11 July 2015

Five best brunches near Wandsworth Common

Go Earlsfield is delighted to welcome a new guest poster. Say hello to Valerie from squeezeofgoodness.com who has selflessly been brunching her way round Wandsworth Common so she can share her reviews with you. Read on to hear what she found.

HURRAH!! - Wandsworth Common has some fantastic brunching options! Below are Five Fab Options for a sneaky brunch...
1: Flotsam & Jetsam (4 Bellvue Parade) 
There's a new kid in town, and it goes by the name of Flotsam & Jetsam. This café has a definite hint of the antipodean about it; it's a laid-back place to chill out and enjoy excellent food. 
We popped in for a quick coffee, and enjoyed ourselves so much that we ended up ordering extras off the menu. We were impressed by the super friendly attitude towards our dog (Pippin). In our books, any brunch place needs to be friendly for families and dogs if they want to succeed for the Wandsworth Common set...
The menu offers scrummy, healthy and nutritious options. How about smashed avocado and feta salad with sourdough bread? Or the more traditional creamy eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce?  The coffee is supplied by Allpress espresso: we had one of the best flat whites in SW17.
This is a thriving independent cafe, and and excellent place to spend time on a lazy weekend. It gets pretty packed, and as you can't book, be prepared to wait a bit... The cakes and pastries looked awesome for a takeaway option (we didn't indulge after our huge brunch...).
2: Skylark (Wandsworth Common)
Heading to the Skylark café has become something of a ritual on our weekend walks with Pippin. The Skylark caters well for both families and those looking for a quick bite to eat with their four-legged friends - as long as willing to sit outside. Dogs aren't allowed inside the café., but we've never found this to be a problem (and the beautiful cafe is not really the place for muddy dogs!). Skylark has made the excellent decision to invest in cosy and warm fleecy blankets, fab for those sitting at one of the tables outside.
The staff are very friendly - though the table service outside can take a while, as they are often rushed off their feet with customers. Whatever time of day you arrive, you'll find the café and the table area outside flooded with families, friends, and fashionable pooches.
There are plenty of pastries, cakes, cookies and other treats on offer (and we've sampled many! - sweet and delicious). They do some awesome bacon and sausage baps, pancakes, and poached eggs. We love to incorporate a visit to the Skylark café on most of our walks around the common.
3: The Toast Rack (314 Trinity Road)

Another new place to try, this time on the Trinity Road side of Wandsworth Common.

This place is trying hard, and we're sure it will become a thriving and successful brunch spot and deli. The fresh cakes look fantastic, as does the display of freshly baked bread. There's a small seated area outside, and this cafe has a very grown-up feel. This is the sort of place you could pop in for a coffee, with your paper, and sit down to enjoy a pastry and a peaceful half hour.
We stopped off for a hearty brunch following a big night out the evening before. Mr Brunch ordered his usual (eggs Royale) and I was excited to see the Turkish eggs option on the menu. One of my favourites!
On balance, we had an enjoyable breakfast. The fresh orange juices were fantastic, and the toasters on the table provide a quirky touch. There are some aspects of brunch that could do with being improved. I love making Turkish eggs at home, and the kick of the chilli flakes should be well-balanced with the creaminess of the eggs, and the tangy savouriness of the tomatoes. It just... didn't quite work out that way, and I found myself adding a lot of seasoning. Likewise, the hollandaise sauce was creamy and light, but Mr Brunch requested an extra half a lemon to jazz it up a bit.
Would we go again? Yes, certainly. The place has exciting options on the menu, and it's surely only going to improve. We'd give it another brunch; and I want to sample their awesome cakes... 
4: Story Coffee (115 St Johns Hill)

This is a fantastic coffee and brunch spot, albeit some way from the common. We stopped off on a whim, and sat outside people watching. We enjoyed some of the best lattés around (and we drink a lot of coffee). The almond croissant was to die for (sweet, sticky, nutty, and flaky). We were feeling like a lighter option for breakfast, and we enjoyed massive bowls of greek yogurt heaped with homemade granola, raspberries, and a little honey.  Delightful. Inside the space is light and airy, and the staff are relaxed and contribute to the cool foodie-vibe. 
5: Gail's (64 Northcote Road)
If you've been to a Gail's elsewhere, you won't be disappointed! The cakes and pastries are delicious; fabulous sweet treats to enjoy with one of Gail's very good coffees. This is a small chain of artisan bakeries, and there's around 20 across London. A favourite from the menu is sweet and spice roasted sweetcorn pancakes (fritters?) with tomato relish, avocado, and sour cream. It's elegantly stacked, bursting with flavour, and a welcome move away from eggs for breakfast... Attentive staff; I feel a bit less like I'm supporting a local business - but would overlook that given the quality of the goodies inside. 
This article is bought to you by squeezeofgoodness.com: check out her blog. All about fantastic food. Getting Fit. And embracing technology, where it helps!

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