Hally's Flat white Parsons Green

I went out for brunch the other day to the lovely Hally’s in Parsons Green. I sat there surrounded by couples, one of whom managed to have three arguments before they had even finished my coffees. Me? I sat there writing my blog, interacting on Twitter and just having an all and all chill time.

I had (much to my horror) never heard of Hally’s, which I’m pretty sure is down to the fact it is across the other side of London from me – us Londoners tend to stick local. Then CitizenMag came along and offered to shout me to brunch at one of their recommendations, and to put it bluntly Hally’s looked like a dreamboat.

And I guess that is one part of why I so often brunch alone, I fucking love cafes. I love finding new ones, I love trying new food and I love supporting the little guy. Which means that I am totally happy to travel for over an hour, to the other side of London, just to experience new brunching horizons. If I was going with friends I would most likely have just gone to an old fave mid-way between where we lived, or at least on a matching tube line. If it is only me that is inconvenienced however, 2.5hour round trip for a super strong flat white is totally reasonable and a damn good way to spend a Saturday.

Hally’s really reminds me of a cafe from home, relaxed but doing everything right. The coffee was an automatic double shot which I am always a well caffeinated fan of, and for once every coffee I ordered had beautiful latte art (normally there is one dud in the bunch) – my excuse for ordering three was ‘quality control’. That is the crux of it, I LIKE noticing the latte art and it is really something you can only pay attention to solo. People see to frown on you interrupting a normal conversation to tell them how pretty the coffee is…

Hally's avocado pancakes Parsons GreenHally's avocado pancakes Parsons Green IMG_5742

I was thinking more about this as the arguing couple got into yet another low volume tiff (if his brother could come and stay next weekend, she didn’t like the brother drinking habits), some of the solo dining thing comes down to the old extrovert/introvert dilemma. I need to spend time by myself to recharge, I need to not worry about saying the right thing, responding in the right way, I need to spend time alone to get me back. I realise to the extroverts among you brunching alone amounts to torture, but that’s ok it takes all sorts and us introverts rely on you to apply for horribly embarrassing reality tv shows which keep us entertained.

The other notable at Hally’s aside from the coffee (and apart from the fluffy fluffy dog on the other side of the room that I sort of wanted to kidnap) was the food. I had never even heard of Avocado and Quinoa pancakes, let alone tried them so of course it is what I went for because I am drawn to the ‘new’ like a moth in a disco. They came with a tomato salsa, goats cheese curd and crispy bacon – more along the ‘corn fritter’ flavour lines then a traditional pancake and they were so tasty. My only wish is that they came with more of a sauce type thing because they were a little dry, but then I spilled my coffee over them and fulfilled my own wish.

Go and check out Hally’s if you are in that neck of the woods, it is a great addition to the London brunch crew and is Instagrammable as heck. I would happily track out there again to eat those pancakes, and once I’ve blogged about it I might even convince some friends to come with…

Pokemon Cafe London
Well now, who knew that all those hours playing Pokémon as a kid were going to be of more use as an adult than long division. Actually, 11 year old Rebecca could have told you that one. Since I am here as a resource to help you survive London, I simply had to write something to make playing Pokémon Go as enjoyable as possible. As you are wandering around London aimlessly looking at your phone here are my favourite cafes and their nearest Pokestops so you can refuel and get your strength back for your next Poke-battle. NB these cafes also work if you are playing Happen, Ingress or Grinder.
London Grind – Try the little silver dragon on a plinth outside or across the road

White Mulberries – Big stone seat just outside and to the left and the Knight outside the Medieval Banquet

Grounded – the gate to the park across the street

Trade – the entrance to Petticoat Lane market down the road

Blixen – the Ten Bells pub on the corner if you turn right and also the Pear sculpture if you walk the other way

Ozone – The Angel pub on the corner of the road

Lantana Old Street – Susanna Wesley memorial in the church next door

Attendant Coffee Shoreditch – pretty much every piece of street art nearby

Shoreditch Grind – The Mirror Disks around the corner

Friends of Ours – Royal Oak Court gate

Modern Pantry Finsbury Square – The square itself is the Pokestop

The Wren – St Nicholas Cole Abbey and the police box at the end of Friday Street

Notes of Music and Coffee – this one is actually near a gym (National Gallery/Trafalgar Square)

