Boisdale Mayfair – A Breakfast for Kings:
The idea of a new Boisdale is almost counterintuitive. Even the flagship restaurant in Canary Wharf has been around for a while (since May 2011). And, that one is in a development area, so by default anything there is likely to be ‘new’. Mayfair though, is traditional London. The hotels on Park Lane stay the same, the pubs are classics – and although restaurants come and go, it’s one part of London that seems to stay the same. And, when you first find Boisdale, on the corner of the road, a stone’s throw from Marble Arch and Park Lane, you are more likely to wonder why you missed it than assume it is new.
In fact, appropriately enough, they officially opened on Burn’s Night (25th January) although apparently, they have been trading in soft launch phase for a few months now. I went along for a breakfast to find out more.
Just as the exterior looks as if it has been there forever and a day, the interior is classic Boisdale, with tartan carpet and deep red walls. There’s the odd stag or two on the wall too, pretty chandeliers and comfy leather chairs. While the Canary Wharf Boisdale is spacious, this branch is similar to the two other, older branches. Regular customers will feel at home.
I used to visit three Great Aunts who lived in Clarkston on the outskirts of Glasgow. They had all enjoyed careers as teachers and ended up living together in retirement. My father would take me there once a year and we’d enjoy the kind of classical Scottish food which Boisdale excels at serving. Hearty breakfasts with porridge, kippers, black pudding and devilled kidneys were the start to every day. My father and I would go out exploring and return in time for high tea, the main meal of the day. I suspect if Boisdale chose to do so then high tea would indeed be something at which they’d excel – and certainly the breakfast was a good match for my Aunts’ offerings.
While most of the table chose a variation on Eggs Benedict (I saw takers for the Avocado, Chilli and Coriander and for the Lobster), I picked the Great Boisdale British Breakfast, which comes with black pudding and haggis as well as the usual eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato and mushrooms.
To be truly Scottish I’d have expected Lorne sausage rather than ‘The Londoner’ which was a very passable meaty conventional sausage. It’s not a particular preference, just something I’d have hoped to see on the menu. The breakfast was, however, an all round winner and something I’d happily indulge in were I in need of early morning sustenance and in the area.
My companions meanwhile were enjoying their Eggs Benedict – there are other options on the menu including Mustard and marmalade glazed ham and Dunkeld smoked salmon. The menu also includes grilled Inverawe kippers, a Rhug farm organic dry-cured bacon sandwich and eggs almost any way you might want them. And a few healthy options, like this pretty pink grapefruit.
Somehow we acquired a Nutella smothered bagel with a banana and some cinnamon icecream. I’m not quite sure where that features on the breakfast menu, but it was very good and we all enjoyed tasting! There was also a special of pancakes with smoked salmon and cream cheese, enjoyed at the other end of the table before I could take a photo.
Boisdale for breakfast would be a good option for anyone looking for one of those power breakfasts. It’s the sort of place where the food is good and the service reliable but not intrusive. And, it has that feeling of having been there for a good few years. I could easily settle in.
Boisdale of Mayfair
12 N Row, Mayfair, London W1K 7DF