REVIEW: The Black Penny, WC2
A short walk from Covent Garden on Great Queen Street you’ll find a pared back gem of a cafe peddling hand-picked Columbian coffee beans, inventive breakfasts and moreish sweet treats. With a beautiful space for private bookings and catering services to boot, that place is The Black Penny, with a queue snaking out the door as coffee machines whirr and waitresses arrange freshly made cakes on the counter.
We dropped in for breakfast on a rainy Saturday, which hadn’t perturbed hungry shoppers keen to fuel up for the day. We settled for (excellent) coffees at a cosy seat upstairs, surrounded by stacks of stylish food magazines. Then, onto breakfast – first tempted by the ‘oats’ section of the menu comprising Bircher muesli, toasted granola and porridge, the latter drizzled with organic honey, sliced banana and candied walnuts.
Hungry folk could do worse than opt for one of the towering all day buns, the largest of which boasts two fried eggs, smoked bacon and grilled pork and sage sausages, golden yolks oozing over soft brioche (£8.90). Most popular are the free range eggs, arriving poached, scrambled or fried on sourdough toast with the option of several sides to create your perfect weekend breakfast (£6.90). Tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach or Black Penny beans will set you back a pricey £2.50, though tasty.
More exotic options include Ozdemir Pasha (£10.90), a colourful veggie option of grilled halloumi, fried eggs, butter bean hummus, sumac, fresh tomato, onion and parsley salad with grilled sourdough, and brioche French toast (£11.90) with stewed rhubarb, vanilla ricotta, salted pistachios and honey.
Hearty and filling options for cheering the cold winter months include mushroom and crispy polenta hash, salt beef hash or the indulgent crispy confit duck hash, with sweet potato and baby spinach.
It’s worth noting that The Black Penny doesn’t take bookings, and food this good really does draw a queue of hungry shoppers – but good news, it tends to move quickly and the earlier you get down there, the better. Well placed for a yomp around pretty Fitzrovia or pounding the pavements in town, we can think of no better place to start the weekend.
ADDRESS: 34 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AA / email@example.com / +44 (0) 207 242 2580
Amy was a guest of The Black Penny