I first noticed Balthazar when holidaying in New York, but never got the chance to visit, so I was excited when I learned there was a branch in London’s Covent Garden too.
Balthazar is an all-day brasserie, where great French bistro food, good wine and impeccable service are the order of the day – all in an opulent high-ceilinged setting.
Or, if you don’t have time to sit and soak up the ambience, the Balthazar Boulangerie is just nextdoor, serving homemade artisan breads, pastries, salads and sandwiches for snacking on the go.
I booked a table in the restaurant for eight people for weekend brunch. After a mild panic that Balthazar may be on fire when we saw four fire engines parked outside (luckily it was nextdoor that was smoking…!), we entered the stunning space and took our seats at a huge round table right in the thick of things.
Surrounded by speckled vintage mirrors and attended to by a very friendly chap, we sank Bloody Marys and over-ordered – “Avocado and eggs on toast… with a side of banana pancakes… Why not!?”
The bill came to just less than £30 a head, and we were all totally satisfied.
Balthazar’s effortless transatlantic combination of setting, atmosphere, service and food have placed it firmly near the top of my ‘Best Brunch Spots in London‘ list.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
Photos by: Steven Joyce, Sim Canetty-Clarke & David Loftus