Selected by The Guardian as one of “50 best breakfasts around the UK”
As reviewed by Marina O’Loughlin
“As someone who eats out way too much, the only half-assed discipline I practise is my version of “intermittent fasting” – basically, avoiding breakfast. So, when I do breakfast, I want to do it right.
Every time I’m in Glasgow, I find myself in William, an idiosyncratic, tiny and hugely friendly slice of cafe heaven. It’s run by designer Sandra Payne and affable actor Sandy Welch, last seen as a beady legal in BBC drama Rillington Place. His infectious bonhomie and Payne’s incredible home baking – think freshly made doughnuts, a cult billionaire’s shortbread, the fluffiest scones, sticky cinnamon buns, blueberry and custard muffins; different homemade cakes daily (I particularly love the pistachio, white chocolate and cardamom cake) – is what makes William a bit special.
They do a nice line in “alternative” breakfasts: a hugely popular salmon and avocado breakfast bowl; chia seed pancakes with fresh fruit, yoghurt and honey. Who could resist muffin, eggs, hollandaise and smoked salmon billed as eggs Alec after the pompous SNP man?
But my heathen Scottish heart belongs to a humble, inexpensive white roll stuffed with Macsween’s crumbly black pudding, William’s own caramelised onion chutney and – the unmissable addition – a fried tattie scone. Or, if they have them, one of its black pudding and pork shoulder sausage rolls: transgressive breakfast nirvana.
The attention to detail makes William a real off-radar find: the jam could be their own foraged bramble; the bread is homemade (seeded rye and spelt, maybe, or sourdough, linseed or an excellent focaccia); the fine coffee is a rich, almost chocolatey Goosedubbs blend, roasted for the cafe by Glasgow’s Dear Green coffee. William operates in its own mildly eccentric universe – don’t go in a hurry or expect anything as new-fangled as a functioning website – and is all the better for it.