brunch

Sunday, Barnsbury

It’s been a couple of months now since I made the move from West London to North. And I have fallen head over heels for a wonderful part of town called Barnsbury. If you’ve ever been here – you’ll know why. Tucked away between Kings Cross, Highbury & Islington and Angel, Barnsbury reminds me of platform 9 and 3/4. Many people don’t really know of its existence and it’s a gateway to magical secrets and experiences. (More on those to follow in later posts). But for now let me tell you about the not-so-secret yet absolutely magical restaurant called Sunday.

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You can get coffee in the queue to keep your hands warm

I once read a review that stated Sunday Barnsbury is the neighbourhood restaurant that everyone wishes they lived next door to’ and they really were right. So much so, that this place has queues out of the door every Saturday and Sunday. Long queues.

Sunday’s like the Berghain of Barnsbury. But with more food, and everyone gets in… eventually.

Throngs of people are willing to freeze at 9.15 on a February morning, waiting in line for brunch at Sunday. (I have actually seen people run to beat other people to the front of the queue before it opens at 9am on a Saturday morning). If that’s not dedication for a perfectly poached egg, I don’t know what is.

In our culture of instant gratification, queuing is annoying. Especially if you’re hungry / hungover / checking Instagram for real time food updates on the inside, dreaming of Deliveroo.

So is it worth the wait?

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Brunch at Sunday isn’t for the faint hearted. Come hungry!

Without a doubt, Sunday is worth the wait. I do think they should build another one next door (hey, why not call it Saturday?) so that they can serve more people but I also think they should more accommodating to people in the queue. Once you’ve got your name on the clipboard, you’re not shown any “Sunday love” until you get inside. They could make more effort to serve tea and coffee to those who are waiting outside.

Once you’re in though, it’s all about the delicious and creative food options, alongside freshly roasted coffee. The menu changes weekly and is focused around fresh and seasonal ingredients. They are very friendly to gluten-free people and have the most amazing GF toast if you ask for it. I’ve eaten here a few times now and my favourite dish has to be the ham hock potato rosti with poached egg and rocket, picture below. They also serve Bloody Marys, bubbles and wine – so you can get your breakfast booze fix if that’s what you’re looking for.

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Poached egg porn

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TOP TIP: If you don’t fancy the weekend queuing malarkey or getting up early, why not try booking for dinner? They serve dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights – no queuing included. The buzzing little place is filled with candles and is a good option for an intimate dinner with friends or a date.

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Courgette fritters with avocado, halloumi and poached eggs

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Sunday Barnsbury
169 Hemingford Rd,
London N1 1DA

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Brunchin’ at Bills

Walking into any of the Bills restaurants is like rocking up at an old friend’s house on a Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere is always buzzing yet relaxed and everyone is so very welcoming – even at 7am, when they open for breakfast on week days. There aren’t many places this good open that early during the week, so Bills is ideal for a catch up with friends before work or a lazy meal here any other time! The menu is gluten-free friendly too, so you can enjoy smoked salmon and poached eggs on toast. Full allergen advice can be found here.

Take a friend, take your date, take your dog – Bills could be your new favourite local. (And don’t forget to try the sweet potato chips)…

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Bills Restaurant
Kensington Arcade,
125 Kensington High Street,
London
W8 5SF

The Modern Pantry

If you like your juices freshly blended, your flat whites strong yet foamy, your bread gluten-free and your eggs perfectly poached, head to Clerkenwell for breakfast at The Modern Pantry. This place does a seriously good brunch.

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We sat in the late Autumn sun outside and read the extensive menu, trying to decide which option we could leave out. Halloumi? Chorizo? Wilted spinach? In the end we just ordered them all!

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Before the food came we ordered more coffees and a Matcha almond milk latte – basically superfood! Energised enough for our feast, we tucked into the breakfasts in all their glory.

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This is now a firm favourite on my list, and very friendly to the gluten-free peeps. I’m already planning my next visit!

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The Modern Pantry
47-48 Saint John’s Square
Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JJ

Granger & Co.

There’s a good feeling about this easy-going Australian run joint. The menu has a strong selection of small plates which are great for sharing with friends, and more interesting than the usual bites to share. We had the shaved kohlrabi with taramasalata and ground sesame which was light and zingy, followed by the miso aubergine with fried tofu. I could eat that aubergine dish every day… For non-gluten free people, I hear the courgette chips are delicious too.

Granger & Co.
175 Westbourne Grove
London, W11 2SB

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Breakfast with Charles

Breakfast with Charles
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“Dinner parties are mere formalities. You invite a man to dinner because you must; but you invite a man to breakfast because you want to see him.”

Brunch parties are my absolute favourite. They allow for the most indulgent of breakfasts, debauchery before teatime and an early night’s sleep. Make that brunch in London Bridge on a seriously hot Sunday at The Rooftop Cafe, under the soaring stalagmite that is The Shard – and you quickly forget that winter ever happened and London becomes the best city on earth. photo 4

Greeted by a glass of bubbly or a selection of brunchy cocktails, I was grateful when the dinky breakfast canapés were served on the terrace. Homemade granola with a rhubarb and gin compote, Fresh baked beans with prosciutto bacon and Mini shakshouka, with a quails egg on top. They were so good I only managed to get a picture of the empty pots. photo 3

The stars of the show are Leiths-trained Charlie Hall and Max de Nahlik, who whip up a storm in the kitchen from great seasonal produce. Once we were seated, the food just kept on coming. Scallop kedgeree with bacon and a spiced tomato chutney (delicious if a little heavy on the cardamom) was followed by Salt-beef hash with homemade pickles and an “hour-long” egg. (Not sure what an “hour-long” egg was, but it was damn good).

These guys have set the standard for brunch so high, that I just won’t bother making it myself again. If I’m having brunch, I’m having it with Charles from now on. They’ve just released tickets for their upcoming dates. Book now, they will definitely sell out. 8/10

Breakfast with Charles
The Rooftop Cafe,
28 London Bridge Street,
London, SE1 9SG

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