Yesterday, The Heid and I woke up in London feeling petal fresh and without so much as a sniff of a hangover, despite it being a Saturday. We must finally be grown up, we thought, and what better way to celebrate this belated arrival into adulthood than with a posh breakfast at the new Bill Granger place on Westbourne Grove?
Bill Granger is a bit like the Aussie Jamie Oliver with a relaxed style of cooking that has won him plaudits worldwide; the fact that he is best known for his brunches – “an egg master,” says the New York Times – boded well for our breakfast.
For those not familiar with Westbourne Grove, this is a pocket of London, in the heartland of Notting Hill, for which the word ‘recession’ means very little. It was thus no surprise to find Granger & Co packed at 10 o clock in the morning, with little apparent chance of a table any time soon. An attractive door girl with a deep Christmas tan greeted us pleasantly, however, and suggested we sit at the bar, which we took her up on. Here we sat for ten minutes (too long!) before being given a menu, which featured so many tempting looking things that we spent another ten minutes deciding what to have.
Our order was eventually taken by a tanned and good-looking waiter (there’s a theme here), who decided, in the tiresome way that waiters often do, to try and impress us with his amazing memory skills by not taking a note of what wanted. “I bet he gets our order wrong,” I said to The Heid and, sure enough, instead of the toasted grain cereal with vanilla poached fruit, yoghurt and honey that we had asked for, we were given bircher muesli with granny smith apple, dates and almonds. We didn’t bother to complain as the bircher muesli looked (and tasted) very good and The Heid was hungry, but it was annoying to be proved right, nonetheless.
The rest of breakfast was so, so. The sweetcorn fritters were okay but there were two fritters, two roasted tomatoes and only one bit of bacon, which – call me greedy – I felt a bit short changed by. Meanwhile, the toasted coconut bread – though crispy and sweet – was ruined by the salted butter that came with it; surely unsalted would have been better here? The Heid’s unordered bircher muesli was excellent with dates and almonds adding nice pockets of sweetness and crunch but the avocado, though ripe and squishy, could have done with a little spice (chilli or paprika perhaps) to jazz it up, he said.
At £40.50 (with a 12.5% service charge added automatically to the bill) breakfast at Granger & Co was expensive and one that didn’t quite live up to expectations. The atmosphere is buzzy, the room is light, airy and comfortable and the menu itself is inspiring, but the food and certainly the service could be brushed up. My only worry is that, being on Westbourne Grove and with an affluent clientele queueing up outside, it won’t be necessary to bother.
Granger & Co
175 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2SB
T: 020 7229 9111