Birthday Weekender 1.0 – Hoi Polloi


When you birthday falls on a weekend it’s only right to commender the whole two days. Hell, even if your birthday falls on a week day it’s only right to commender the whole weekend before or after and in the case of it falling on a Wednesday – both the weekend before and the weekend after – ya get me. Drag it out I say because this is the one time of the year you can get away with being a brat, making demands and generally acting like you’re Queen of the world.

So when my birthday came around last Sunday I did exactly that. Saturday and Sunday were to be my days of celebrating and in the next few posts you have find out what I got up to…starting with breakfast on Saturday morning at Hoi Polloi in the Ace Hotel.

After spending the previous night at Floriditas for my besties bridal partaaay – read about that here – I was a little foggy headed and with a full day of celebrations ahead of me, including a trip to the Emirates, dinner in Mexico and drinking in Hoxton; I needed something to sort me out and set me up for the day. Having only opened back in September 2013, in super cool Shoreditch, I’d been keen to get over to the Ace Hotel and into Hoi Polloi for a while. I’d tried to reserve for dinner ages ago but it seemed they were going to be fully booked forever – I took that to be a good sign?

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I therefore suggested it for breakfast on Saturday as I thought it would be quieter and luckily I was right – we managed to stroll straight in and sit down at a table for two. Unfortunately we came through the main entrance of the hotel and not the ‘That Flower Shop‘ entrance which, as an ex-florist, would have pleased me no end and felt a little like heading into Narnia too. Once seated we were handed our newspaper style menus and started perusing the options albeit not before ordering a latte and a fresh OJ.

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From the name I’d initially assumed the cuisine would take be of an exotic nature however it’s much more European dare I say, British. Hoi Polloi actually means ‘for the masses’ and I guess as a hotel restaurant, that’s who they need to cater for – interesting too as my boyfriend said he was suspicious of large restaurants as he doesn’t believe it’s possible to make amazing food for the Hoi Polloi (see what I did there).

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There’s the usual breakfast favourites, Eggs any way you like, Benedict, Florentine, Royale – sausage baps, avocado a plenty (we are in hipster headquarters after all), pancakes, pastries and my final choice – A Full English. Well, I was off to the football later and what better way to start my day that lining my stomach with eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and hash brown and grilled tomatoes – and that’s where things started to go wrong.

If you serve a tomato lover like me a full English brekkie with no grilled tomatoes this certainly ain’t going to get no 5 out of 5 review. However in addition to the lack of tomato there also seemed to be a distinct lack of the word full where my English was concerned. One sausage, one poached egg, one small straggly piece of bacon – this was a less than impressive half. I mean look at it…

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It just looks a little sad. (Or am I just greedy?)

And at £12.50 it was kinda taking the breakfast biscuit. My egg was watery, the bacon meh, sausages meh, meh. The best thing on the plate was the hash brown/potato cake thingy which was amazing but come on eggs, bacon and sausage should be the show stealer’s – not a potato. I was hugely underwhelmed with it which was so disappointing as everything else about the place in lovely.

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The waiters are laid back hipster in nike airs and non-uniform, uniforms. The restaurant has such a calmness to it and it feels very warm and inviting – it has a air of mad men to it. Chilled and chic, powerful and peaceful. It really is a lovely place to sit, relax, escape and eat so it was devastating that the food didn’t cut it for me. My boyfriend felt the same with his sausage bap being just ok and again nothing to write home about. I don’t know maybe breakfast in a hotel restaurant was always going to be a bit short of the mark or maybe they hold back their greatness until lunch and dinner?

I’m not sure this can be the case as the two head behind Hoi Polloi are responsible for the wonder that is Bistrotheque. I went there with a friend for breakfast and had to-die-for pancakes about a month or so ago. (Oh also, remember that lovely flower display that I thought was from Colombia flower Market – well it came for ‘That Flower Shop’ – all makes sense now!) – but anyway…

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Who know’s why the breakfast was so lacklustre. I’d be tempted to go back just for the pure art-deco ambience and 60s (or is it 50s? I don’t know..) swagger that the restaurant has but I’d be reluctant to go for anything other than coffee or cocktails. That said I’ve a friend who raves about dinner so maybe I should give it another chance…not sure that I’d be able to convince my boyfriend come with so I may be on the hunt for a dinner partner – any takers? I’m a sharer!

So a little disheartened with my first breakfast of the birthday weekend we hurried home in order for me to get ready to head to the Emirate stadium where I’d be watching my beloved Sunderland. Birthday Weekender 2.0 – Arsenal vs Sunderland.

http://hoi-polloi.co.uk/

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