Brunch at Bristrotheque

Is there anything more quintessentially East London than having brunch in a converted warehouse?

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Enter Bistrotechque – a restaurant in a converted warehouse hidden away in Dalston.

You’ll probably find yourself checking Google Maps, wondering if you’ve gone wrong along the way, and questioning all the endless rows of old warehouses and houses without a hint of ‘there’s a restaurant in here’ as you walk down the street – but don’t let that put you off.

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The only marker that you’re reached Bistrotechque is a discreet little opening between a couple of buildings, which is given away by some dangling lights and some foliage.

Once you head inside and make your way up the stairs, you’re greeted with a massive bright, airy, white room. There’s a large bar running down the side of the restaurant, with an open kitchen at one end, and a piano at the other.

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The room is stark and is simply decorated with industrial drop lighting, original concrete floors and brick walls, plus it comes complete with white-clothed tables, which really brings the place together.

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The menu at Bristotheque is filled with your standard brunch fare, but with a few surprises thrown into the mix. I was gutted to find out that only two weeks after we visited that they added a soft shell crab benedict to their menu!

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I opted for the Bistrotheque Breakfast, which comes with sausage, bacon, baked beans, layered potato, eggs, and toast. It’s a whole lot of food and Conor had to help me finish it off as I couldn’t quite manage it.

Their layered potatoes are something else though – they’re basically fried potatoes but served as stacked, thinly sliced cubes… I dread to think about how many calories they contained.

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Conor went for the Eggs Royale, which was served the traditional way on English muffins but it comes with a little twist, however, as the eggs are topped with caviar.

Now brunch isn’t brunch without a bloody mary (or two), and Bistrotheque mixes up a knockout – just don’t get your spice wimp boyfriend to try it because it really packs a punch.

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Bristotheque, 23-27 Wadeson St, London E2 9DR

 

 

 

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Brunch at Strut & Cluck

If you’re anything like me, your weekday breakfast often consists of eggs or avos – so by the time the weekend rolls around, I’m in the mood for something different. That’s where Strut & Cluck step in. Originally just specialising in dishes featuring the turkey, they’ve branched out to a menu which really showcases Eastern Mediterranean flavours, which they’re known and loved for.

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You’ll find Struct & Cluck on a prime spot on Commerical Street, literally around the corner from Shoreditch High Street overground station. It’s got a glass-fronted exterior which looks into a brightly lit room. It’s filled with rustic wood tables, exposed light bulbs and hanging plants. The now-classic East London look and definitely something I’d love for my own flat.

I went post-gym class at the Adidas Studio and met up with my sister. She ordered the hand-pulled turkey shawarma, which is topped with a fried egg and served with dates, pine nuts, tahini on top of a pita.

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I went for the classic shakshuka, two eggs cooked in a pan with tomatoes, peppers, onions, chilli and chorizo, served with a warm pita for scooping. My eggs, unfortunately, were served undercooked, but the staff took the dish away no problem and gave me a free coffee as an apology.

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It’s a calm little oasis in the heart of Shoreditch – a perfect spot to rest your legs and refuel after a morning of touring East London.

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Strut & Cluck, 151 Commercial St, London E1 6BJ

*Main photo courtesy of Strut & Cluck

 

 

Breakfast in Bread at The Barge House

If you’re looking for an Instagrammable Sunday brunch, then you’ll want to hit up The Barge House in East London. You’ll find it on the Regent’s Canal between Hoxton and Haggerston set in an old Victorian warehouse – all of which are now either places to grab a bite to eat, craft breweries or design studios. The place is decked out fairy lights which cover their floor-to-ceiling windows, with tables along the waterside and a minimalist dining room and an open-plan kitchen.

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Their Breakfast in Bread brunch menu is exactly what it says on the tin – a hollowed-out sourdough loaf packed full with traditional breakfast fare. There are a couple of options to choose from… the original is your standard full English complete with slow-roast tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, leeks, Cumberland sausage, spinach, bacon with an egg. Or you can grab yourself a vegetarian version which comes with avocado, spinach and asparagus.

