London brunch spots that I love

I am a brunch fiend. When you ask what plans I have for the weekend I will inevitably just give you names of cafes. I have so many to recommend that I was starting to stress myself out about all the posts I had to write, so instead I thought I would just do a roundup of some of  my current favorites.

Enjoy!

The brunch train is always moving in London, this post was originally published on May 4th 2015 and has most recently been updated in April 2016.

xx

Sunday Cafe

Sunday Cafe London

Y’all know my usual policy on queuing up for food in London, so you know Sunday must be good since I waited for half an hour outside IN WINTER  to taste the delectable brunch. Keep an eye out on their Instagram for their latest menu (it changes every weekend), but think brunch classics all with a mouth watering twist. Well worth the wait.

 

Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam

I Instagram stalked these guys for AGES. A neighborhood cafe that puts so much care into their dishes that it feels like you are at a Zone 1 restaurant. Think innovative flavours and ‘can’t help but photograph’ plating, like the eggs benedict with a espresso brown butter hollandaise.

 

Milk

IMG_2769

Milk in Balham is one of the most Instagrammed brunch places in London. They have a pretty innovative menu, but it is the ‘pancake of the day’ specials that are the real star. When I went (photo above) it was lime, marshmallow and hobnob pancakes that caught my eye and then made me weep tears of food joy. Very popular, but if you are lucky you can snag a table outside in the sunshine.

 

Granger and Co.

Granger and Co pancakes

I have dreams about Granger and Co. ricotta pancakes, DREAMS. They are topped with a ridiculously good honeycomb butter and might just change your life. Granger and Co is stupidly popular (word about the butter has got out) but if you turn up at 10am you should get a table straight away, half an hour later and you will be queuing in the rain.

 

Story Coffee

Story Coffee Clapham

Sitting at the top of that damn hill in Clapham, Story Coffee is that moment of calm in your day. I was at first a little alarmed at how healthy their pancakes sounded (quinoa pancakes with whipped ricotta, apple and toasted coconut) but blow me down they were good.

 

Friends of Ours

Friends of ours hoxton

Another neighbourhood cafe that just kicks ass. The menu is classic brunch options with unique flavours thrown in to liven up your weekend (beautiful colours on the plate too). Well worth putting up with the high hipster content.

 

Modern Pantry (Finsbury Square)

Modern Pantry Waffles

This is a grown up brunch spot, think hushed waiters and you can actually book. Lets be honest, it was the booking aspect that first grabbed me (I like knowing that I can actually get a seat) but it was the waffles that has kept me coming back every time. Oh those waffles, the waffles of kings – savory and sweet at the same time and made from dates, feta, sweetcorn and spring onion…excuse me while I drool.

 

Grounded Coffee Company

Grounded Coffee Company

A good traditional ‘Aussie’ style cafe (I don’t actually know if they are owned by Aussies or not, its just the vibe), consistently good coffee and poached eggs. Only downside is the lack of bacon on the menu.

 

Blixen

Blixen London

I think I need some sort of affiliate scheme for Blixen because I recommend so many people to go there. Again its a cafe that you can book (thank the lord), and has very colonial decor. The staff are always lovely and are willing to cater to my consistent demand to swap out the spinach for avocado on the poached egg potato rosti – cheers team.

 

Brickwood Coffee

Brickwood Coffee

A firm south of the river favorite, Brickwood is always buzzing. I would recommend going in summer when you can sit outside in their courtyard and take your time over their full on brunch options.

 

Hubbard and Bell

Hubbard and Bell

This is the resident restaurant of the Hoxton Hotel in Holborn. It might just be the day I visited but they were super chilled out and happy for me to sit and blog while drinking endless rounds of coffee. Nice addition is the light options (like the ricotta honey and mint toast above) alongside the traditional brunch so their is something for everyone. I like this place so much I am actually considering staying in the hotel for a night just so I can wake up to Hubbard and Bell.

 

London Grind

London Grind

This is the best boozy brunch place of them all. First its amazing that you can book (a rarity in London), second the location in London Bridge means that almost anyone can get there no matter what tubes are down for the weekend and lastly…Flat White Russians. Yes you heard me, flat white cocktails. Unlike most boozy brunch places that just go for unlimited (and mostly watered down) prosecco, Grind is all about those coffee cocktails. Brunch, drink and be merry.

 

Lantana

Lantana Corn Fritters

BEST CORN FRITTERS IN LONDON. Very Australian cafe with consistently good food, I should know I’ve had their corn fritters once every couple of months for the last two years. Oh and they do proper fatty streaky bacon #swoon.

