There are few people over the age of 20 who haven't heard of Breakfast at Tiffany's, the novella made famous by the classic film of 1961 with the iconic Audrey Hepburn. Breakfast at Tiffany's became a 'thing' and in 2020, it finally became possible for people living in the UK to enjoy their own slice of Tiffany's glamour.
Tiffany's is a large department store in New York, founded in 1837 and renowned for their luxury goods, particularly jewellery. When Truman Capote wrote his short story for publication in a magazine in 1958, the central character does not actually eat at Tiffany's, it is something she aspires to do when she is 'rich and famous'. Tiffany's, for her, is more a place of calm to soothe away 'angst':
What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets.
The film was made in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn as the rather lost, high class call girl with a fabulous wardrobe and casual manner. The opening scene has her arriving outside a deserted Tiffany's in a Givenchy ball gown, sweeping updo and sunglasses, eating a pastry and drinking a coffee whilst peering at the magnificence within as the sun rises over 5th Avenue.
The film has developed a cult-like following over the years, becoming a byword for New York chic and timeless elegance. In 2016, Tiffany's opened their first café, the Blue Box Café, named after their coveted robin-egg blue box which holds their jewellery. Four years later in 2020, a Tiffany's Blue Box café opened in London as part of Harrods, the UK's most famous department store.
The cafes are open all day, not just for breakfast, as they serve afternoon teas too. You do need to book and reservations can be hard to come by as it is small and a popular place.
I visited on New Year's Day, the only booking I could get was for 9.30am when it opened - a rather early start after welcoming the New Year in at Big Ben the night before. Entrance is from Hans Road, through a smart wooden and glass doorway with Tiffany's awning, and unfortunately plastic plants in the planters. Descending to the basement café, there is no mistaking where your are with a distinctive blue ribbon motif leading you to the right place.
Much like the café in New York it is decorated in the famous robins-egg blue, with silver decorative features. A silver ceiling, polished silver cutlery and napkin draped silver champagne buckets all complete the look. The crockery is modernist blue and white, elegant, functional, and understated.
You are guided to your table, of which there are only about 10 in the whole café, which gives it a rather exclusive feel. The waiting staff glide through the room, all sharply creased shirts, long white aprons and pale blue ties, providing prompt and attentive service.
The breakfast is a set menu which starts with fruit juice and a bowl of ripe fresh fruit with a lime and mint dressing.
Next comes a croissant 'box' - essentially a square croissant filled with a a choice of fillings. I had the raspberry filling which was delicious - fresh pureed raspberries oozing out of the centre of the warm croissant. You can also choose to have plain ones with no filling at all.
This is followed by the main course, a variety of choices which include 5th Avenue bagel with cream cheese and salmon, Eggs Florentine, New York Pancakes, crab muffins - even steak and eggs. You can also add side dishes such as bacon or avocado. All of this is washed down with your choice of tea or coffee, or a glass of bubbles for an extra charge. As you would expect, the food is excellent, although we were slightly baffled by the American pancakes being more akin to flat Victoria Sponge cakes than the pancakes we had been served when in the States.
It is a lovely experience, bearing in mind that it is really just eating breakfast in a subterranean basement, but the décor, food and great service make it an enjoyable one, leaving you walking out of the place thinking, "I've just had Breakfast at Tiffany's!"
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Where: Round the corner of the main shop frontage in Hans Road
Opening hours: 9.30 - 7.30pm
You must book in advance, which you can do here >>
Menus and more information are available on the Tiffany Blue Box Café website >>