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Whilst there’s limited choice for veggies, and no vegan options, they do try to source all their produce as ethically as possible. All their eggs are free-range and their sourdough loaves are baked just around the corner at the Better Health Bakery – an artisan bakery who provide trainee placements for adults recovering from mental illness.

I opted for the smoked salmon bread bowl. It’s filled with spinach, leeks, smoked salmon, creme fraiche and topped with an egg and a sprinkle of cheese. It’s a food coma in waiting.

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The Barge House, 46a De Beauvoir Cres, London, N1 5RY

Main photo courtesy of The Barge House

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Green room cafe | Is it worth the wait?

There’s a cute little cafe in Stoke Newington which is merged with a flower shop, known as the Green room Cafe. It’s nestled on Church Street, and if you walk through the florists and head to the back, you’ll find the cafe. It’s got a beautiful outside space where you can bask in the sun and nibble on their cakes in amidst of the plants and flowers.

We were seated promptly (however that was the only thing that was done swiftly), as it takes ages for the staff here to bring you anything. There were only two people covering the entire restaurant which has about 30 tables – a recipe for a disaster.

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We should have picked up on the vibes of the other diners when we arrived – there was definitely an air of annoyance coming from most people and the majority of tables had stacks of dirty dishes piling up on the side.

The main waiter was rushing around telling everyone he would be over in 5 minutes, while seemingly doing nothing other than get himself into a flap. Whilst the other clutched the menu in between his claws and paced up and down the cafe, ‘Hello, can we please have one of those menus in your hands?” – nope, nothing.  And so we were left waiting for almost half an hour until we were finally brought some menus and a jug of tap water.

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Once we finally got our hands on the menu, I decided on a veggie breakfast of halloumi, kale squeak, homemade beans, tomato, mushroom, eggs and toast. My mum opted for the chorizo  shakshuka, which comes with two poached eggs in a tomato sauce and a side of sourdough.

It was then another mission to try and get them to take our order. The only real reason we stuck around was the beautiful setting – it’s kind of hard to stay angry when you’re surrounded by succulents and daffodils.

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Homemade baked beans are rare and these were good. But that’s about where it ends because I served just half of a mushroom. Just half. In what world is serving half a mushroom acceptable? The kale squeak was unseasoned and as there was no salt and pepper on the tables (shock), I couldn’t rectify it to suit my taste buds.

My mum’s shakshuka was good but the eggs were definitely overcooked. a big no no for me. Plus a parsley garnish would have made this dish a real treat and would have helped to amplified the flavour.

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Our brunch was turbulent, we were happy to leave and get out of their hair. I was glad that we had to pay at the till and we were served by the barista. The only process which wasn’t long winded is the one where they take your money. For two coffees, an orange juice and two meals came to £20 – not bad but it would have been nice to get some sort of compensation for the disaster of a breakfast we had just had.

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Green Room Cafe, 113 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 0UD

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Bombay Breakfast at Dishoom

Where do you go when you’re bored of your local curry house and want something a bit special? In my quest to find the answer, and combine my love of brunch and curried food, I finally got around to trying Dishoom – and I’m honestly ashamed I’ve left it so long. It’s bloody brilliant.

My family and I decided to take my Dad for a boozy birthday brunch due to his love for all things spiced. The Dishoom in Kings Cross spans over three floors and pays homage to the bustling meeting points in India for families, friends and travellers alike in their Bombay-styled outpost. Complete with an oversized railway-station clock alongside other retro fittings and ageing sepia photographs.

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We kicked things off with the house chai and a couple of cocktails. Their chai is delicious – it’s rich, creamy and got a real spice kick (it’s also a total bargain and comes with endless refills).

