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London review site greatlittleplace.com has picked both The London Particular and The Brockley Mess among its top 25 brunch venues in London, a sign of the area's improving culinary fortunes. But are they our best local brunch options?
The Brockley Mess
I like them both but my fave has to be the toad....
What about shops selling good, honest grub... not artisan fare?
Brockley Mess is actually a wicked brunch -I Don't go there enough.
I have to agree with Dhara.. the Toad gets my vote. Reminded myself of their all day veggie breakfast the other day - sat outside in the spring sunshine in their garden i could have been anywhere! Friendly staff and wi-fi. Brockley Mess just too few seats once the mums have camped out and too dark! The Orchard quite nice too but getting pricey!
I always find the fare at New Cross Cafe/Diner to be brilliant! - it is good, honest food and not a rip-off or artisan balls.
Good honest grub? How do you tell an honest sausage from a false one? Do you question it? "have you now, or at any time in the past, been near a pig" I love a greasy spoon, went to one at the weekend, but it's hardly a place that offers something unique. Would you get a friend over to SE London to munch on one of their fat filled ofal tubes?
Vegetarian breakfast? I can't think of anything more disgusting sounding, unless it was a bowl of cereal or toast (no butter of course...)
I have to say...if a friend came to visit me and we went for a brunchy meal then I probably would take them there, yes.
The above post was mine. ^^
Surely the London Particular is in New Cross? Also I reckon the Orchard wins hands down for it's stunning Eggs Benedict. Mess is a dark and occasionally hostile to families (ie 80% of their clientele).
Brockley Mess is definitely the best breakfast/brunch around. I'm afraid it has completely usurped Toad's Mouth for me. Toad is just too grubby and standard; Brockley Mess is much more interesting - I've had almost everything on the menu and would recommend it all.
And BM's Eggs Benedict is much better than The Orchard's.
I have been served cold breakfasts at the mess on separate occasions, it just doesn't cut it for me. Toads mouth should be great, lovely building, but have been put off by the staff who seem to be in a constant battle with their managers and the food isn't super good. I prefer to settle for a coffee and bagel at browns.
Agreed, Browns has the best coffee by a long mile. The slightly scary grumpy man in BM puts me off a bit, but not enough to give up the breakfasts. And I do love The Orchard but have had a couple of questionable meals there. The duck dish I had in the Talbot ran rings around the similar dish the Orchard was serving.
Don't mind the toad but not totally convinced. There's only so much "chef" can produce on a single grill! Amazed he can run a cafe from it at all to be honest.
The Mini Grill in Ladywell is excellent. (Cue, lecture from Mb......yawn).
The food at the Mess is much better than the Toad. Though the Toad's garden gives it the edge as a venue in summer. However, they could do with routing out some of their surly waiting staff.
Don't forget the talbot as a brunch option - great brunch menu and the standard of cooking is amongst the best to be found in Brockley
Huevos bravas at the Mess is my current favourite -- not too big but extremely tasty and a great start to a Saturday.
By the way - The author David Lodge (born in Brockley) was interviewed in Mondays Independent.see here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/david-lodge-a-novelists-lament-for-the-golden-age-of-universities-2254768.htmlcopy and paste link or check Independent website.
By the way...Brockley born author David Lodge in Mondays Independent:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/david-lodge-a-novelists-lament-for-the-golden-age-of-universities-2254768.html
If you want honest grub, then the Goldsmiths Cafe does an excellent full english. And a friend of mine used to swaer by the Central Cafe.
I know this makes me sound about 20 years older than I actually am, but I don't know what's happening to the service in the cafes round here.... Some incredibly rude and arrogant staff in the Orchard... The odd similar one in the Mess... Happily, just one that I know of in the Toad (all the more baffling that they don't get rid of her when the others make an effort to be friendly)... The most pretentious, up-themselves staff lounging around the Broca cafe the other day, acting as though we were interrupting a private party... The only place that hasn't gone wrong to some extent yet (at least when I've been there) is Jam Circus! Hmmm, perhaps I spend too much time in the cafes of Brockley...? But really, what is wrong with these people? They totally put you off going back. Do the managers / owners not see what they are like??
The Brockley Mess is still awful. Awful.
You cant beat a Cafe that sells a full English,Croissants and coffee pah !
What is "good, honest grub"? How do you define it? If you want cheap chips and stuff served in a plastic laminate environment there's a multitude of fried chicken shops around or pizza joints. What about the Brockley Barge? Wetherspoons pub fare is pretty "honest", or is it too "honest" for you? What about the Chinese noodle shops on Brockley Rd?Not entirely sure what people want when they say "good honest food", but I think these sorts of cheap n cheerful joints still outnumber "artisan" outlets in Brockley and greater Lewisham and I'm sure they will do for many years...
Good honest grub, in the context used here, relates to anything that is not remotely foreign and is deep fried in stale oil and piss. It is usually served with a kick in the bollocks along with a mug of instant coffee. Oh, and you must drive an off-white transit to get it.
Must admit, though I've only been once, I wasn't impressed by the Mess at all.The Toad breakfast is a good one, and if you want a no frills fry up on the cheap, the College Cafe on Lewisham Way does the job.
