The Floral Hall
There’s a definite buzz to this place on a Saturday morning. Suits have been ditched in favour of weekend garb and people get comfortable in their seats here, as they start the morning with the most important meal of the day. We perched at the bar for a short while as our table was arranged and took in the hustle and bustle of hungry market-goers, scouring Borough Market beneath us. The view at Roast is fantastic, and although breakfast was first on our agenda, this restaurant definitely has a helping of wow factor with views of Borough Market on one side, and St Paul’s unmistakable domed roof on the other. It was one of the first sunny days of spring too, so we lapped up the view and started looking through the menu.
They know how to do breakfast at Roast – and the restaurant being almost packed out at 10.00am was confirmation of this. You can walk in on a Saturday morning without a booking (around 100 of the bookings that morning were made up of walk-ins). If you’re looking to woo someone with breakfast on a special date though, booking is always best to guarantee yourselves a table.
We started off our Saturday morning breakfast with a glass of champagne (which is a great idea, so long as you have nothing else to do that day), and big tumblers of cloudy, lush apple juice. We decided it would be rude not to try the Full Borough (£13.00), and opted for the Inverawe smoked Loch Etive trout with scrambled eggs (£12.50). The trout was beautiful – moist, but devoid of the slippery, wet film you can sometimes get with shop-bought varieties. The trout was wrapped, rather fantastically, around a mountain of scrambled eggs, and tasted satisfyingly savoury.
Even though I was very taken with my trout, I did experience plate envy when the Full Borough arrived at the table. Ayrshire smoked streaky bacon, Cumberland sausages, fried bread, Ramsay of Carluke black pudding, grilled tomatoes, field mushrooms and fried eggs filled up the plate. The fried bread tasted delicious and actually looked almost healthy, with no dripping oil in sight. As if that wasn’t enough, we ordered side dishes of Ramsay of Carluke haggis and bubble & squeak (at £2.00 a dish), just incase a famine was on its way. Everything on our plates was good, but the haggis was exceptionally moreish and the black pudding was a wonderful mouthful too.
Somehow there was still room for toast and jam, and if you were just to choose this for breakfast, you wouldn’t feel short changed. Perfectly toasted golden white bread was set down on the table, along with four jams, sporting the taste and texture of something in between a compote and a preserve. The rhubarb and vanilla jam was particularly worth a second round of toast and got washed down with a teapot of rare and delicate Monkey Picked tea.
Breakfast at Roast is a treat for sure, but at around £20 per head for stellar food and refreshment, the first meal of the day bowls over your taste buds here. Roast wins on variety too - warm carrot cake with thick elderflower yoghurt and blackcurrant jam, Mini Magoo muesli or Orkney kippers are just a few ways to start your day deliciously.
Roast: The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London SE1 1TL. Tel: 020 7940 1300.
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar