Granger & Co. (N1, EC1, W11)

Bank Holiday and the capital was buzzing under the sunny and glorious rays of the sun… and whilst the plan was to go up to the Shire for the Malibu Water Ski competition (where my Robin was to compete) we could have not skipped brunch…

The plan was pretty simple… gym, packing, brunch and then train… so destination?! Kings Cross… Options? Plenty, but none as amazing as Granger & Co.

13295237_10153594484745808_1297284541_n

While Granger & Co. is not a new player, it is a growing one nonetheless. I remember over 4 years ago I used to queue outside the Notting Hill branch, on Westbourne Grove, in anticipation of those beautifully presented scrambled eggs. And look at me now, still “queueing” (not really as there were not many people on Monday) but outside the Kings Cross restaurant ready to indulge in whatever egg based dish.

13329855_10153594486585808_22694473_n

With the rise of the vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free culture I noticed that the menu was definitely different from what I remembered. With a lot more quinoa, smoothies, cold brew coffees and other “hipsterious” additions including my choice of the “Tea smoked salmon” or as the waitress corrected me the “Fresh Aussie” dish.

13293018_10153594484450808_1068759219_n

Robin, went for something more naughty though… corn fritters with bacon and a salsa to accompany the symphony of colours.

13293051_10153594486545808_1027326878_n

I have to admit the food was great, the ambiance was very elegant and the company even better. To top everything the bubbles made an appearance in the end to give me that extra Bank holiday kick i needed.

The prices were not as cheap as the well known Breakfast club’s but were definitely worth as the quality and quantity offered at Granger & Co was absolutely impeccable and more than sufficient.

If it’s your first time I do recommend you go for the scrambled eggs as to me is the signature dish of Granger & Co. I bet you’ll be excited too when they’re presented in front of you. Moreover, if it’s sunny outside, try the cold brew coffee… it’s so quenching and fresh!!!
Feeling like a starter? (or a “small dish” as they call them) Go for the whipped avo with tofu and chia seeds it’s beautiful too.

13318773_10153594486575808_1095434753_n

Address: 50 Sekforde St, London EC1R 0HA (Clerkenwell) 
Address: Unit 1 Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square, London N1C 4AG (Kings Cross)
Address: 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SB (Notting Hill) 
13335299_10153594484715808_1749327135_n

 

 

 

Advertisements

Christabel’s Mad Hatters Brunch

I bumped onto “Christabel” in one of my mad researches which was underpinned by my thirst for adventure.In fact it almost felt as if I  was chasing Mr. Rabbit like a post-modern Alice… who was popping into the most mysterious of holes!

tumblr_inline_ncolenKAsn1rrvpyp

Overseeing Regent’s canal, on the 5th floor of the cutest little apartment, somewhere over the rainbow, between Islington and Hackney (blurred lines),  I found myself sitting in the most peculiar brunch…

tumblr_inline_ncole8ypS61rrvpyp

no poached eggs and granola this time..but a Mad hatters symposium on the elaborately decorated tables shared by complete strangers. Intriguing to say the least and yet exciting altogether!!!!

This in fact was not a random event nor a silly story that i’m making up, to make a friend’s house warming sound thrilling, it is actually Christabel’s invention and ongoing project, concept, baby, creation (call it what you like) …a series of popups around London: brunches, banquets, high teas …and more…

tumblr_inline_ncolmfEmFq1rrvpyp

tumblr_inline_ncolmszmEO1rrvpyp

tumblr_inline_ncoln41PG61rrvpyp

The Menu goes something like this…

Mad Hatters Cocktail -(an elaborate prosecco actually)

Sausage bap with chilli tomato chutney and grainy mustard

Scrambled eggs with spicy honey & thyme 

Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup

Pancakes with lemon and sugar

Celery and peanut butter

The gooooooiest of chocolate brownies

A selection of Tea Pigs teas and coffee!

