word ‘breakfast’ in it wouldn’t let me notice that it was actually full of rum and tequila.
The menu has the full range of American diner experience meal, as well as numerous sides, so you could eat here for a month and still not try every combination. I ordered the classic Eggs Benedict, my partner ordering hot pastrami sandwich, along with a side of Baked Feta and a bowl of chips.
The food arrived within 5 minutes, by the same smiling waitress. You could tell that behind all the jovial settings and décor this was a place that was on the ball, and knew what it was doing. The service was really good; and the portions were decent too. I was expecting a single crumpet – I got two, and check of the pastrami in the pictures. Much more than you would expect, but not overly large like in America. I was seriously impressed before I had taken a bite.
And in taking a bite of my Eggs Benedict, it was perfectly done. Crisp dough base, with seriously thick cut ham, a poached egg that when pierced simply oozed everywhere and a light Hollandaise sauce that didn’t drown out the tastes. This has to be the best I have had in Britain. All I can show you is the pictures of how it was served; I wish now I have taken some as I cut the egg as it was poached perfectly and a real credit to the chefs – all within minutes of ordering.
The Breakfast Club is a place cluttered with atmosphere. I am sure you could come here many times and still spot different things on the wall, humorous notes on the posting boards, or even the historic printing on the tables.
My dining partner summed the whole experience up in one sentence – “If you arrived feeling down, you would leave with a smile on your face.”
Our smiling waitress said that they were open at weekends too, and always busy. This is clearly a place to know if you are around the Liverpool Street side of London. If you feel you need to work, they have free wifi too. I could stay there all day.
If this place had been open when I was working in Artillery Lane I would have used it all the time. Its ideal for entertaining, meetings over coffee and just eating with friends. I am sure to go back there next time I’m out Liverpool Station way.
The Breakfast Club
12-16 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 7LS