The buffet breakfast is not a regular occasion; unless you’re royalty it’s unlikely that you will encounter platter upon platter of crispy bacon, fresh fruit and perfectly flaky pastries every morning. Instead, the breakfast buffet is likely to feature as a holiday highlight, a quick continental offering at the airport hotel, or perhaps the cruise ship variety; where all you could ever eat (and more) is up for grabs daily.
For me, the breakfast buffet is a major cause of excitement. When else can you enjoy a three-course breakfast? It would look excessive to order multiple breakfast dishes for yourself at a restaurant or café, yet at the breakfast buffet? Not. A. Problem. Muesli to start, cooked breakfast to follow, and pancakes for dessert – nobody bats an eyelid. Everyone else is far too busy deciding how they’d like their eggs cooked.
So, how best to negotiate the multiple options on offer? Plate size is key and you need a plan of action. It’s important to consider which dish appeals to you most, and prioritise this. E.g. if sweet pancakes are your hero, you’ll need to eat small portions of savoury to ensure you have ample appetite for the grand finale. For those who are overwhelmed and struggle with pre-10am decision-making, then trying a little bit of lots of things is a nice way to go; don’t fill your plate, opt for regular trips – think breakfast tapas. Fruit can be filling, as can juice and smoothies, so drink these carefully; think about which items you can have every day, and which are a special treat that only the breakfast buffet can provide. If you don’t mind mixing sweet and savoury then you can abandon these rules and go full throttle. Pancakes first, then eggs and veggie sausages – be wild, and wash it all down with a bucks fizz while you’re there.
Fortunately, there are multiple restaurants in London offering a breakfast or brunch buffet without the night’s stay; that’s right, they don’t expect you to stay over in a hotel, get up early for a morning flight, or board a week-long Baltic cruise. You can simply turn up and enjoy. For a mid-morning feast, visit any of the following:
Kaia (at The Ned)
Every Sunday Kaia hosts an all-you-can-eat Asian-Pacific-inspired buffet. Upon arrival you’ll be offered a choice of Asian teas, or if you really want to kick-off the morning – a cup of Sake. Enjoy poke bowls, sashimi, teriyaki salmon, plus a whole array of desserts, including matcha cheesecake and sesame slices. The brunch buffet is open till 5pm, so there’s plenty of time to explore each and every dish.
Why not start your day in style by dining in 1901’s Grade II listed ballroom, darling. Situated in the Andaz London, you’ll be sat under an original stained-glass domed ceiling – one of the only two in the UK that survived both World Wars. The Buffet Breakfast follows the philosophy of “sophistication made simple” and offers the best of British produce: cheeses from Spitalfields market, Loch Fyne smoked salmon, as well as freshly-baked bread and pastries.
Known for their vegetarian pay-by-weight buffet, Tibits not only offers unbeatable lunch and dinner buffets, their Bankside location is open from 7.30am breakfast. Fill your bowl with homemade bircher muesli, a selection of fruit and cereals, or a cooked veggie breakfast. There’s a chance to get creative and choose your own pancake toppings; or go green with matcha pancakes – my personal favourite. Tibits is always a hit with meat eaters too, so non-veggies can rest easy, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.