(price from £20)

tumblr_inline_ncolz5KpNi1rrvpyp

Time was definitely well spent and the event was made even brighter by the presence of those strangers who were sharing the table, who by the end of the event became promising acquaintances. The impeccable mr. Porter and the most Pleasant couple consisting of vibrant story teller Vicki and her charming spouse Tom. Discussions about life and stories travelling us all the way to Africa back, shared experiences at alternate times and plans of a not so distant future … it was indeed a madhatter’s brunch, one i highly recommend not so much for the food but more for the people who might happen to sit next to you and you’ll get to meet and be enchanted by their lives and tales.

tumblr_inline_ncolpx2zDy1rrvpyp

for more information regarding upcoming events click here

tumblr_inline_ncolpdMFn31rrvpyp

 

 

Slate (EC2)

tumblr_inline_mx13dvvXWa1rrvpyp

My affiliation to good coffee is by now known to all my friends… in fact even to the people who happen to have met me just once too! I sometimes listen to myself going on and on about coffee, about monmouth, about quality, necessity, perfection and addiction… and i think.. “Damn people must really think i’m weird” !!!! …

Oh well… this is who i am right?! a coffee and brunch lover… ! So now back to Slate..!!!!

You can find Slate on Curtain road right in the heart of Shoreditch. I have been passing by it for many months now and yet never had the time to actually get in, however it’s window always captured my attention!

why?! well.. it’s one of those little organic, hipster-y, tiny and incredibly cute and funky places i usually fall in love with! And after my visit… now i know that it also makes great and strong coffee escorted by fresh delicious pastries !

Whether it is breakfast, a swift take away moment, or a lazy sunday afternoon, Slate is the optimum choice… and probably my new “hideout” as of next year! Also, besides the good coffee, you must definitely try the TEA… seriously!!!! Detox, Calm, Cleanse, Digest… all natural ingredients.. fresh mint, fresh ginger, slices of lemon.. Slate makes the “tea-drinking” a sensational experience and a perfect remedy for a hangover too!

Moreover, there’s a wide selection of pastries and other treats (that look delicious)!!!! I should really go for the almond croissant very very soon!

tumblr_inline_mx13hke2OX1rrvpyp

Address: 96 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3AA
tumblr_inline_mx13zhm7gs1rrvpyp

Ivy’s Mess Hall (E8)

tumblr_mnifunLwIq1ryf861o1_500
A long time ago some very intriguing pancake pictures (on FaceBook) had caught my eye… I clicked on the link and it directed me to this page: “Ivy’s Mess Hall”, a small cafe/breakfast/lunching/dining/drinks and fun place in Dalston (on Kingsland road). I was postponing my visit due to work, however, the right time came for me to go check whether the amazing online pictures were reflective of the reality!
tumblr_mnifunLwIq1ryf861o3_1280
OH yes… they did!!!!!! maybe even better!!!!! Ivy’s Mess Hall just got really high on my “favourite places to have breakfast at in London” list and i’m definitely going back there soon!!!!!

It wasn’t just the lovely ambiance of the cafe, or the laid back and funky staff but it was also the relaxing and friendly mood that the people, who visited the place, were creating. A father with his little daughter creating moments and memories together over fried eggs, orange juice and laughter.

A company of adults, cribs and babies all enjoying a sunny and warm bank holiday. Even the weird yet extremely polite Jewish old man who kindly asked to share the table with me!!!!! all the different stories developing under the same roof… so sweet!

Loved it 🙂

tumblr_mnifunLwIq1ryf861o6_1280
Address: 129 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB

Brunch-teaser

tumblr_mmozu4XNV21r3qlh3o1_1280

Have you woken up to a boozy head? or simply to a lazy body… fear not eggs are not hard to make (not when you have Robin around). Neither is the outfit for it (keep it casual yet edgy).

