I take a bus bound for Honor Oak most days, but beyond pondering the U-less spelling of Honor (it seems to date to the 17th century, before British English exiled its Us to the colonies), I hadn't given the southeast London area much thought. On Sunday, though, I rode the bus all the way to its end point: about halfway up One Tree Hill in Honor Oak. I was headed for Forest Hill, and yes, it is pretty hilly in that part of London. The clue is in the name, but central London is so flat that it's easy to forget about that little thing called altitude.
Before long, I arrived at my destination: St David Coffee House, a cheerful neighbourhood café near the Forest Hill Overground. I had heard that they served great coffee and even better brunch, and I wasn't disappointed. You know the brunch menu is on point when you read the first menu item and know you don't need to read on. Don't get me wrong; the other brunch dishes would have been great too, but how could I not order the poached egg, avocado and bacon on toast (£6.50)? Good brunch joints never make you choose between eggs, avocado and bacon. The food was excellent: the bacon was crispy and plentiful, the avo creamy and the egg the perfect consistency.
The coffee is from Square Mile and hand-brewed filter fans will be pleased to note that both Aeropress and V60 brew methods are available (£3); an iced version was also on offer for the same price. My Aeropress brew was very good, and I saw some nice-looking flat whites being carried out to other customers.
I almost caved and ordered a macchiato too, but it was time to move on and so I settled for one of Kooky Bakes' slices of awesomeness (I'm not sure the real name, but what else do you call a blondie-like cake with a pretzel base, chocolate, and various nuts?) to go.
St David is a friendly, cosy café with artfully mismatched wooden furniture and eclectic, retro décor. There are a couple of tables out front, but on drizzly days, you're better off sheltering indoors. They also serve dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and often hold pizza nights; check out their Twitter for more information.
If you're looking for a way to walk off your brunch, the wonderful Horniman Museum & Gardens is only half a mile away. The museum is free and houses a whole host of weird and wonderful natural history, art and anthropological objects, while the gardens have a lovely view over the London skyline.
St David Coffee House. 5 David Road, London, SE23 3EP (Forest Hill Overground). Website. Twitter.
Horniman Museum & Gardens. 100 London Road, London, SE23 3PQ (Forest Hill Overground). Website.