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Moving onto the food, my parents both opted for the Keema Per Eedu which is a big bowl of spiced chicken keema and bits of chicken liver, topped with two fried eggs, sali crisps and served with pau buns (fluffy white bread rolls to you and I).

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I went from the Full Bombay, which comes with akuri (spicy scrambled eggs), grilled bacon, sausages, toast,grilled tomatoes and masala beans. It’s the perfect Bombay-inspired take on a classic British breakfast.

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Whilst everything is subtly spiced, my sister went for one of the more traditional dishes, the Bombay Omelette, complete with tomato, onion, coriander and chilli.

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Now, we weren’t willing to leave without trying one of their Bacon Naan Rolls, which they’ve earned such a name for themselves for. It’s a bacon butty, but not as we know it. The naan is wrapped around a couple of rashers of bacon, cream cheese, coriander and chilli jam. It was damn tasty.

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If you haven’t been to Dishoom already, then you definitely need to.

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Dishoom, Granary Square, 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB

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Brunch at Jones & Sons

Restaurant hide-and-seek is the game Scott and I played when we headed to Jones & Sons in Dalston last weekend. In late October they packed up shop and moved just around the corner to a much larger venue which is located off Gillett Square, and boasts a separate bar area as well as a private courtyard for alfresco dining.

It’s an unassuming little place and incredibly easy to walk past as it’s only sign post on the main road is just a small menu. However, the restaurant itself is beautiful and it plays homage to its old surroundings and home – it’s kept some of the industrial ex-warehouse features and the space is kept deliberately minimalist and is completely flooded with natural light.

When Scott and I arrived the restaurant was completely packed full of people taking full advantage of the bottomless brunch offered, but we still managed to grab two seats at the bar. The bar itself is made of marble (and is made for getting that perfect Instagram shot), however the stools sit far too low making it quite difficult to eat.

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Whilst Jones & Sons is known for the famous bottomless brunches, Scott and I decided to simply order from the menu. I was feeling a bit peek-ish from the following night so decided to kill my pounding head with a Bloody Mary – and boy, it did the trick. The drink was perfectly balanced, bright red and just the right thickness.

I went for the Eggs Royale – an English muffin, topped with smoked salmon, two poached eggs and lashings of hollandise sauce. Since a couple of failed attempts of a hollandise sauce at home I can really appreciate a good one, and at Jones & Sons theirs was the perfect consistency and not too tart from the vinegar and lemon.

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Scott opted for the Full English which came with all the trimmings – a fried egg, black pudding, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and toast. Now it’s not that I’m a slow eater, I just don’t believe Scott breathes when he eats as the plate was demolished in seconds flat.

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Jones & Sons is definitely the place to come for a boozy brunch, but maybe not so perfect if you’re already nursing a hangover as it’s full of twenty-year-olds taking full advantage of the unlimited drinks.

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Jones & Sons, 2G, stamford works, 3 Gillett St, London N16 8JH

Brunch in London | Where to Find the Best Brunches

I seriously love brunch – ask me what I’m doing on the weekend and I can guarantee you I can be found in a café or restaurant eating eggs benedict or avocado toast, sipping on a cappuccino (or a glass of prosecco).

This was a hard post to put together and I’ve been planning something like this for months. I’ve spilt the post up into areas to help make scouting out the top brunch places in London a little easier.

Central London

Ever since Scott took me to Roka for my birthday, I’ve been dying to head back to try their brunch menu. Now, don’t be expecting traditional brunch dishes and the menu is generally considered rather expensive. But their bottomless brunch is mad good value for money at £39 for 12 courses or £55 for unlimited Proesecco. It also runs until 8pm on the weekend so it’s not even strictly brunch….

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Finding decent pancakes in London is difficult – i’m not talking about crepes, I’m talking about delicious mounds of buttermilk covered in maple syrup. Luckily, Granger and Co nail it. They’re not called pancakes, but referred to as hotcakes (but they’re basically the same thing). They’re fluffy and light, and served with ricotta which undercuts the sugaryness of maple syrup and honeycomb butter. Sod your waistline and order yourself a plate of these.