Brew that coffee and boil that water…we’ll be poaching!!!! Stay tuned for our DIY “poached egg” recipe of the week

 

Pierre Balmain printed tee / Pierre Balmain hot short shorts / Pierre Balmain black bra

 

(Source: pierrebalmain)

The Modern Pantry (EC1)

tumblr_n1wnjo0HYf1ryf861o1_500

And upon entry I felt 5 again… This doll-like house, restaurant or modern pantry, as it is named, brought to me the kind of joy I used to have as a little kid! At first i wanted to actually Go around and explore the place and a tart playing “tea-time” but I knew my Dad wouldn’t be thrilled to wear pearls and tutus and follow my plans ;p it’s so good when he’s visiting London because being the Greeks we are, we do a lot of bonding over food… Great food… Brunch food (my personal favourite)

 

Anyhow… Back to the Modern Pantry … Lovely space, amazing Food and impeccable service !!!!

tumblr_n1wnjo0HYf1ryf861o9_1280
I highly recommend the ricotta and berry pancakes … OMG … Sensational (and imagine I only had a bite from my dad’s plate)
To spice things up go for a bubbly delight (Bellini) to accompany your incredible breakfast!

Address: 47-48 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, Greater London EC1V 4JJ

Rawduck (E8)

IMG_2867

Restless aren’t we all? Explorers unleashed in a city of endless possibilities, London that is…

This humid Saturday morning found me recovering from a little back fall… I was eagerly staring at my window like a child trying to command the rain to stop from pouring down. Anticipating for that tiny ray of sun which would allow me to escape my bed nest and embark on yet another mini journey of mine.

And so it happened, the Gods of sun were finally on our side! Upon the sun’s glorious rise i called my co-captain little ZouzounEl (PS:that’s my flatmate/cousin/closest friend) and we both left the house with a strong appetite  for adventure!

IMG_2859

Although we had not really gone that far and nor had we discovered the Atlantis, we did manage to discover “Rawduck” !!! Another hipster-organic haven just off the tip of London Fields park.

A truly beautiful  and not so little place! I did fall in love with the enormous windows which were welcoming in the light and brightness to accompany and entertain ones brunching session.

Organic as it was, we felt impelled to order something green and detoxifying to go with our eggs. While Eleni got a spinach-cucumber-cayenne combo, i got a lemongrass kombucha …(yes click here for more info because i’m not even in a position to explain what it really is, besides that apparently it’s really good for you).

IMG_2864

IMG_2860

Half a glass for £5 and a shot of my Kombucha for £3.50, i wouldn’t say Rawduck is a cheap eat but it is definitely a place that will leave you satisfied and keep you coming. Perfect for birthday brunches (already making plans) or simply weekend debriefings with a bunch of friends.

Mouthwatering organic poached eggs laying on a bed of avocado and sourdough bread for me and a rainbow of quinoa avocado and vine tomatoes for my co-captain. Two very satisfied adventurers indulged into this little pleasure of life while contemplated upon all those other puzzles and burdens they yet had to solve!

IMG_2866

Address: 197 Richmond Rd, London E8 3NJ

 

OPSO (W1)

IMG_2037

And just when we started getting used to cheesy Greek food chains that promoted cheap disgusting versions of incredible food …suddenly this little gem comes to turn things around.

OPSO, just 2 minutes off Marylebone road, this tiny little “Modern Greek” brasserie/bar has risen the standards and left me wanting more!

I first heard about it 5 months ago and being my normal arrogant self i immediately dismissed it along the basis of previous experience. However, as my Facebook started buzzing with instagram pictures of hipster-y rice porridges (rizo-galo) and fancy “tsoureki” pastries in pots, i realised that it was about time to give it a go.

IMG_2040

Minimal and yet with touches of warm wood to bring it down to its earthly origins, OPSOsurpassed my expectations, not only because the food was incredible but also because i came across that accustomed greek hospitality i so much miss. The laughter, the politeness, the cheekiness, the open-heartedness … the entire package that created a small enclave of what used to be home.

IMG_2041

Although the food is not purely greek but rather a fusion of Mediterranean cuisine with touches of modern European, i must admit that the little Greek touches made the whole experience all that much better.

