We've long been fans of the London Review of Breakfasts, who since 2005 have been cataloguing the good, the bad and the yummy of the capital's breakfasts. We caught up with their illustrious captain Malcolm Eggs, who leads a band of fabulously named reviewers including T.N.Toost, Gracie Spoon, Cathy Latte and Hashley Brown to find out what drives them to blog breakfast.
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
Places to eat breakfast, as reviewed by a large and secretive team of contributors.
Why did you start blogging?
On the day I started, it was to delay getting in the shower. In general, it was sparked by a horrible gastropub breakfast and a desire to tell the world about it.
Why did you get others involved in the blog, and tell us about some of their great names!
It’d be extremely hard to cover the whole city without having people at all points of the compass. Plus the pseudonym system gives us a good excuse to think of puns: we’ve just appointed a vegan correspondent called La Soya Jackson and somebody else called Shreddie Kruger recently.
What about London inspires your blog?
There is just so much breakfast here. It means we can write about all the facets of London - the hospitals, the high street economy, the music festivals and the forgotten waste markets - but every time bringing it back to the same practical question: “was the breakfast good or not?”
What would be your dream breakfast to post about be?
A delicious Edwardian breakfast of five or six courses, served in the secret network of government tunnels beneath Westminster commonly known as Q-Whitehall and eaten in the company of Winston Churchill, Samuel Pepys and Mary Shelley.
What’s your favourite post you’ve ever written?
I think of the ones I’ve written it was the review of Goodfare in Camden Town. In general a lot of my favourite reviews have a bit of mystery about them, something unexpected going on beneath the pavement, and this one was especially fun in that respect.
What's the best breakfast in London?
I’m still searching for the one that makes me stop, go home and delete the entire site out of sheer respect. But if you want a traditional, atmospheric greasy spoon that delivers hearty plates of food with military precision, the Regency Café in Pimlico or Arthur’s in Dalston would each be a wonderful choice. I’m also excited to hear that Konstam in King’s Cross is doing breakfast again - their perfect stripped back version of the full English used to be a strong contender.
And the worst?
The London Borough of Heathrow Airport is one giant den of breakfast iniquity, although I’ve heard that there is hope to be found in T5.
Would you feel more or less connected to London, would you have missed out on things without your blog?
It’s nice to have a focus in London. It means you get to explore the city in a new way and sometimes the insights you get are nothing to do with breakfast but with seeing the different kinds of people who are out there, ordering sausages. It’s also a handy conversation topic. People just love talking about breakfast.
You get a lot of 'condiments' (comments) on your blog, how did this come about?
People just love talking about breakfast. Unlike at dinner or lunch, they tend to order the same thing over and over again with a very specific idea of how they want it. Crispy bacon? Runny yolk? Butter and not margarine? Small details make a big difference. And when it’s either very right or very wrong they want to tell the story. It’s either that or we go too far with the literary pretentions and it gets on people's nerves.
How has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
There’s a tiny group of bloggers internationally who write about what they had for breakfast, but we’re not quite a breakfasting OPEC yet: the only other one I’ve ever met in person is Russell Davies of eggbaconchipsandbeans. I’ve met a few London bloggers and from one to another they are as different as any other random sample of Londoners - that’s the beauty of it.
Tell us about another up-and coming London blogger you like
Recently I’ve been enjoying Jonathan Brown’s energy and his way with a turn of food phrase - he blogs about all sorts of interesting gastropades at Around Britain with a Paunch but of course Londonist knows him already as he’s your sandwich correspondent.
And for some general London chat
Where do you live and why do you love it?
At the moment I live in East Dulwich, which is where I grew up. It’s a very villagey area which can be lovely but also scary. The food shops like SMBS grocery and Franklin’s Farm Shop are excellent.
What's your favourite place in London?
The back garden at my mum’s house.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
Not once I’m afraid.
Anything else we should know?
I’m always looking for new contributors...