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Brunch Review – Le Peche Mignon, Ronalds Road

A delicious croque monsieur from Le Peche Mignon
A delicious croque monsieur from Le Peche Mignon

I love living in Islington. I love the boutiques of Upper Street. I love the tucked away pubs in Barnsbury. I love the picture-perfect Highbury Fields in every season. And I love all the places there are to eat. One of my most-loved places is Sunday morning at Le Peche Mignon.

Le Peche is a tiny independent French cafe and food store, tucked just off Holloway Road. It’s so small there’s only one, long canteen-style table to sit at. If the weather is good, there’s also a bijou courtyard out the back with a few more tables and a splash of sunshine.

What keeps me coming back to Le Peche is their unbeatable croque monsieurs. They are the perfect antidote to an epic hangover. Smothered in a piquant cheese and mustard sauce with crispy burnt edges, encased inside is some meaty, salty ham and warm, fresh white bread. And side salads? Not normally a fan. But this side salad, with a perfect acidic French vinaigrette, cuts through the rich flavours of the croque.

Although the croques at Le Peche seem to be a firm favourite among the regulars, there are also a decent choice of other dishes. There’s Le Oeufs – Eggs Benny (in my opinion, no way as good as the croque – too mean with the Hollandaise, which also isn’t acidic enough), Florentine and Royale. There’s toasted sandwiches and baguettes. There’s also a deli-style counter with a changing range of dishes, from yummy veggie bakes to large, man-sized French-style sausage rolls. I’ve eaten my way through a good portion of Le Peche’s menu and am yet to find a total dud. However, those croques still reign supreme in my heart.

Hot chocolate at Le Peche

The range of hot drinks is also good. Tea, I am pleased to report, comes in a teapot with all the accountrements. The coffees are a decent standard, and the hot chocolates are creamy and indulgent.

The service at Le Peche can come over as a little harassed sometimes – it’s rarely not packed to the rafters. But while it may be a little slow, it normally also comes with a smile and a bit of TLC.

I would certainly recommend Le Peche for brunch if you’re in the area – it’s one of Highbury’s hidden gems.

Service – 3/5

Venue – 2/5 (you do sometimes end up with a stranger’s elbow in your ribs, it’s so tightly packed)

Value – 5/5

OVERALL – 4/5

Le Peche Mignon, 6 Ronalds Road, Highbury N5 1XH

Nearest Tube: Holloway Road (5min walk), Highbury & Islington (8min walk).

Le Peche Mignon is open 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday; 8am-5pm Sunday

Brunch Review – The Table, Southwark Street

Brunch at The Table

I love a portmanteau and I love an excuse to eat, so brunch is my heaven. Also, who can actually be bothered to get up for breakfast on a Saturday? Crazy people, that’s who. I think everyone should do away with weekend breakfasts and just admit that brunch is the way forward.

I’m going to be doing reviews of brunch as I eat my way around London. Here is my first one – and it’s going to be a hard one to beat.

Brunch at The Table
Pancakes with bacon, bananas and maple syrup – The Table

The Table on Southwark Street is one of my all-time favourite restaurants in London. It’s close enough to the attractions of Southbank and Borough Market to be easy to get to, but far enough away that not everyone knows about it. Their canteen-style lunches are incredible during the week, their evening meals are some of the best food I’ve had in London and their brunch… well, read on.

For weekend brunch, it’s table service, and you sit on long canteen-style tables. It’s a really upbeat, happy vibe in there, with an open kitchen so you can nosy at what other people are having!

I like a varied brunch menu. Sometimes I’m in the mood for the traditional Eggs Benedict, but I don’t always want egg all up in my grill. Sometimes I want an American treat of pancakes, and sometimes I might just want an English breakfast (I know it’s brunch, but whatevs, I’m a maverick). It’s HARD to find a brunch menu that covers all bases and is still exciting and well-executed. But The Table delivers on this. There are delicious smoothies (I recommend About Last Night – a refreshing and fruit blend of apple, banana, green grapes and spinach), there’s cocktails if you’re feeling fancy, there’s a Borough Full English (two fried eggs, bacon, pork & leek sausage, ham hock baked beans, grilled tomato, Portobello mushroom and sourdough toast) and there’s the ol’ Eggs Benny. BUT there’s other stuff too. The Table are pushing the boat out, so get right on board. The sweetcorn fritters excite me (sweetcorn fritters with char-grilled tomato compote, baby leaf spinach and hollandaise) as does the chorizo stack (I love me some chorizo!). There are also varieties of pancakes and waffles. After some torturous decision-making, I went for the pancakes.

I’ve had pancakes in my time guys, but these were the kind you dream of when you’re hungover and don’t want to leave your bed. They had crispy, salty, deliciously-savoury bacon, there were pools of thirst-inducing maple syrup and the bananas cut through it all with a kind-of-not-at-all nod to fruit. The pancakes were deliciously fluffy. I did not want this brunch to end. I want to go back there right now, at 7pm on a Sunday night to eat it all over again.

My dining partners seemed to enjoy their brunches too, with everyone agreeing it was a hard act to beat. My pancakes cost £8, which I reckon is pretty standard for brunch-y type places in London, and it was better than any other brunches I’ve had so well worth the money.

In general, I cannot recommend The Table enough – but definitely make the effort to go for their brunches. You’ll be dreaming of it all week after.

Service: 3/5 (we had to wait a little while and were starving!)

Food: 5/5

Venue: 4/5

Value: 5/5

DETAILS

The Table, 83 Southwark Street.

Nearest tube: Southwark (5min walk), Waterloo (12min walk), London Bridge (15min walk).

Brunch is served between 8.30am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays only.

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