Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Fred: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!
– Breakfast at Tiffany’s
You may be wondering why i’m quoting Breakfast at Tiffany’s in a post reviewing the gorgeous bistro cafe located within the Burberry Flagship store on Regent Street. While also full of beautiful lust worthy things, Tiffany’s is quite obviously a different store. It doesn’t have a cafe, for starters. As those of us who have seen the film will know, actually enjoying breakfast at Tiffany’s consists of pining at the window display of glistening, sparkly things like hypnotised magpies, whilst simultaneously sipping a Starbucks skinny latte in a cardboard cup and trying not to smear the icing sugar from your almond croissant on the freshly cleaned glass. It’s a loss less romantic in reality.
Well the reason i’m quoting it is because the way Holly Golightly feels about Tiffany’s is how I feel about Burberry. The beautiful store situated at 121 Regent Street is my happy place.
The large space has previously been home to a cinema, something which is apparent as you walk into the main display space with its wrap around gallery balcony that lines the circumference of the room. Your attention is grabbed by the eight square metre video display unit (the largest in the world) which is wrapped as if in an embrace by the stairs that lead to the upper balcony, and currently plays a loop of the festive advertising campaign.
Though you’d struggle to spend anything less than £250 on a single purchase in this store, it remains approachable and relaxing, where service is some of the best I have ever experienced and sales are never pushed upon you. The ‘Pretty Woman’ scenario will never occur in this store (as it did do once for me in Tiffany’s) – whether you enter wearing a thousand pound tailored suit or ripped jeans and a hoody, the staff give you their time and try to assist you the best they can. Try on one of their gorgeous cashmere trench coats that costs over £1500 (I frequently do this, just so that for a few minutes I can imagine what it would be like to have disposable income!) and they’ll recommend you not purchase on the spot but instead go away and think about it. They don’t want you to part with your money unless you are certain; your happiness is paramount, which is why they’ll often offer you a complementary glass of champagne to enjoy as you peruse to lines. The staff really do help to make this place the magical haven that it is.
But this is a food blog and so i’ll stop gushing over the store and travel through to the cafe named after its founder.
Thomas’s opened in June this year when the store was expanded. Along with the inclusion of a restaurant, this expansion also saw the addition of a dedicated gifting area, featuring a seasonally updated collection of present-worthy products (everything from blankets, cushion covers and candles to stationery, board games and travel goods), which can all be personalised or monogrammed in a number of different ways.
The location of the café therefore allows for the combination of two of my favourite things. Eating and shopping. Usually for me this is only achieved as I sit in bed snacking on Propercorn Popcorn (my current long running obsession – give the Smooth Peanut & Almond flavour a try!) whilst watching Come Dine With Me re-runs and surfing through the ASOS website. The cafe offers a menu of quintessentially British classics, from afternoon tea to lobster with chips, and is open seven days a week. As Burberry is all about selling the finest and most refined products (just read about the process each of their stunning cashmere scarfs goes through to get to the level of quality they are sold at), it won’t come as a surprise that Thomas’s offers the finest seasonal ingredients from small farmers and artisan suppliers across the UK.
My man and I visited on Sunday for Brunch. The menu hosts a variety of dishes I would have loved to order, but i’m a sucker for pancakes and couldn’t resist the Scotch buttermilk pancakes with honey comb, Brown Cow yoghurt and rhubarb compote for just £8. I discovered a love for chewing on big chunks of gooey, sticky honeycomb whilst on holiday in Thailand earlier this year. At a deluxe breakfast buffet in Bangkok, I piled my toast high with the sticky golden lattice squares and relished in the natural sweetness as it stuck in my teeth. I got to do this again as I tucked into my pancakes, which were fluffy and light. I don’t know what it is specifically that make’s Brown Cow yoghurt different to ordinary dairy yoghurt, but it was smooth, sweet and creamy and cut beautifully when joined on my fork by the fresh mouth watering rhubarb compote.
Meanwhile Josh elevated his casual brunch with an order of the Half Lobster with chips at £25 per portion. There’s something about lobster; for me it always looks like a piece of art on a plate. It’s perhaps the beautiful pinky red colour of the shell (a colour not too dissimilar to the cashmere trench of my dreams), or the almost pearlescent shade of the meat. Or maybe it’s the luxurious simplicity of the dish itself. Though not much meat resides on half a lobster, its sweetness is satisfying and complimented beautifully with a small squeeze of lemon.
The chips were superb. To get a good idea of how good these chips are, I would ask you to cast your minds back to when Burger King chips were some of the best around – a little crisp on the outside giving a soft crunch when bitten into, but soft and fluffy on the inside. These chips are like those but better, because Burberry.
As I looked around the restaurant which had only half its tables full (despite the thousands of Christmas shoppers outside who had most likely worked themselves up an appetite by this time), I noticed many enjoying the Afternoon Tea that I had briefly considered whilst choosing my meal. Consisting of finger sandwiches, English cakes and biscuits, warming plates from the Aga (you can choose from hot buttered crumpets, scones with clotted cream, jam and toasted tea cakes) and a pot of Flush Grand Reserve Darjeeling (Ooh err!) all for £32 per person. Clearly this is the best way to have a very sophisticated break from all the shopping, and i’m already planning a trip here with my mum in the New Year to try it out!
There are no doubts for me that the Burberry flagship is a quiet and relaxed haven situated in the middle of possibly the closest thing you’ll find to Hell at this time of year. While outside Christmas shoppers elbowed and squawked their way down Regent Street, our hour spent in this elegant store was tranquil, relaxed, and above all, delicious! Even if you can’t treat yourself to something beautiful from the shelves and racks, you should at least treat yourself to something from Thomas’s elegant cafe menu.
I guarantee it won’t take long before you get that Holly Golightly feeling…
After our brunch, I paid a quick visit to the Festive Film Booth and found myself starring in the Billy Elliott inspired Burberry Christmas Advert. You’ll notice that myself and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley demonstrate much of the same poise when jumping. It’s uncanny…
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Most photos taken from Google Images as my camera wasn’t up to scratch on my visit. My apologies.