The Toad is the best venue, but the food is is often atrocious. The 'full toad' breakfast comes in at close to £9?!? Lukewarm watery beans, dry scrabbled egg, can't make any substitutions. The chef obviously hates doing them that's why the price is so ridiculously high. The fact that the breakfast at The Luxe in Spitalfields owned by John Torode is actually cheaper and a hell of a lot better is crazy.Best brunchy food is probs the Mess, I don't seem to have had any of the problems of rudeness there, but then I haven't got a horde of mewling blobs accompanying me.
the point is that it is talking about BRUNCH, a meal inbetween breakfast and lunch. Generally eaten in a "nice, comfortable, and fancier establishment" then your average breakfast cafe, where you can comfortably pass time with friends and family and not come out smelling like fried chips and bacon.The food on offer for brunch is also not usually your average full english (although this is available) but menus should include a cross between breakfast and lunch dishes and sweet and savoury.I find the the mess is one of the few that provide items I would expect to find on a brunch menu, the mix of sweet and savoury - ie the english breakfast, huevos bravas, french toast with fruit and maple syrup, eggs benedict, etc
For brunch, it's the Brockley Mess every time. Eggs royale, breakfast burrito, veggie breakfast (includes perfectly fried halloumi, and a little pot of humous alongside the usual Full English fare - yum!)It is strange how divided opinion of the service is. Largely child-related, I suspect. Toad's Mouth just seems grubby to me, by comparison. The food's not bad but I don't like touching the tables.
Thanks anon at 12.39 for the definition of brunch. For some reason the second paragraph made me think of Patrick Bateman...
It's a bit far south for a lot of you and strictly speaking in SE23, but I rate McLaren's on Brockley Rise for breakfast or indeed brunch. By the time I have breakfast it's usually 'brunch' anyway. ;-)
It's not Brockley but someone should mention Maggie's Cafe now.Greasy spoon menu as good as it gets and a wider selection of honest grub that doesn't try to be fancy.
agree with oryx on maclarens - good food, well priced, friendly service - great for brunch I like outdoor space at toads mouth but indoors is a bit cave like, but find the pricing a bit steep
Toad is very welcoming and artsy and lovely in the summer (it's closest to me as well).Mess does a great takeaway bacon sarnie with HP sauce and cake but often nowhere to sit and too many tryhards. Gallery is fun too.Must try the Orchard this weekend.Any news on BC Drinks Episode IV?
LOVE B MESS. Used to go to Toads quite a bit but their prices are stuck somewhere between Notting Hill & Primrose hill. £3.50 for a take away brownie, C'mon plus Toads have on occasion been really rude.
McLarens is great but pushy parents are increasingly making an appearance, so the easy going atmosphere is not what is was.
Places like McClarens are great if you're looking for something small and with marks for presentation. Otherwise it's Top Chef Cafe on the corner of Brockley Rd and Adelaide Avenue for more honest fare. Let the aloof attitudes go and enjoy.
How is the Mess too dark?!? Weird comments for somewhere with a massive window and light walls. A Wetherspoon vegetarian breakfast is easily as good as a Toad one and about half the price plus the Lavazza coffee is well-priced.
Agree about the tables in the Toadalso the chairs are awful - uncomfortable - seating not great at the Orchard either or The Broca. Are some of the grumpy staff the owners?
Toad is my fav for brunch, however, nothing better than a proper coffee and bagel at Browns...
The Omlette's in B mess are delicious and v v good value, had an evening meal in Toads last summer and it was horrible, if you want to make any changes or substitutes they charge you dearly plus it would be cheaper to get the train to London bridge and eat in Borough Market than eat in Toads.
How bizarre that a couple of people have said the Brockley Mess is dark! Have they actually been in since it changed from being Moonbow Jake's? Now THAT was dark. The way it is now, it could hardly be lighter.
Would echo the comments on the greasy spoon cafe in Ladywell (not sure of the name). It is actually quite a good breakfast and the staff are super polite. My parents came all the way from yorkshire and we went there for breakfast...
The Toad has to be one of the worst places in the area, atrocious staff and service. I complained when a steak I'd ordered medium rare actually came well done, and was told I was wrong and blanked for the rest of the night, never been back since.
I took my mewling blob down to the Mess for brunch today and we both had a great meal - egg and sausage on toast for her and breakfast burrito for me, which is so delicious you barely notice it's veggie :-)Service was not great however, although I don't think that had anything to do with the Molechild. I had to wait for about 10 mins to get served because the grumpy guy was having an art conversation with someone at length, and he then served the people who arrived after me before me (it was not that busy, we were the only two sets of people who had turned up in that time). My burrito was also plonked down in front of me by a grumpy looking woman without a word. Agree that the best service around here is at JC which is great and now serves eggs benedict too - they are always genuinely friendly and helpful and seem to really enjoy the job. But 12pm opening kind of rules it out for brunch
surely the fact that we can have an animated discussion on which of our relatively lovely places to eat is best is a wonderful thing. when we moved here ten years ago, it was meze mangal or meze mangal. which was no bad thing, cos it's ace. but look at all these options - the ladywell tavern, orchard and talbot are all good pubs, the mess, the toad, the broca, oscars, masons - isn't it nice to have a choice of quality spots? (btw, apologies if some of these places predated meze mangal - it may have taken me a while to find them...)
Kids shouldn't be described as 'mewling blobs' they're amazing but the parents attitudes and behaviour are issues in question in these venues.Being inconsiderate of others, pushy loud etc. It's not the childs fault, they're innoncent.
Point <--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Flover
Enlighten me - what is a "pushy parent"? Perhaps, one that pushes a buggy or one trying to get their kid into a good school?Really can't work out how someone can be a "pushy parent" in a cafe (unless of course it's to push their way forward to grab the only free table for a family of six)?!
I think the use of "mewling" was a quote from Shakespeare. Went to the Toad, was disgusted to see that the same people who take cash prepare food, told them about it to be fair to them and went back a few days ago. Paid around 3 quid for a brownie style thing - as someone mentions above - and same cash /hands/food prep regime. I just find it yucky.
Do you always wash your hands before eating food then if you've handled money? I think you may have OCD.
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