We got up this morning and headed down to the hotel lobby for breakfast only to find that a Continental breakfast cost a whopping £18.50, which is about $40. We decided that $80 for the two of us for a couple of sweet rolls and some toast that we wouldn’t eat anyway along with some coffee was a little steep. We set out walking and within a few blocks had stumbled onto a real jewel.
The Clarence – a small workingman’s pub located just off Piccadilly on Dover St. – was serving what they call their All Day Breakfast for a mere £4.95, which is about 9 bucks. The breakfast included two eggs, a couple of huge sausages, two slices of ham, a large cooked mushroom (that was so large when I saw it I thought it was a potato), a cooked tomato, toast and, of all things, a pile of beans that looked to have come from a can of pork & beans. We, of course, eschewed the bread and beans, but ate everything else. With coffee and sparkling water for both, the tab came to £16.25, substantially less than the price for one Continental breakfast at the hotel.


  1. You have discovered the meal that we British do best – a cooked breakfast. I’d leave the baked beans too!
    Hi Chris–
    I don’t know that it’s just breakfast.  MD and I both love steak and kidney pie, which, as far as I know, can’t be had outside the UK.  We had it last night.

  2. Those Mushrooms are wonderful Dr Mike, I use them all the time, they are called Portabello Giants. Welcome to London, you’ve arrived at the same time as my son, he built a web site called bikely.com and has now sold it to a british company so is here to hand-over, has gone off to witness the start of the “Tour de France” in case you are wondering why London is packed with people at the moment.
    The mushrooms are better than wonderful.  I’ve never eaten mushrooms for breakfast, but I’ve got to say, they were great.

  3. I arrived home this morning after 10 days in London. It was cold and rainy the whole time, but still wonderful.
    I didn’t eat very much sausage while I was there because it’s full of bread crumbs. But bacon is much more meaty than it is in the States — go figure.
    Since you’re a meat eater, you should try a meal at St. John restaurant (there’s one in Smithfield, and a smaller one in Spitalfields). Great food, some of which I guarantee you will have never had the opportunity to try before. Good, decently priced wine, too.
    Thanks for the tip, Amanda–
    I’ll put it on my list for the next trip.
    London weather was great for us the day or so we were there.  It didn’t start raining until we left.

  4. I work in London so thanks for the tip. That is a very reasonable price for that amount of food.
    I always thought baked beans were an American thing? They were never part of the English cooked breakfast when I was younger. And I wouldn’t eat them for breakfast even if I were not a low carber!
    Nor I.  But there they were in the middle of the plate.  I had never seen them before in any other English breakfast I have ever eaten.

  5. We get steak and kidney pie sometimes here in Luxemburg. But granted its a little cheated, it’s at the company canteen of the European Commission where each countries special meals are proposed. Often unpronouncable but tasty meals.
    I’ve never had a bad steak and kidney pie. 

  6. Interesting that you mention the Clarence. You ought to go there for lunch or dinner for the fish and chips – they’re supposed to be the best in London!!!
    I’ll give it a try next time I’m in town.  I’m not really a big fish and chips fan, but if they’re the best…

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