Poached eggs on fresh warm “koulouri” bread and the traditional rice porridge with cinnamon got me so excited and proud about the great representation of culinary culture OPSO is pushing forwards.

IMG_2045

Just to be crystal clear, OPSO does not only serve brunch, believe me i’ve been several times and tried the entire menu (click here for the dinner menu) and feel free to explore the summery flavoured drinks the bar has to offer…Personal favourite the “masticha negroni” !!!
In terms of food I highly recommend the deconstructed “pastitsio” (very similar to lasagna) as well as the tiny fish burgers!!!

I fell in love so much with that place that i even got in argument with a colleague, passionately defending its supremacy over other restaurants of its standards across London. Silly me…i guess my Greek feistiness surpasses my rationality some times…

Oh well… OPSO is worth it! for more information on the restaurant click here

IMG_2036

Address: 10 Paddington St, London W1U 5QL

 

Berner’s Tavern (W1)

One of the most popular on Time Out’s list, Berner’s tavern has definitely met the expectations.

10863735_10152599301285808_1640956995_n

Saturday, just 2 days after the graduation and we were still celebrating successes, birthdays, Christmas – to come – and other excuses… 🙂

Rushing out of home around 9am to get to the Edition hotel, where the Brunch, or rather breakfast was to commence.

10881342_10152599301395808_209593667_n

An incredible setting was to unravel before us. A high ceiling with an elaborate decor sculpted wide across. The walls were hidden behind the majestic golden frames whose beauty could draw your attention away from the pictures within them.

10867208_10152599301355808_10527993_n

Our breakfast choices are always pretty fixed. We are so predictable all of us. Dad is always searching for those perfect “fat” american pancakes and mom goes for the sunny side up… as for me… the pretentious health freak its usually poached eggs with some side to go with it.

The service was great, the staff very accommodating.. everything suited the posh ambiance of the restaurant. All the products were organic/free range and the bread was fresh and rich.

Definitely a place i shall visit again, probably soon, and also one i highly recommend.

Address: 10 Berners St, London W1T 3LF

BBB – Notting Hill (W11 )

11275667_10152889778195808_1876531939_n

…and if this place needs introductions then my friend you’ve been missing out big time!!!!

Saturday… Eleni and I were prepping for this hipster-ish Solid Grooves warehouse party in Battersea (please don’t judge we’re simply trying out new things). However, as part of our brunch escapades, we decided to go to the party via Notting Hill. What better reason than to enjoy our little saturday ritual in one of London’s finest… the glorious BBB (Beach Blanket Babylon) Notting Hill.

Extravagant, decadent and yet ultimately elegant, this little gem is one of Rania’s (that’s me) top 5!

To commence a glass of bubbly to spark things up and get us warmed up for what was to follow…

Pour moi, the all time classic poached on herbed up avocado all lying on a warm buttery sourdough! It is not really the great quality that one expects at BBB it is the entire setting, the environment of the place itself. Baroque and renaissance touches of gold and burgundy, majestic fireplaces and royal lions looking over you while you indulge in this melange of perfection.

11269924_10152889774960808_367990381_n

Guilty as charged, i do enjoy the simple luxuries of an elegant brunch as much as i enjoy the funkiness of a warehouse party… After all we’re in London aren’t we? Embracing our cosmopolitanism is the least we can do.

11304248_10152889774965808_838985533_n

BBB is the perfect place for a late night drink too. Watch out for those mini and mega celebs that share the same love as i do for this place. But please try to be sensible contrary to me bumping onto little mr. Middleton (James that is), which ended in a super awkward moment as i failed to realise who he was and dismissed his poor attempt to a flirt. Oh well.. i should have known my British socialites better!

PS: Don’t get deceived from the extravagant deco… outfit is still smart casual, don’t let me catch you wearing glitter, sparkles and other tacky outfits. Elegance is the key, it will match perfectly with your order of eggs royale!

Address: 45 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AA