Sunday’s are about being lazy. Getting up way too late for breakfast, feeding the dog then heading out to scout for a big brunch in a dog friendly cafe or pub is almost de rigueur in our household. It good bit of breakfast food and a lazy walk in the park are what Sunday’s were made for. So when the chance to review the Black Penny in Covent Garden came up, I snapped up the chance to go out for a dog friendly brunch in central London as quickly as I could.
I’ll preface my review for all you dog owners and lovers out there by saying that the Black Penny is dog friendly,which is perfect if you are looking for a place to go with your four legged friend for a relaxing coffee, hearty lunch or filling breakfast.
The Black Penny is just a stone’s through from the bottom of Neil Street, my favourite part of Covent Garden, as you head towards Holborn. Though it hasn’t been open for too long in it’s new guise, when we arrived every table was full and there was already a healthy queue forming waiting for one to become free. By the time we left the queue was outside on the pavement. If that’s the draw on a chilly Sunday morning it is definitely advisable to book ahead if you want to enjoy a brunch here, as well you should.
I was at the Black Penny to review their brunch menu. Walking in from the chilly street I was welcomed by the smell of delicious coffee, cooked breakfasts and all sorts of beautiful baked produce. The counter was arrayed with pastries, cakes and healthier options such as yogurt served with muesli and fruits. You can see some of the great food on offer in these pictures.
After being welcomed, we were guided through the cafe to the back area. In winter it was warm and cosy, but with a high ceiling and large skylights I can see it being gloriously sunny in the summer too.
Whilst looking over the menu we ordered drinks, I started with a Matcha Latte, a latte made with green tea, whilst my wife enjoyed a regular latte.
On to the food itself. Whilst I was very tempted to go with something expected such as the ‘Hunter’ or ‘Gatherer’ breakfasts (a meaty or vegetarian cooked breakfast), as I was here for a review I decided to go for something a little different.
I chose Ozdemir Pasha (£9.50) which comprises two fried eggs served with grilled halloumi, butter bean hummus, sumac and a salad of fresh tomato and parsley salad, served with there own special Black Penny baked beans. It all served with crusty toast.
I decided to opt for a vegetarian option as this seemed like something very different from the usual brunch fare. I was more than pleasantly surprised by it. The haloumi served the same role in the breakfast as bacon would in a meaty breakfast, it gives texture and saltiness.
My favourite part of the dish was the butter bean hummus and sumac. The sumac lent an unexpected middle eastern flavour and character to the breakfast. The tangy flavour offsets the subtle taste of the hummus and the saltiness of the haloumi cheese.
There was just the right amount of toast to soak up the perfectly runny eggs, which they will cook to your liking.
My wife opted for the French Toast (£9.50) with spiced apple compot, candied walnuts, maple syrup and crispy bacon. To say it was a mountain of food was a bit of an understatement. I did manager to wrestle a fork-full of it to taste and it was more than gorgeous. On a winter’s morning like this there aren’t many things better than a big plate of French Toast with some deliciously crispy bacon.
We finished off our meals with an invitation to have a little drink. Whilst my better half enjoyed a glass of prosecco, I had a nice coffee with a warming shot of whisky.
The Black Penny is one of the best cafe’s I have been to in London and serves up a fantastic assortment of breakfast items with great coffee. The Black Penny is a brilliantly welcome addition to London’s coffee scene and as a dog friendly cafe it is one we will return to again. Remember to book in advance at the weekends as the queue was pretty large when we were there and with good reason for food like they serve.
The Black Penny is dog friendly and brought us some water for Missie our little terrier. She gave the Black Penny her seal of approval too!
34 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5AA