 

Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi Ace Hotel

This is the center of all that is hipster in London, the Ace Hotel. But once you get through the Apple powered, beard drenched lobby and into the Mad Men style Hoi Polloi restaurant all is forgiven. When we sat down for a late Sunday brunch the cello quartet was playing a Madonna remix, the perfect ironic background to the cocktails and pancakes we scoffed feeling like the girls from Sex in the City.

 

Attendant Coffee

Attendant Cafe Brunch

This cafe is a sister to Attendant Coffee, the cafe in an old Victorian bathroom. Supersized and in the heart of Shortditch this cafe has space for brunchers and coffee drinkers alike. Their corn fritters were a bit anemic (more like pancakes with corn in, rather than a true fritter) but the flavours were Oh My God incredible, so I wouldn’t hesitate on a return visit.

 

Holborn Dining Room

Holborn Dining Room

Now this place is old school brasserie in London, the kind of joint you would take a mobsters parents when you were trying to impress. A bit fancier than your standard brunch (it is based in the Rosewood hotel after all) but the service is 5 star impeccable. What I was most shocked by is that we were there for two hours and they were totally chill and didn’t even try to push us out. I liked that they offered a half size eggs benedict option which meant I could indulge in the goats curd and pomegranate as well.

 

Workshop Coffee Company

Workshop Coffee Brunch

 

Workshop is some of the best coffee in London and their brunch is of a similar high standard. My only advice is to avoid the corn fritters, its like they deep fry them which gives a weird crunchy outer – probably fine as long as you are not a kiwi purist. Very cool branding (love the diamond), well designed cafe, high sharing tables and very buzzy.

 

Duck and Waffle

Duck and Waffle Full Elvis

Not just a fancy feast, you can actually get in and out for under £10 if you order correctly. Its a great place to go if you need to clear your head and get some perspective on London, and the amazing food helps as well. I’ve tried a few things off the brunch menu and by far the namesake Duck and Waffle is my favorite (the full Elvis was just a little too much for me).

 

Embassy East

Embassy East Brunch

A lovely neighborhood cafe (makes me wish I lived in the neighborhood!) that does all the brunch classics exactly how they should be. They also have a great selection of toasted sandwiches, you know a place was started by kiwis when you get a toasty! Spot on coffee and a place I will be heading to time and time again.

 

Trade

Trade Cholla Roll

Raaa I love this place. Mostly because they will give me a bacon roll with a poached egg on top at any time of the day, but also because of the ever changing salads and sunny garden out the back. If you go you have to save room for their salted caramel brownie, so so good.

 

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Bourne and Hollingsworth Building London

B&H inside is all white with tropical fabrics, and a bar that you can brunch at if you are on your own. I love that their big breakfast is mix and match (so you get the bits you like), the drop scones with different toppings, and of course a gin and earl grey breakfast cocktail.

 

Caravan Kings Cross

Caravan Kings Cross

If you want somewhere to spend five hours and graduate from flat whites to espresso martinis then Caravan is the place to be. Generally hopeless service (I think its just because there are SO many tables, they can’t be that attentive) but damn good food. And that it is close to Kings Cross which is convenient for everyone is a bonus.

 

Find a flat white in London

Coffee with Currys

Have I mentioned that I *quite* like coffee? Coffee is my happiness when times are hard, it’s my bit on the side of life. But sometimes coffee plays hard to get i.e. it’s raining outside and I don’t want to get out of my pajamas. At home my parents have a Nespresso machine, and I have seriously toyed with the idea of getting one myself purely for the lazy rainy days of London.

It’s not that Nespresso makes the best coffee in the world, I think the independent roasters in London can take that crown. I find it really hard to make consistently good coffee at home even when I’m grinding the beans myself and what the Nespresso offers is a consistently good coffee – I’m talking coffee that even my Dad can make.

Anyway a couple of months ago I was invited to a Nespresso blogging event. The idea with these events is to get a group of bloggers in a room and introduce them to the product, and if they like it they will share with their readers. And for this Runawaykiwi it means turning extremely awkward in a room full of strangers and embarrassing myself somehow – this was no exception.

When I arrived I learned two things, first there was a Twitter competition to win a Nespresso machine running throughout the day, and secondly that my team of bloggers would be starting at the cocktail station. What could go wrong right?

After making (and downing) two coffee and rum cocktails I was both caffeinated and drunk. Imagine a slurry energiser bunny with a kiwi accent. It was at this ‘might get kicked out’ stage that I got AN AWESOME IDEA.