Flat White Soho – Jessie Matthews OBE Plaque and also lots of street art nearby

Timberyard Soho – There is a little blue face in the wall near the cafe

Prufrock – The Clerkenwell House Globe just a few doors down

Fields – The Bandstand mosaic and also one on the lower corner of the pond

Fuckoffee Bermondsey – Both of the sculptures outside the White Cube Gallery

Watch Tower – St Mary Magdalen Church

Creme – The ‘Sky Blue Wall’ street art

Freestate Coffee – The gate to Sicilian Ave next door

Sunday – The Hemingford Arms pub

Flotsam and Jetsam – The Althorp Pub

Story – Very weirdly it’s the Peterkin Custard Ghost sign

Granger and Co – The German Gymnasium, the Birdcage sculpture and the waterfall fountain

Milk in Balham – There should be one just around the end of the market under the sign

Brickwood Clapham Common – The Alexandra and the Clapham Common Clock Tower

Hubbard and Bell – Cleopatra Mall Mosaic

Tonic – This is near a gym (Piccadilly Circus)

Duck and Waffle – The entire tower is the Pokestop

Embassy East – The Whitmore Estate

Bourne and Hollingsworth – The Spa Fields just outside the door

Caravan – The fountain just outside

Let me know your favourite cafe and I will try to let you know the Pokestop nearby!

Happy catching.

Find a flat white in London Brunch spots that I love

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.


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.


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 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 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 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 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

Mean Feed at Ozone

I am friends with people from outside New Zealand and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Normally these ‘non-kiwis’ add an interesting nuance to my life and occasionally give me weird flavours of M&M’s (Americans y’all). Whatever UKIP says, making friends with these foreigners has had a positive impact on my life, with little to no economic strife (except that time that I got drunk and paid for all the cocktails THAT’S WHAT I CALL ECONOMIC STRIFE). Recently however I encountered a problem; Kiwi cafe Ozone near Old Street celebrated its fourth birthday a couple of weeks ago with a Mean Feed, a proper kiwi mean feed. And I, always wanting to educate the heathens, decided to take an American with me. An American at a Mean Feed, what could go wrong?

First up was the translation issue. Turns out ‘mean’ is defined as something totally different in America, to our star spangled friends it apparently means ‘unkind’ or ‘spiteful’, whereas of course we all know that ‘mean’ to kiwis is a fucking awesome good time. So when I invited my M&M provider to a Mean Feed, she thought we were heading into a spiteful trough of food. Man this international relations schtick is hard. After I calmed her fears and said there was only a small chance of people being horrible to her (meaning mostly me if she tried to take food off my plate), off to the Ozone Mean Feed we happily went.

I morphed into ‘Super Kiwi’ the moment I walked through the door. With an accent so thick you could throw a sheep at it and a penchant for ghost chips, it’s actually quite amazing that my friend didn’t just run away then and there. Even more so when we sat down and the first thing on the menu was ‘mousetraps’. Believe it or not her disbelieving look didn’t get any better when I described what a mousetrap was – essentially a baked cheese and marmite on toast. Sorry international relations.

Mean Feed at Ozone Cocktail

But like most Kiwi things, as soon as you put it in your mouth all is forgiven. The starters were seriously a taste from home, but of course Ozone had made fancy versions of everything (as is only fitting for its birthday meal). As I sipped my lamington cocktail, the cocktail that I would marry in a heartbeat, it was just amazing to hear a hubbub of kiwi accents around me. Here I was normal, here I could use the word ‘pants’ without being laughed at. Here was home.

Mean Feed at Ozone Cafe Dinner

Choosing between ‘Meat & 3 veg’ or ‘Fish and Chips’ for the main, I of course went for the Meat & 3 Veg options because I am worried I am becoming slightly lamb deficient now I have been outside the mothership for four years. The succulent lamb shoulder with pea puree was enough to make me sing the national anthem right there at the table. Of course for my American friend this was the only normal part of the entire night, Americans are all about that national pride.

Ozone’s fourth birthday was an amazing chance to indulge in my kiwi-ness. So much of what I miss about home is all wrapped up in food; tasting lamb, lamingtons and mousetraps filled up that kiwi sized hole in my heart. Till next time cuz.

Massive thank you to Ozone for having me along, and so sorry for all the singing.

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 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 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).


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.


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 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