What’s a better way to start your day than a huge breakfast with a stunning view of London and your best friend after a session of sunrise yoga? Okay, fine, I can hear you shouting a fair few alternatives at me, but I stand by it that this was a great way to spend a Thursday morning, despite the 5.15am alarm.
Design My Night have brought back sunrise yoga at Sky Garden for just a tenner a go, which is pretty good as far as yoga classes go price wise in London these days. The catch is you’ve got to get yourself to the top of 20 Fenchurch Street by 6.30am. Whilst the early wake up call is brutal, doing a bit of yoga as the sun rises and starts to beat down on the glass ceiling of Sky Garden feels pretty special, and the promise of a fancy breakfast as a reward of sorts makes the whole getting up before the sun thing totally worth it.
Whilst there is the option of a breakfast buffet on the Sky Garden terrace for an extra £10 after yoga with Design My Night, we opted to book a table at Darwin Brasserie just above the terrace instead. With a view overlooking London from every table, there’s a kind of magic in the setting. Our spot looked down onto the river and the Shard – a view I for one never tire of seeing.
A continental buffet of mini pastries, cereals, fresh fruit and jams lined up next to soft, freshly cut bread and pats of butter line along the bar as you walk into Darwin Brasserie, and naturally we launched into this to start off with aplomb. Bircher muesli and yoghurt with granola, freshly squeezed juices and vats of fresh tea and coffee complete the buffet, and all of this comes in at £16.50, which considering the setting and the important fact the buffet is unlimited, is a pretty good deal in my book. For an extra £8.50 you can order one of the hot dishes from their a la carte breakfast menu which includes pancake stacks, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, wild mushrooms on sourdough and for a £5 supplement, you can go big and get a Full English.
Tempted by the pain perdu with crisp bacon, crushed pecans and maple syrup, I eventually landed on an old favourite, Eggs Royale, whilst my friend opted for smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and tomato and chilli salsa. Whilst mine – being so rich with the hollandaise – was a punchy choice after so much food from the continental buffet, both were excellent and did the trick of keeping us full far into the afternoon. The bircher muesli and thick greek yoghurt with English honey were favourites from the buffet, and the choice of fruit was excellent – apple, grapes, pineapple, a selection of melon and mango, too. Please note I am also now looking at sourcing a set of drawers to hold mini pastries and muffins a la Darwin Brasserie for my own kitchen.
Often the quality of food and service is sacrificed when the view is this good, but not here. Sky Garden is a gem of London as it is, with its rainforest design and views of London on all sides, but Darwin Brasserie alone has made its mark as a foodie destination with one of the best breakfasts in London.
Sky Garden, at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 8AF
+44 333 772 0020