A tale of two brunches
So I know I promised more summer in London hot spots but with the torrential rain outside today does not feel like a day to talk about ice cream or bbqs! It does however feel like a day to talk about brunch! Brunch rocks (in my opinion) and I went on a mini-brunchathon last weekend (all in the name of research of course) to a couple of great places I wanted to share.
I kicked off the weekend at The Riding House Cafe on Great Titchfield Street, a great location if you are planning some West End shopping or weekend walking in Bloomsbury. To call it a cafe seems to undersell it somewhat, there’s a definite restaurant feel to it. I lurve the look and style, kind of part French salon, part railway diner, part 70s über trendy living room with some taxidermied squirrels thrown in for good measure. But what really matters of course is the coffee and food….. After a lot of umming and ahhing over the menu I opted for buttermilk pancakes with berries and vanilla clotted cream. Yep CLOTTED CREAM for breakfast! Is that allowed?!
I had to have several breaks but yes, I finished it all. Not even being eyeballed by stuffed squirrels could put me off. Although, not being used to eating clotted cream for breakfast I had to have a little lie down on the lovely orange leather sofas before I could leave.
Oh and they serve Caravan coffee (delicious) which coincidentally is where I headed on Sunday for brunch number 2. Caravan is on Exmouth Market and is a coffee roastery as well as a restaurant and bar. After some waiting on the street for a table, (they don’t take reservations) enviously eyeing up the plates of customers sitting at the pavement tables we got a seat inside in the light, airy restaurant. A much more casual feel than Riding House. After Saturday’s pudding-esque breakfast I was in need of something savoury and opted for the grilled ham, bubble and squeak and poached eggs. I was not disappointed, it was totally delicious. My fellow bruncher had the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (yum) and I had my eye on the baked eggs with chorizo and the coconut bread I saw being brought out to other tables – so that’s at least twice more I need to head back there!
Caravan is a good place to start a day’s exploring of Clerkenwell and East London. It’s the starting point for the Eastern Explorer walk which takes you on a wander through Clerkenwell, Hoxton and Shoreditch. We walked off some of our brunch and headed to nearby St John’s Square and Charterhouse Square but more on that next time….
So this wasn’t planned to be a brunch-off but if I was lucky enough to be going out for brunch tomorrow I would head back to The Riding House Cafe. It has a more special feel to it and was a space I wanted to hang out in, the service was fantastic, great menu choices, fab coffee and very nice hand cream in the toilets. Frankly anywhere that lets me have clotted cream for breakfast was always going to be a winner.