Birthday Breakfast at Punch & Judy's Pub in Covent GardenWednesday, June 22, 2011
In the spirit of all things British, we began my birthday weekend (yes, birthday weekend: don't you all have one?) with a full British Breakfast at a pub, no less.
We went to the Punch & Judy Pub in the lovely Covent Garden.
40 The Market,
It's situated inside the market hall area ('The Piazza') over two floors with a large balcony outside, and a lovely inside terrace area downstairs next to Candy Cakes. We got there at about 10.30am, and we were just in time to see the crowds gather around the pub area to watch the paella-sellers set up store. The outside seating area of the pub has an excellent atmosphere: you can hear the opera singers who are performing in the next piazza, the sounds of everyone shopping on the level above, and the general hubbub of the market is really very pleasant. The patrons are a combination of ultra-trendy and interesting (a few seemed to have drifted down from Camden Town) and the food was particularly good.
Although not extensive, the menu offers breakfast basics at generally reasonable prices: we paid exactly half the total of our breakfast bill from Bill's (also in Covent Garden) for two large breakfasts and two coffees.
G knows that he's not allowed to tuck into any treats before I've photographed them! It's becoming quite a family joke.
This is his Full English Breakfast. I really appreciate generous pub food, especially when the servings look like they're so big they have to compete for space on the plate.
This is my Vegetarian Breakfast. The sausages look bizarre, but they were actually rather impressive replicas of sage-and-onion stuffing with a delicious crispy crumb. My eggs were cooked perfectly (that is to say, the chef complied with my egg-request to make them rubber - the only way I'll touch an egg!), and generally the meal was really very well cooked. The coffee was quite awful, potentially having been dispensed from a vending machine, but they are forgiven as this is England and you're supposed to drink tea. By the time we were done finishing up our toast, the paella-sellers were in full swing, people were filming them, and there was a queue stretching up the staircase. A popular choice, it seems.
All in all, this is the perfect English Breakfast location when you want a market-day out and about, looking at beautiful things and listening to the fun of the artsy crowd around Covent Garden. The food is good, the service was good the atmosphere, outside, is excellent and the prices are pleasing to the pocket. The only downside was the disappointing coffee - we'll try the orange juice next time.