Caravan on Exmouth Market – London’s best brunch spot?

by timchester

What is brunch to you? To me it means catching up on papers while people-watching people that amuse me, jacking up on coffee, and eating enough food to keep me painfully bloated til Tuesday.

With that criteria in mind and a thousand blogs spitting saliva over quite-new venue Caravan, I made the pilgrimage. While I haven’t seen enough weekend mornings in my life to claim to be a brunch connoisseur (Stoke Newington’s Blue Legume and Camden Passage’s Elk In The Woods aside), it does indeed seem likely it’s one of London’s best.

So Antipodean it’s actually playing Ladyhawke as we walk in, Caravan is very much from the Aussie and Kiwi school of mid-morning munch – which means horizontally relaxed but uber-efficient service (a blasé attitude to seating you but a seat within five minutes), water without asking, sublime Flat Whites and a delightfully hodgepodge menu selection.

After keeping an eye on the people for a while (families, friends reunited, a very early hen party, obligatory drunk outside) and distracting the waiter for far too long to talk about the building’s steel girders and industrial glass demijohn light fittings we nabbed a cheese and ham muffin from the counter (crunchy, supple, a nice nibble with a porcine tang that stays with you) and ploughed through some (admittedly insipid) mochas before ordering.

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What came, ten minutes reading about BP’s consistent balls ups later, was a pair of perfectly poached bulbous albumen pockets casing liquid gold next to a mean old hunk of ham and a bubble and squeak patty fried like a hash brown. Did it need extra buttered sourdough at an additional cost? Of course not, but what else was I going to fill up on before the baked eggs? They, incidentally, were a little too salty and a little too saucy, especially for 11am and even if you are hellbent on leaving on a stretcher.

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GRILLED HAM, BUBBLE AND SQUEAK, TWO POACHED EGGS  AND HOLLANDAISE

GRILLED HAM, BUBBLE AND SQUEAK, TWO POACHED EGGS AND HOLLANDAISE

BAKED EGGS FOR ONE OR TWO, TOMATO AND PEPPER RAGOUT  AND GREEK YOGHURT

BAKED EGGS FOR ONE OR TWO, TOMATO AND PEPPER RAGOUT AND GREEK YOGHURT

There’s plenty more on offer here though (cornbread french toast, salt beef fritters, coconut bread) and I suspect I’ll have eaten my way round it come summer.

Where’s the best place you’ve had brunch in London?

Price per head: Pretty much twenty quid once they’ve whacked their own service charge on

Soundtrack: Anything from the land down under

Clientele: Mostly the Islington brigade

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December 21, 2010 at 5:33 pm

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Ali Bedford June 21, 2010 at 8:54 am

That sounds great and I’d be interested to hear where others have been for brunch – my fave meal of the week. I’m a fan of Smiths of Smithfield – anywhere that serves macaroni cheese for breakfast gets my vote. The Diner in Shoreditch has good grub and free refills but the surly waiters need to learn a thing or two from our American cousins.

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timchester July 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

Cheers Ali – although cheese before noon is a bit full on for me

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