Sunday, 20 December 2015

Breakfast at Balthazar, London

A photo posted by Caroline Baldwin (@breakfastatcarolines) on

Don't you just want to dive into this plate of waffles? Well, head to this French brasserie in Covent Garden and you can treat yourself to this indulgent plate of hazelnut waffles with berries and syrup.

Balthazar hopped across the pond from New York City in 2013 to much praise. And those of you who follow me on Instagram might have spotted that I visited the NYC branch at the beginning of this year and enjoyed those very same waffles, as well as Balthazar's delicious bread and pastry basket which is baked in its very own boulangerie next door.

The London edition, from the outside-in, feels like an exact replica of Balthazar in NYC, with its low lighting, high ceilings and buzzing atmosphere. And it did look oh-so pretty with is traditional, festive garlands strewn across the dining hall.

As it was my mother's birthday (yes, it has been a year since we went on the British Pullman for her 60th!), we ordered a bellini and a mimosa, and sitting on red leather seats at our iron-legged table, underneath a giant antique misted mirror, we gazed longingly at the brunch menu,

Food is slightly overpriced for what it is, but I think you have to strategically order - for instance, the Eggs Royale (£15.00) were like any hallandaise-slathered eggs you can get all over London, but the Scrambled Eggs & Cornish Crab (£11.50) with its sourdough bed and pot of creme fraiche was delicious and unusual.

But Balthazar is all down to the atmosphere and the people watching and full to the brim on a busy Saturday morning, there was plenty of that. While identical to NYC, the Balthazar setting instantly transports you to Paris, with white-aproned waiters bustling around the restaurant carrying silver trays lined heavy food from breakfast eggs to moules frites, onion soup and its famed duck shepherd's pie.

Of course, we had to order dessert and we decided to share the Hazelnut Waffles (£8.50), washed down with a cup of coffee. Decadent and delicately flavoured, they were the best part of the brunch. Although my mum probably liked the plate of birthday petits fours which arrived on the linen topped tablecloth, especially for her.

4-6 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HZ

+44 (0)20 3301 1155

After brunch, walk off those waffles and take a bit of time to soak in the festivities (and the crowds) at Covent Garden.

A photo posted by Caroline Baldwin (@breakfastatcarolines) on