LONDON and other major cities come to life much earlier than York. Although many of our city snack spots provide an all-day breakfast, where could food be obtained at an early hour?

A poster on Wetherspoon’s Punch Bowl window stated that breakfast was available from 7am till noon.

I decided to give it a try.

The one thing I feared was that the premises might have lingering smells from the previous day’s wassailing. I needn’t have worried.

This is a venue where you select a table – a few have a view over the Blossom Street junction but there are many more both inside and out – and then order at the bar.

It was not quite 7.30am and already six people were eating. There were various breakfast deals with tea, coffee or a small orange juice priced up to £1.70. Scrambled eggs or beans on toast were priced at £1.99. A traditional or vegetarian breakfast would cost £2.79.

For £3.99, the large breakfast sounded tempting. When it arrived piping hot (although served on a cold plate), my eyes popped! There were two each of eggs, bacon rashers and sausages, three hash browns, baked beans, half a grilled tomato and a large flat mushroom (the alternative to black pudding). In addition, two slices of toast and butter were provided.

Everything on the plate was tasty. I tried to calculate how much the items would have cost had they been purchased at a supermarket and wondered how on earth a profit could be made taking staff costs into consideration.

The helping was significantly bigger than my normal breakfast with a higher fat and salt content. But it was as satisfying as I expected, washed down with a mug of tea (99p).

During my visit, there was a steady trickle of customers. I overheard a couple of Americans enthusing about the porridge (£1.19) and yoghurt. Other customers were tackling bacon butties and coffee.

The attentive staff were quick to clear tables making the venue pleasant and welcoming for new customers. At the conclusion of my meal I walked into the city centre, arriving well before many establishments advertising breakfast had opened.