Saturday, 1 November 2014

Clerkenwell Eating - Brunch at Workshop Coffee and Afternoon Tea at The Modern Pantry

I was going to call this post Eating (clerken)Well but I stared at the words for too long and then thought it didn't make sense. But I wanted you to know that that's what I had planned.

With Mummy Lipstick visiting I was keen to take her to some of my favourite food destinations and Clerkenwell definitely isn't short of good places to eat.

For breakfast we headed to Workshop Coffee - a coffee shop / restaurant / bar that does a great brunch menu. Their coffee is my favourite in London and despite the chill in the air I had to have my usual iced soya latte. The brunch menu has a good mix of "breakfasty" brunch foods and "lunchy" brunch foods. We visited at 10am so were more swayed towards a breakfasty brunch - I opted for bircher museli and Mummy Lipstick for the brioche French toast. Both were delicious. The pricing on the menu is slightly indicative of portion size although mine was super satisfying despite looking small. Had I been more hungry I would have had the baked eggs or the brunch burger which I definitely have to go back for when I'm in the mood for lunchy brunch. The cafe has a cool industrial look and the staff are super friendly and quick to offer more coffee and check that we were happy. Additional marks for having Aesop products in the bathroom.

Insert walk along canal - one of my favourite spots in London on a sunny day. I either daydream about my "living the bohemium life on a boat" fantasy or bore the person I am with with it. Seriously, though, how amazing would it be to live on a boat?

Tea time! I'd been to The Modern Pantry for brunch and loved it so when Mummy Lipstick suggested afternoon tea I booked us a table. The restaurant is in a cute townhouse and everything is painted grey - the mismatched crockery and quirky touches are almost too much but the food is so, so good and the restaurant is always buzzing that the acute middle class-ness of it is forgiven.

The Modern Pantry's afternoon tea is definitely a twist on the usual - we had it without bubbles for a very reasonable £19.50 each. The savories were excellent - the quail's egg on chia seed bread was incredible (if only one could have quail's egg and chia bread sarnis for lunch everyday!) and the savory scone a nice variation on the norm. I wasn't expecting to like the lemongrass panacotta but it had a really subtle mild flavour and was lovely.

The sweets are obviously the highlight of afternoon tea and these didn't disappoint. The green tea cake was light and not overly sweet which was appreciated as sometimes afternoon tea is a bit of a sugar-fest. We saved the best until last, the chocolate mousse cake - sweet, decadent (the correct usage of the word, take note Apprentice candidates) and with a subtle chilli kick. I definitely could eat a full sized one of these but probably shouldn't.

Other places to eat (clerken)well:

Giant Robot - sliders, crostini and a "guest" burger on the main menu plus an "alternative" Christmas menu.

Caravan Exmouth Market - amazing coffee, super friendly staff and the best baked eggs. One for lazy Sundays.

Paesan - Italian small plates and two negronis for £10 during happy hour is a good food:drink ratio for a fun evening.


  1. You always eat the best food lily!

  2. I do love your food posts!
    That is such an amazing afternoon tea. Love the unusual savoury options, standard cucumber sandwiches are so dull. A great price too.

  3. All of this looks so lovely!

  4. Great post, and great photos. The afternoon tea looks yummy!

  5. I love discovering new food places around London. I went to The Modern Pantry for dinner and it was amazing.


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