Eating breakfast out, whether that’s the full works or a virtuous bowl of granola, feels like such a luxury. It may not be an obvious restaurant destination, but tucked away in the back of Pimlico, away from the bedlam of rush hour at Victoria, Cambridge Street Café, set in the boutiquey Artist Residence hotel, is the perfect setting in which to enjoy a leisurely start to the day.
The room itself is bright and airy with lots of exposed wood in muted, distressed greys, cloth-covered banquette seating and quirky art on the walls. The kitchen is open, and there are comfy stools for you to pull up and see, as it says in neon above, ‘where the magic happens’. There’s further seating through the back, so both spaces are kept cosy.
The breakfast menu here is quite extensive; there’s a whole page dedicated to drinks, which includes your usual coffees and teas as well as more interesting juices (such as beetroot, apple and celery, £4) and smoothies (spinach, lime, cucumber, kiwi, avocado, £6), and food is divided into cooked, grains and pastries, and sides, including a fruit bowl for the virtuous (£4).
All the classics are here (eggs Benedict/royal/Florentine and full English), but we skipped to avocado, poached egg and rocket on rye – a safe choice done very well, with a kick of chilli and zing of lemon (£8.50) – and fluffy banana pancakes served with crisp smoked bacon and maple syrup (£9), which had an almost cake-like texture without being too heavy for that time of the morning.
If you’re not indulging, yogurt with quinoa, peach goji berries and mint is a generous portion bursting with fresh flavours, although quite pricey at £7.50. If we were to go back, we’d also try the millet grain porridge with blackberries, honey and almonds.
Staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, and on hand to offer everything from more maple syrup to an emergency phone charger. Cambridge Street Café is open all day, every day, with breakfast from 7:30 on weekdays, so it’s a little gem to know about in an otherwise barren area in terms of food, and will no doubt attract hotel guests and residents alike.
Cambridge Street Café, 52 Cambridge Street, London, SW1V 4QQ
Words by Sarah Kingsbury, October 2015