Monday, December 10, 2012

London Guide: Brunch Special

I have had the please of going to brunch two weekends in a row.
I know for Americans, this may not seem like an usual occurrence,
but I assure you that in London it is.

Last weekend, I went to brunch with some friends for my birthday 
at The Riding House Cafe on Great Titchfield Street.

I had the buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries, vanilla clotted cream and maple syrup,
and they were amazing.  They were the perfect consistency for buttermilk pancakes,
and the clotted cream was so good that I didn't feel guilty for an instance.
I also ordered the artichoke dip with the crostini as a small plate in order to try
the savoury food.  It was really good but they weren't exaggerating that it was a small plate.
The friends I was with got the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and said the eggs
were perfect - creamy but not at all runny.  One friend also got the goat's curd, pear and honey
small plate that I was eyeing up the whole time - it looked great.

As for the booze - I had the Fitzroy Twinkle - Stolichnaya vodka, elderflower
cordial and champagne, which was lovely and a little strong.

With the brunch as a benchmark, I will definitely be visiting the Riding House Cafe
again for lunch or dinner.

What made the experience even more enjoyable was the decor.
The restaurant had a simple rustic theme, but with
quirky touches like the lamp shades and orange booths above,
or the wooden cabinet you see in the bottom photo which is actually
the cloak rack.

My favourite quirky touch? The taxidermy squirrels on the sconces.

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Food: 7
Atmosphere: 8
Service: 7
Price: £££
Overall experience: 8

Yesterday, my birthday celebrations continued with K taking me for
a lovely day out around London, which started with
brunch at The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields.

This place is not new to London, but it was new to me.
We had to wait outside for about 20 minutes before getting a table
because you can't book ahead, but it was a nice, bright morning,
so it wasn't bad at all.  I gather that the Spitalfields location is their
most popular and largest (they also have cafes in Islington, Soho and Hoxton).

The decor was effortless-salvage-yard pulled off really well, 
complete with old school benches for booth seating and 
My Little Pony wallpaper leading to the bathroom.

The Morning Mojitos were fantastic - your standard mojito with grapefruit.

I have Huevos al Benny - huevos rancheros meets eggs benedict, if you will - 
poached eggs, chorizo, roast peppers, avocado, fresh chillies and spicy
hollandaise on English muffins.  K had the All American (pancakes, eggs,
sausage, streaky bacon, home fries, scrambled eggs), which he really enjoyed
(although I feel a disclaimer is necessary - he's not an American).

Finally, the coffee was quality, which is very important.

(All images from The Riding House Cafe courtesy of their website.
All images from The Breakfast Club taken by me via Instagram.)

Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Food: 7
Atmosphere: 8
Service: 8
Price: £
Overall experience: 8

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