Department store eateries are not usually my thing. Regardless of the establishment, they just remind me of eating dry fish fingers aged six in the BHS cafe with me mam. But an invite to breakfast is an invite to breakfast. And where better to overcome a fear of plastic tables and ladies in hair nets, than at Harvey Nics?
She's only gone and had a make over, her first in 20 years. A lovely lick of lemon and a smattering of smoked wood's made the old girl good as new (well, new in a retro-looking way). Being my maiden voyage to the fifth floor, I had no point of comparison but the light-filled room sailed past my expectations.
Service was impressive too, particularly our slightly camp waiter (I warmed to his show smile and expressive hand movements), as was the roof top smoking area (do love a fag with a view).
We kicked off with beverages. I was slightly disappointed the pot o' tea was from a bag but, being a PG Tips girl at heart, got over it pretty quickly. What I couldn't get over was the apple, carrot and ginger juice (it had a name, something to do with glamour) which was sweet but not cloyingly so and packed a gingery punch. Usually I rely on caffine to jolt me into the day, but this juice launched me into the rest of the week.
I enjoyed my prettily arranged fried egg on a mound of sauced up chorizo, despite the fact the too tart tomato sauce overpowered the taste of sausage and rendered the sour dough soggy. Eggs and chorizo makes for a pleasing morning mouthful, but I prefer the baked version with crunchy toasted sour dough on the side for dipping (Caravan in Exmouth Market does this horrendously well). My companion liked his Eggs Benedict, but questioned the twist of replacing the english muffin with a slice brioche (I don't care for hollandaise so I really couldn't comment).
The Fifth Floor Cafe at Harvey Nics is most certainly one up on your usual department store offerings (unless your locals are Harrods and Selfridges). But for me, despite its floor-to-ceiling windows, jazzy waiters and clout delivering juices, it still had a whiff of BHS about it. I can confirm from the website that it's tables are made from wood, but my memory refuses to see anything but formica...
Fifth Floor Cafe and Terrace