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I’ve only recently found out at Ping Pong’s Lazy Sunday Brunches and it’s only £25 for unlimited dim sum and bottomless bellinis. For me, the best dish on the menu is the char sui bun which are soft, fluffy buns filled with a sticky honey barbecued pork.

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North London

As a North Londoner narrowing down this section has been seriously difficult. There’s so many good places to choose from. I’m going to start this part by mentioning Fink’s Salt and Sweet. It’s a little bit out of the way for your average punter, a 10 minute stroll from Finsbury Park station, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Their avocado toast is some of the best I’ve had and it’s such good value for money.

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Now, you can’t write a best brunch post without mentioning Caravan. There are no reservations and if this were any other restaurant, I wouldn’t bother, but for this quality of coffee and food, I’ll definitely wait. On my last visit I opted for the sweet potato and cumin waffle. The cucumber raita was brilliantly whipped and the mango and coconut added that desired sweetness.

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Most of the places I’ve featured so far have mentioned high calorie dishes. If you’re wanting something a bit lighter then The Grain Store needs to be on your hit list. It’s mainly a vegetarian restaurant and has some vegan options too.

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East London

Broadgate Circle has now turned into a hub for foodies and if you’re looking for a very special brunch, try Beany Green. They showcase bold, healthy food. Think: coconut, quinoa, chia and flaxseed porridge served with fresh berries and gluten-free broccoli and corn fritters served with avocado, eggs and and home-made chilli pesto. My favourite is the avocado toast served on fermented activated charcoal sourdough.

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For an Indian inspired brunch, try Dishoom. Get the egg naan roll, where the naan comes wrapped around two fired eggs, chilli jam, cream cheese and spicy green herbs. Plus, their chai tea is bottomless!

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The city can be eerily quiet on the weekend, but at The Modern Pantry it’s a different story. The brunch menu includes dishes like a coconut and cassava waffle served with a rhubarb & lemongrass compote. You won’t regret ordering the tea smoked salmon with two poached eggs, english muffins, yuzu hollandaise and hazelnut and macadamia dukkah.

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South London

My knowledge of anything south of the river is a little rusty but after a few taste tests, I think I’ve managed to come up with a good selection. Now, a disused carpark might not sound the most glamorous place to go for brunch, but the Bermondsey Yard Cafe is the perfect spot for Sunday brunch. I can’t resist ordering their avocado and teriyaki salmon with picked chilli on sourdough.

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Brickwood in Clapham offers a brunch menu with refreshing tweaks to old classics. Their corn fitters are served with a beetroot creme fraiche and roasted vegetables. If you’re wanting to indulge try their warm, homemade banana bread topped with a whipped espresso. butter.

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Foxlow holds its own among Balham’s many brunch spot. It’s the sister restaurant of Hawksmoor so it’s unsurprising that brunch here is comforting and meaty. Get the fried chicken which for brunch it’s served with an egg and croissant waffle.

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West London

Since Scott moved to West London, I’ve been dying to check out The Parlour in Kensal Green. We’re finally heading there for dinner this week, and it’s decorated in what I can only describe it as ‘homely-industrial’ furnishings. You get free reign on yesterdays bread station so I can guarantee you that you’ll walk out of here happy.

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The Good Life Eatery is exactly was it says on the tin. Think: Acai bowls and poached eggs served with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes and cashew cream.  This place proves that eating healthy can actually be damn tasty too.

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Farm Girl is a all-day breakfast cafe on Portobello Road. I’ve  been following them on Instagram for a while now, and their berry pancakes and rose lattes look good enough to make anyone drool.

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I hope this post has introduced you to or helped you plan any future brunch visits to London. There’s a lot of choice so sadly I couldn’t squeeze them all in (in fear of making it too jam packed), but please so pop your suggestions down below.