What comes to mind when you see the word ‘brunch’? Probably a bunch of millennials eating crunchy avocado toast, Insta-worthy smoothie açai bowls or stacks of warm waffles (drizzled with maple syrup and topped with fresh summer berries of course), and all of this costing you lots and lots of £££.
Although that may be a part of it, brunch can also be a nice treat for you and your friends to enjoy on any day of the week, (right before that boooring lecture) and super close to campus as well! We therefore present you 3 places to have brunch near campus, all no more than an 8 minute walk away from campus!
Located just outside South Ken station, this place is always hustling and bustling (what better marker of a food venue’s popularity, right?), and after peeking in and seeing the delicious plate of croissants that was being consumed at the cute marble-style tables, I knew I had to go in and try it. Judging by the youthful presence, I was sure that the food served here was not your simple brunch. I was right – Muriel’s Kitchen provides everything you could want for brunch with a modern twist. Particular things that caught my eye included The Ultimate Eggs Royale, Banana & Ricotta Pancakes, and the omnipresent Buddha Bowl which I ended up ordering and very much enjoying (is it me, or are they absolutely everywhere?!).
And don’t worry about drinks – from their classic ice cream milkshakes and fresh juices to more unique beverages such as the turmeric latte, you’ll surely find something to complement your meal. The counter also has an array of warm, freshly baked homemade cakes, including banana bread, Nutella cake or their special carrot cake. Prices range from £2.30 for a pastry with spreads to £12.50 for a Full English – by brunch standards, pretty good. (Oh, and if you’re interested in all that basic bitch stuff, they do a lovely afternoon tea too!)
Brown & Rosie
Walking past Brown & Rosie on my many, many trips to campus (skipping lectures is of course not recommended by Felix Food editors… unless they’re 9ams), I was always fascinated by the classy but cute décor, not to mention the mouth-watering food from their Instagram ads that I’ve been getting ever since I once liked a post marked #brunch (GDPR anyone?). On a lovely day last week, I finally got the chance to see if the food lived up to the aesthetics. Again, the variety was not disappointing – apart from classics such as French toast or smoked salmon, you can also find the sugary Coco Pop waffles (personally tried and tested – although extremely sweet, also extremely yummy!) or the healthier courgette & corn fritters, if you so desire (new year new me going strong?). The taste was also lived up to the aesthetic – rich, well-made and well, good. Albeit priciest on our list, you can find yourself a meal for £5.50 to £12.90, and the portions are very filling. The only things worth complaining about are the size of the venue, as it can get busy at times, and the semi-slow service – but the food is good enough to compensate, so definitely worth a visit.
Le Pain Quotidien
Finally, after having tried some less ‘typical’ brunch places, it was time to test a more popular venue. Le Pain Quotidien, as the name suggests, (for those of you who don’t speak French, t’as pas honte) is largely known for its selection of fresh bread, pastries, sandwiches and all that kind of yummy carbs, in its chain-café-style locations, the nearest of which is located just a minute away from South Ken station (and actually opposite Brown & Rosie). Having heard a friend raving about it after she had eaten brunch there just recently, I thought it was worth a try. The outcome? Incredible.
Besides their usual eat-in omelette, eggs any style, smoothie bowl, or parfait options, you can also order takeaway bagels, salmon and cream cheese tartine or even avocado toast for when you’re rushed for time. Yes, you read that right – delightful avocado toast which you can take away, all carefully packaged in a box so you can eat it in the back of the lecture theatre (if you manage to make it last those 7 minutes of walking). Best of all, Wthe breakfast foods fall in the price range of £4.20 to £8.00 – win win!
The lowdown? Although the food is the simplest in LPQ, it definitely takes the gold in terms of affordability and ease. If you’re looking for something a bit more original and Instagrammable (and you have a bit more time), go for Muriel’s Kitchen or Brown & Rosie – they’re worth it.
Now let me enjoy my Eggs Benedict in peace…