Discover what makes the best breakfast in Mayfair at The Ritz, whilst exploring the time-honoured traditions and origins of the English Breakfast. Read here.
All too often breakfast can be disregarded with a mere slice of toast or worse yet, simply skipped altogether. However, at The Ritz, we believe that enjoying the ritual of breakfast to its fullest is the most important way to begin your day. An opportunity to take a moment to reflect on the events of the day ahead, the perfect excuse to meet a friend or family member for an early morning catch-up, the ideal time to plan a busy schedule when visiting London. We know just how vital it is to start the day right, which is why we thoughtfully craft our hotel breakfast menu to suit our guests’ wishes and desires. Served in the rococo splendour of The Ritz Restaurant, with bright and airy morning light streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows, there is no more of a glorious setting when considering breakfast places in London during your stay in the capital.
If you haven’t yet shed the last remnants of sleep when entering our dining room, the graceful showmanship of our Restaurant team will soon have you bright-eyed and ready to take on the day. An elegant choreography begins as you take your seat, with steaming coffee poured into fine china cups and a selection of freshly baked viennoiseries temptingly placed on your table, filling the air with delightful aromas.
Then, the choice is yours. Perhaps a freshly squeezed juice and a healthy breakfast of Honey Toasted Granola and Seasonal Fruit before a brisk stroll through Green Park? Or for the true English experience, it has to be the Traditional English Breakfast, served with back bacon, Cumberland sausage, grilled mushrooms and vine tomatoes ahead of a visit to the Tower of London or Buckingham Palace. For a celebratory occasion, scrambled eggs with Périgord truffle or an omelette topped with Oscietra caviar is certainly the most indulgent way to start a birthday or anniversary. For extra sparkle, it is never too early for a crisp glass of Réserve Ritz Brut, Barons de Rothschild Champagne. Perfection!
While there are now plenty of breakfast restaurants in London, there is something about the feeling of walking into 150 Piccadilly to dine with loved ones at The Ritz Restaurant breakfast that just cannot be recreated elsewhere. Our guests tell us that breakfast at The Ritz is second to none, and well, our guests do know best.
The Origins of the English Breakfast
We all know how much we enjoy a full English breakfast from time to time, but do you know how this time-honoured tradition first started? It is thought the dish first came about in the 14th Century as a way for the gentry to fill up before a day of hunting, with the hearty feast being necessary to have enough energy to endure the hours of riding through the English countryside. However, the pre-hunt breakfasts were not only fuel for the day but became known as important social occasions; a tradition that has continued to this day, as we consider dining out for breakfast or brunch a beloved pastime.
The tradition continued to strengthen into the Victorian era as social mobility was on the rise as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of the British Empire. As such, the custom of inviting guests to your home for breakfast was a way of displaying your wealth and class to fellow members of society. The Victorians took great care to source the finest ingredients they could afford and prepare them in the most elaborate ways in order to impress their guests. Everyone wished to be known for serving the best English breakfast in London and would go to great lengths to achieve it.
With the Edwardian era, came the standardisation of breakfast. The ingredients of a ‘full English’ were universally agreed to include bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding, grilled tomato and fried bread, a combination which remains largely unchanged today. Breakfast was not only enjoyed by the wealthy, but by the middle class too. It was during this period that breakfasts in hotels, restaurants and on trains became a popular institution.
Come the 1950s, the English breakfast was a staple of the working class in England, and a far humbler affair, affectionately known as a ‘fry up’. Cafés known as ‘greasy spoons’ began to open near docklands and factories and were a hub of activity during the early hours of the morning before workers began their shifts for the day. During this period, approximately 50% of the English population deliciously began their day with a full English breakfast.
Although today the English breakfast is served in some of the country’s finest hotels and restaurants and everyday cafés and home dining tables alike, you can expect the dish to consist of largely the same ingredients wherever it is served. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule and there are regional variants throughout the United Kingdom. In Ireland, they proudly serve their breakfast with Irish soda bread and white pudding, whereas in Scotland you can expect to see lorne sausage, which is square, ‘tattie’ (potato) scones and of course, haggis. The regions of the UK may disagree on certain ingredients, but we can all certainly agree that a cooked breakfast is the perfect way to start the day. Long may the tradition continue.
The Best Breakfast in Mayfair
One of life’s great indulgences is breakfast in bed, and at The Ritz, we take great pride in tailoring your breakfast experience to suit your needs. So, wherever you prefer the all-important first coffee of the morning, be it from the comfort of your Louis XVI style suite or in the grandeur of the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant, your wish is our command.
Our In-Room Dining team take great care to ensure that your breakfast dining experience in your room or suite is just as spectacular as that of The Ritz Restaurant, but with the added luxury of complete privacy and of course, the ability to dine in your pyjamas and bathrobe should you desire. Enjoy piping hot, freshly brewed tea and viennoiseries warm from the oven while overlooking the red London buses on Piccadilly or the tranquillity of Green Park, as the morning mist settles amongst the trees. A deliciously relaxed way to start your day.
Meanwhile, many of our guests relish in the ritual of getting ready for the day in The Ritz Restaurant, watching the waiters in tailcoats glide effortlessly around the dining room, enjoying a waft of sweet-smelling pancakes passing your table on its way to other guests, and taking a moment of serenity to assess what lies ahead.
If you are staying with us for a few nights, we recommend trying both breakfast experiences to decide your favourite. At The Ritz, we endeavour to serve the best hotel breakfast in London, so whether you are enjoying a cosy morning in your suite, a formal business meeting or a celebratory start to your birthday, our dedicated team are on hand to serve your eggs exactly how you like them in the morning. Bon appétit!