They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that’s certainly true if you have the good fortune to eat it at one of the places below. From classic cooked English to hearty mountain food in the Scottish Highlands, join us on a great British breakfast tour to find the UK’s best morning meals.
Trof, Manchester, England
This alternative live music venue in studenty Fallowfield does excellent value breakfasts. Join legions of hungover students and indulge in a full fry-up or go for the slightly more virtuous stack of toast with jam. Trof is a little off the beaten track but is certainly worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Cinnamon Kitchen, London, England
Pop along to this upmarket Indian restaurant near Liverpool Street Station for an Anglo-Indian breakfast served with style. The Cinnamon Kitchen breakfast menu includes kedgeree with smoked haddock and poached egg, bombay scrambled eggs with tawa paratha and a traditional English cooked breakfast. With modern, sleek décor and exotic but comforting breakfasts, Cinnamon Kitchen is a great place to kick off a day’s sightseeing.
Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow, Scotland
If you’re a fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh begin your tour of his work with breakfast at The Willow Tea Rooms. Designed in 1904 the Willow was modelled in its entirety by the great architect - the exterior, interior and even the teaspoons and waitresses' dresses. You’ll find plenty of signature Mackintosh flourishes including high-backed chairs, repeating art nouveau patterns and remarkably modern feeling white interiors. Breakfast includes delicious Scottish staples like potato scones and Arbroath Smokies.
Sketch, London, England
You’ve got a good chance of seeing a celebrity or two tucking into brunch at this slick Mayfair townhouse. Sprawling over two floors, Sketch is brilliantly surreal with décor borrowed form gothic fantasy, heaps of junk shop chic and crystal-covered toilets. The downstairs Parlour serves breakfast from 8am. And, like everything else here, the food is a cut above the norm. Eggs Benedict comes with a spinach coulis and smoked salmon is served with apple jelly. Order poached eggs and you’ll get coconut and tomato marmalade on the side.
Mountain Café, Aviemore, Scotland
The charming Mountain Café fuses great Scottish produce with antipodean hospitality and coffee-making know-how to delicious effect in the rugged highlands. Head up early to fill up on delicious cooked breakfasts, bagels, pancakes and more – all lovingly prepared by award-winning New Zealand chef Kirsten Gilmour. Since opening in 2004 the plaudits have rolled in and the views of the Cairngorm Mountains are as good as the food.
Pete’s Eats, Llanberis, Wales
If you’re going to tackle Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, you’ll need plenty of energy. And the place to get it, those in the know will tell you, is Pete’s Eats in Llanberis. Climbers, walkers and anyone in need of a wholesome breakfast have been flocking here since 1978. The food is simple, hearty and comes in enormous portions - coffee, tea and hot chocolate are served by the pint.
Caffi Florence, Loggerheads Country Park, Wales
You’ll find Caffi Florence deep in the glorious Welsh countryside in northeast Wales. It’s a great base to begin your exploration of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has won awards for its sustainable building and use of local suppliers and ingredients. Enticing breakfasts include locally cured bacon sandwiches and Welsh Rarebit made with local free range eggs, Welsh cheddar cheese and Conwy ale wholegrain mustard.
Primrose Café, Bristol, England
Regularly hailed as Bristol’s best breakfast place, the cute Primrose Café is tucked away in graceful Clifton, one of the city’s best-looking districts. Produce here is locally sourced, organic, lovingly prepared and absolutely delicious. The All Day Breakfast is a particular favourite. Stick around all day and you can enjoy an evening meal, too.
Retro Cafés, nationwide
The Great British “caff” is a bona fide institution with some of the finest examples from the 1950s and ‘60s, gems of deco detail, Formica furnishings and retro charm. Sadly they’re a dying breed but superb examples include the Regency Café in Pimlico, London, the University Café, Glasgow and Morelli’s in Broadstairs. Sometimes seedy, often ramshackle and always with the unforgettable odour of the past, breakfast at one of these is a trip back to a Britain of stained teapots, dodgy sausages and demob suits. For more inspiration check out the wonderful Classic Cafes website.
Chatton Park House, Northumberland, England
This multi award-winning bed & breakfast set in a 4-acre estate was once the former home of the Duke of Northumberland, whose family seat is Alnwick Castle. With uninterrupted views of the Cheviot Hills, Chatton Park House is a lovely spot and the breakfasts are superb. The menu includes locally smoked kippers, Northumberland black pudding and sausages and porridge with local honey. The owners are as charming as the food.