Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Delaunay - Covent Garden

I really struggled to find a Swiss breakfast in London (plenty of breakfasts in Swiss cottage) that was until I discovered the Delaunay.

You get a sense of 'old world chic' as you step through the door, as though it was the 1920's and you are staying in The Ritz in Paris or The Doldrums Grand in Zurich. Given the location, next door to the Wardolf hotel on Aldwych, I suppose that isn't too much of a surprise. In fact it is run by the same company as the Wolseley in Piccadilly which is similar but with a more British feel to the menu.

The vast dining room with incredibly high ceilings is awash with mahogany and marble as if to cement in your mind the fact that this is a classy establishment. The clientele fits into two distinct groups: The power breakfast meeting attendees, for whom a meeting in the office just won't do and the food tourists who come to enjoy the grandeur, groups in their late twenties meeting somewhere 'a bit different'.

The breakfast menu at the Delaunay is pan-European but with a distinctly Swiss & Austrian feel. Swiss bircher muesli is on the menu along with a Swiss fruit bread called Zopf. I ignored those health conscious choices and when for an all-time Swiss classic the Potato Rosti. These are eaten the world over but have the re origins in Switzerland and many Swiss consider it the national dish. Rosti mit spiegelei is a very traditional Swiss breakfast, sometimes served with spinach. Here it was 'exactly as it said on the tin', two very well cooked fried eggs sat on top of two rosti that were straight from the fryer.
And it was very pleasant, without really getting me excited. The rosti was crisp on the outer and maintaining the flavours of the butter it has been fried it, you really get a sense that this will set you up for the day. But all in all a bit plain and a bit dull!

I had a latte which was decent as you would expect in a place like this. I also decided to give the marocchino a go. This is an espresso shot with rich chocolate and milk. Originally an Italian drink but adopted by the Swiss, not least because of their love affair with all things chocolate. If you were lucky enough to visit chocolate soup in Edinburgh before it sadly closed its doors, it tasted very similar to the liquid chocolate that they used to offer by, what seemed like, the gallon (it rivalled the deep fried Mars bar on the unhealthiness front). My issue here is that it was served in a shot glass rather than a cinema sized cup so for £4 I felt rather short changed!

The verdict
In summary: Grand, traditional but not particularly exciting. That applies to the Swiss breakfast and the Delaunay in equal measure.


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