So I hid myself in a corner and, ah … tweeted a bit. Drunk caffeinated me wanted to win the Nespresso machine so I could always feel this phenomenal. Clearly the only thing that would win me coffee glory was solving world peace (read from the bottom up)…

Coffee with Nespresso war

Since winning the machine I have a new routine in the mornings. In my normal WHY THE FUCK AM I AWAKE daze I throw a pod in the machine and make a decent coffee in about ten seconds, then as I am doing my makeup and watching Blackadder, Nespresso slowly turns me human and ready to face the day.

Chur bro.

 

 

Find a good flat white in London

Since the day I arrived in London coffee has been my luxury. I might not have been able to afford flash restaurants or weekend trips away (or even my rent to be honest) but I could fill my weekends with good coffee. For less than £3 I could sit in a heartrendingly hip London cafe, sip a flat white and dream big.

After almost three years here and an estimated 1,825 cups of coffee it really grinds my gears when people say “there is no good coffee in London”… fuck off back to your ignorant hobbit hole you decaffeinated little turd. There is some amazing coffee to be had in London, and most of it has made its way here via the antipodes. So I present to you my favourite spots, tried and tested time and time again – read on to discover where to find a good flat white in London.

To see them all on a map click here

White Mulberries

White Mullberries London

These guys have a really soft squishy special place in my heart. One of the first good coffee places I discovered in London, and because it looks out over the yachts of St Katherine Docks it reminds me of home. Tiny but amazing, especially if you can snag a seat outside next to the water. They have spot on coffee every single time and a great range of tempting counter food; oh and they once saved me a doughnut when I tweeted them #service

Notes of Music and Coffee

Notes of music and coffee

Another sentimental one for me, I first discovered these guys when I was visiting the National Gallery every weekend (even if you are not into art, come winter the National Gallery is a) warm and b) free). Beautiful coffee that they roast themselves, and if you sit there long enough the coffee turns to wine. They also have a barrow down at Borough Market which I always make a bee line to when I visit (I’m less likely to punch a tourist if I am pre-caffeinated).

Grounded Coffee Company

Grounded Coffee Company London

This is the new kid on the block and I love. Uniquely for London there is actually a fair bit of seating here, and the doors open up completely which makes you feel like you’re in a different city entirely. They also do a cracking brunch, but this cafe is so new that it missed out on my favourite brunch spots list… so it wound up here!

Flat White Soho

Flat White Soho amaze balls

I know, with a name like that would you expect anything else? Very tight on seating, but perfect to grab a coffee to go before you brave the crazy that is Oxford Street. If you are lucky they will also have their legendary Amazeballs which are essentially the balls of the gods and must be consumed in multiples of two.

The cafe with no name

Cafe with no name

Ok it actually does have a name, The Exmouth Coffee Company. But since it has no damn sign outside it is forever being described as The Cafe with No Name, and thus it is what everyone calls it. Again very consistent coffee (do I need to keep saying this, its a list of good coffee?), plus some delicious counter food including a bar that is just caramel and pecans NOTHING ELSE.

Fernandez and Wells

Fernandez and Wells

Mostly focussing on cured meats and cheese, they are the perfect spot for a mid-touristing coffee. The outlook over the courtyard of Somerset House is something truly special.

Timberyard

Timberyard Salted Caramel Affogato

Do yourself a favour and go to Timberyard this summer, order the Salted Caramel Affogato and then accept that you will never have such joy dancing across your taste buds as you do at this moment. For all you health conscious freaks of nature that don’t believe in ice cream first thing on a Sunday morning they also do a kick ass flat white and other treats such as peanut butter brownie.

Prufrock

Prufrock London coffee machine

Prufrock is the shit, if I was going to stage a hostile takeover and move my bed into a cafe it would be Prufrock that got the unholy honour. This place is huge by London standards and has free wifi so is ideal for blog hopping. If you go it’s almost compulsory to get a brownie bite to go with your flat white, and if you are a true rebel you will let it soak up the dregs (trust me on this).

Fields

Feilds Cafe Clapham

Ok so I HATED the brunch here, it was a weirdly coloured salt city on a plate. However the coffee was on point and served in a very cute little bubble glass. So I would return just for the flat white if I ever ventured south of the river.

