Have you ever been out for brunch and seen eggy crumpets, with maple syrup, streaky bacon and tomatoes on the menu? I’ve only had it once at Cabbages and Kings, a converted old post office, in Halstead Kent. How was it? A dream – and I can’t wait to go back for more. In fact, I absolutely loved the variety and pure classics on their brunch menu..I must say it definitely beats the lunch experience I had there once before.
As you may know I am adamant that brunch isn’t over until you’ve had dessert and Cabbages and Kings is PERFECT for this with a wide selection of cakes on display. The lemon, blueberry and elderflower cake is a must. You can also have a little browse in their charming shop afterwards. I left full of cake and armed with a gorgeous blush pink vase for my new home. All in all a pretty successful Saturday morning (even if I did spend 3 hours of it gossiping and drinking tea).
The downside? You absolutely must book in advance and it’s not open on Sundays.
Hally’s advertises itself as ‘a Californian-inspired hangout’; a description that came to life for me on entering the cute little cafe decorated with blue and yellow accessories and white painted wood and brickwork. Service is chilled, and vibes are what the old lady in me would call ‘trendy’. It just oozes summer, even on the wet, miserable January Saturday on which I visited. Parsons Green is really pretty too.
The breakfast menu is on until 11.30am or weekend brunch is all day. You can’t book, so be prepared to wait a while. The good news is you can kill time drinking coffee at ‘Little H’across the street, and Hally’s will call you when your table is ready. It’s worth waiting for a table round the corner to avoid the crowds waiting hungrily by the door.
The menus are varied offering all you can ask for from pancakes to porridge, to pastries, fritters, eggs and full breakfasts (depending on what time you go). We opted for poached eggs, avocado and halloumi, but I’ve heard the bagels are amazing. Of course my favourite thing was the abundance of freshly baked cakes and pastries available. Not wanting to miss out we shared a selection, with the orange and almond cake coming up tops. It’s a thumbs up for Hally’s from me.
I first visited Boyce Da Roca on a Saturday afternoon and then returned the next three consecutive weekends. I’d just got home from a holiday in Australia, obsessed with smash and Aussie style banana bread, and this little gem satisfied every craving.
A major draw of this Boyce Da Roca is its location. The Triangle in Crystal Palace is packed full of eateries, shops (including the 3 floor Crystal Palace Antiques store) and has a great community feel with many independent businesses. I also love the views from the high street, with glimpses of the Shard and St Pauls reminding you you’re not too far from the city.
The café itself is quirky and casual. Reservations aren’t an option and it’s not a place to visit if you’re in a hurry – a buzzing café of calm chaos where every table is full. Half shop (Bambinos), half café (Boyce Da Roca), you sip coffee while admiring retro purchases such as a Knight’s helmet, or sit outside and watch passers-by on the street.
The menu offers all things yummy: sourdough bread, smash, bacon, eggs, spinach, sausages, delicious coffee and Tea Pigs in many flavours (one of my favourite ‘everyday brews’). If, like me, you’re a fan of a sweet fix after brunch Boyce Da Roca has a selection of delicious cakes every day –the banana bread is spot on, served toasted with butter on the side. The baker behind the cakes is ex Ottolenghi, so if you’ve tried any of the cakes there you will understand just how good Boyce Da Roca’s treats are.
Pour your milk from their china cow jugs, sit back and enjoy before walking off any sins with a stroll around the park.