09 September 2015

Brunch at London Grind

I've long been a fan of Silicon Roundabout's top coffee-and-cocktail destination, Shoreditch Grind, so I was pleased when they opened up three new locations: first Soho and Holborn, and most recently, London Grind, which is perched on the southern end of London Bridge. I've been for coffee a few times but hadn't eaten there, despite the enviable brunch photos that keep materialising in my Instagram feed.

On Sunday, it was time for a long-overdue brunch visit. I had actually planned to go for breakfast, but by the time I got there it was almost noon. The café was absolutely heaving and although there wasn't a queue, the only free seat was at the counter. I like sitting at the bar when I'm dining alone and it was fun to watch the chefs, bartenders and baristas at work.

I was able to choose between the breakfast and the brunch menus, but there is a fair amount of overlap between the two. So many of the menu items sounded delicious that I might almost have been grateful for less choice. I would never normally have a fruit salad for breakfast, for example, but when it includes iced fruit from Borough Market, lime granita and hazelnuts, that's a whole different dish. I had also heard good things about the one-pan eggs, with spinach, tomatoes, beans and (the clincher for me) pistachios.

It took about 20 minutes before someone came to take my order — I wasn't in a rush and it was super-busy, so I didn't really mind — and I changed my mind several times during this period. Perhaps I should have been less predictable, but in the end I went for the...smashed avocado on toast with chilli and poached eggs (£7.50). Yes, I know; I am a creature of habit! The chilli could have been a little hotter but the eggs and the avo toast were all delicious and I didn't regret my choice, even if I now need to return to sample some of the other dishes.

I have waxed lyrical about the quality of the Grind cafés' coffee many times before, but my piccolo (£2.50) was excellent as ever: the house blend mixed coffees from Costa Rica, Mexico and Guatemala, and was creamy and chocolatey, and the latte art ranks among London's finest.

London Grind is open until late most days, so if you have missed brunch, you can try one of the dishes from the all-day menu or sample one of their cocktails, including several coffee-based cocktails. They also have a great gin collection, which includes two gins from Jensen's. The London Grind café is lovely and light with high ceilings, windows that look out onto London Bridge and good use of white brick and red neon.

London Grind. 2 London Bridge, London, SE1 9RA (Tube: London Bridge). Website. Twitter.

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