Fuckoffee

Bermondsy Street Coffee

These guys are worth a visit just to get the coffee card alone. Now don’t be confused when you don’t see the ever glorious flat white on the menu, its written up there at ‘fat wife’…I can’t speak for the sense of humour but the coffee it worth the pretense. A sister cafe to Brick Lane Coffee, both cafes have some very cool art on the walls and music tends to be pumping all day. With a tag line of ‘come happy leave edgy’ you know the coffee is strong and should be injected directly into the eyeballs.

Watch House Coffee

Watch House Coffee

Crap I love this place, so damn cute. It’s worth a visit just to check out the curved wooden benches with inbuilt USB ports for charging your phone. Go early because it is a cafe that is slightly smaller than life-sized.

The Wren

The Wren Flat White London

You walk inside and feel like you are walking on hallowed ground. Although given that the Wren is good coffee in the chain coffee death zone that is the area between St Pauls and Tate Modern maybe it is just a little bit holy. When the law finally changes and lets me marry coffee I will hold the ceremony in front of the stained glass of the Wren. #singleforever

Cream

Cream shoreditch

The first time I wen’t I wasn’t a huge fan of their flat white (too milky for my taste) but it makes the list because coffee lovers I respect rave about it, and fuck it everyone has their own taste in coffee (maybe I just need to order down a cup size??). Plus this cafe makes you feel like you have been transported to Titirangi by lining the walls with plants and light. Very very chillaxing.

Curators Coffee Gallery

Curators Coffee Gallery Matcha Flat White

I think these guys do good coffee. I say that because I made a grave error here by trying a matcha flat white because all the other hipsters mums let them do it. The most positive review I could give a matcha flat white is that it tastes like a really nice pond scum…NB I don’t like green tea so no idea what I was thinking even trying it. The coffee I had afterwards was good but I was so busy retching over bits of pond scum that I think it might have been amazing and I just didn’t notice.

Holborn Grind

Holborn Grind

Part of the Grind chain you can always be sure of two things when you visit – that you will get a really good flat white and that apple computers will outnumber actual conversations.

Tonic Coffee Bar

Tonic Coffee London

If you are brave enough to get off the tube and walk through the mini-New York that is Piccadilly Circus then Tonic can be your reward. No seating but great coffee so worth adding an extra couple of minutes onto your City Mapper journey so you can pick up a flat white on the move.

Freestate Coffee

Freestate Coffee London

This place is always packed and rightfully so with coffee as good as this. Even being the introvert that I am I ask to share a table with a stranger just so I can imbibe the perfect flat white on the spot.

 

Brunch spots that I love

Runawaykiwi in a box

Hello ducks

Its been a long couple of weeks at Runawaykiwi Towers. For those not in the know, I am an event manager by day and we are now 22 days away from my next biggie: One Live London. It an amazing beast to be working on, but also stressful enough for my colleagues to pack me in a box for a bit to calm me down. The video from my last event is below, and trust me when I say that it doesn’t event begin to show the passion of the day. I think I am going to schedule a few posts to go out in the next few weeks, because my life is all about One Live right now.

I am so excited for this bank holiday weekend, honestly could not have come at a better time (thanks bank holiday scheduling gods!). I’m going to be as anti-technology as possible this weekend, because I know what I’m like, I’ll turn my laptop on to blog and wind up five hours later buried in a risk assessment or loading bay plan. So three days of a closed laptop, phone on airplane mode and flat whites on tap it is! Its crazy how much time I spend in front of a screen, I mean it is work, hobby and how I connect with my friends (and how I avoid getting lost in London!). I might go to extremes and try to replace my online life with IRL, real time fruit ninja anyone?

Some seriously good times have been had amongst this stress ball fun. I went for an evening of perfume and cocktails with Jess and Emma last week, which started well when we were sat at the same table as a couple on a first date – yes we of course were totally unobtrusive and did not mock the guy at all*. None of us were quite sure what the event was, but I had just the most amazing time sitting in a train station talking absolute bullocks with two of the coolest chicks I know. Sometimes you just don’t realise how much you needed your friends until you are sitting next to them, pairing shots with perfumes and whispering nonsense.

Blixen London

What else to update you on?  Oh there is a wicked cool new brunch spot near Liverpool Street. Its called Blixen and the design/fit out is beautiful. The important bit of course is that I would marry the barista the coffee was so good, and they were more than happy with my request to change out spinach for avocado. Winning so hard I went back three times in three days #fangirl

Anyway things on my non-technology horizon this weekend is to discover a couple of new coffee places, try on dresses for my sisters wedding (if you see any white dresses tweet me!) and I might even make a cake.

Love you kids, life may be stressful but by god it is fun.

Xx

 

*lies all lies, we were horrific.