For the eighth meeting of Brunch Club, we headed to another relaxed venue local to one of our members. On 2nd July 2017 we met at The Haberdashery Crouch End, 22 Middle Lane, London N8 8PL. Their brunch menu has light and hearty breakfast options, including something for vegetarians, vegans and those avoiding gluten.
ELEANOR: I was half an hour early so saved us a table and had an iced latte which was perfect on a sunny morning.
LORI: Fresh orange juice (yummy!) and a soya latte, which bizarrely arrived in a small mixing bowl and tasted a bit odd (I’m guessing it’s because they use unsweetened soya milk).
LOU: I went for the orange juice too, and it was pretty delicious – and then had a pot of tea. The teabags were fine, but by only filling up the pot half way it felt like a bit of a missed trick for more tea…
ED: I had a pot of tea as well and I agree that they could have filled the pot up all the way (wouldn’t have harmed them, surely?) Due to both Lou’s and mine teapots I feel the table was a little cluttered for when the food rocked up.
WHAT WE HAD
ELEANOR: I had a freshly squeezed OJ next which was refreshingly good. Main was Eggs Benedict with plentiful amounts of ham and hollandaise. Brunch pudding was French Toast made with sourdough bread (very tasty) with cinnamon banana (so good but not enough of it!) and some Greek yogurt on the side. Oh! And a shot glass of maple syrup. I was very full by the end of the meal. I had another iced latte with pudding.
LORI: I went for the English Breakfast (without mushrooms and with gluten free bread). Was a bit disappointed with the amount of meat (only one sausage and one rasher of bacon), but it was very tasty. For ‘brunch pudding’ I had to try the French Toast as there was an option of gluten free bread. Delicious! Could have done with more banana, but the syrup was lovely and Eleanor kindly shared her yoghurt. Afterwards, I had a raspberry and rose soda jar.
LOU: I had eggs Benedict and I was totally delighted that I got to choose to have sausage rather than ham. The eggs were a little overdone, but the homemade hollandaise was totally delicious! After that I went for a brownie and a pot of rooibos tea, which was beautiful but so generous in size I took the other half home!
ED: I had the Veggie Breakfast, it was lovely. A good sized portion and enough variety to keep me interested. Two lovely large lozenges of fried halloumi, a good lot of spinach. Just a small thing, but the bread was not buttered and I don’t remember being given a little pot of butter to do it myself. [I was hogging the butter, sorry Ed! – Lori] For brunch pudding, I had a big old slice of carrot cake, this was very pleasant and very rustic, big bits of grated carrot on top and orange marmalade instead of the cream cheese, which was a welcome change. Along with my brunch pudding I had Italian hot chocolate festooned with marshmallows (“festooned” was their word, not mine!) Unsure what made the hot chocolate Italian, but it was very chocolatey and thick.
ELEANOR: None 😦
WHAT DID WE CHAT ABOUT?
ELEANOR: Honeymoons. Drag Race finale, which Drag Race Queen we’d be, my new job at The School of Life, high-waisted skirts, next brunch installments!
LORI: We had an awful lot to chat about (as usual!), including updates from Ed’s glorious Italian honeymoon, Eleanor’s exciting new job, my adventures in video for The Pool, and (of course) we dissected the Drag Race season 9 finale. We also answered the question ‘Which of the Drag Race Queens would you be?’, for reasons which will now be clear to Ed!
LOU: My pending life changes, where next on the Brunch Club map, Drag Race (natch) and the beauty of Italy and gelato…
ED: My wedding and honeymoon, this was a few days after coming back and I was still in a daze! We also had that incredible Finale of Drag Race to dissect as well.
SERVICE, ATMOSPHERE, TOILET STANDARDS/QUIRKS
ELEANOR: Our Italian waitress was a star and gave us some excellent tips for if we visit Padua. Toilet was lovely, but only one for the cafe. The place was bustling and busy but this added to the warm, local and friendly vibe. The styling and furniture was super cute with bunting, fairy lights and mismatched china.
LORI: The decor was lovely, but the Sunday morning atmosphere at Haberdashery was not ideal for me. I would have been very distracted by all the crying babies and extremely loud chatter if I had not been with the Brunch Club gang. The service was friendly, if a little slow at times – perfect for us, because we like to take our time and chat, but not to everyone’s taste.
LOU: I loved the space, which was bright and beautiful, but the endless queue for the rather messy and wet toilet and the rather squeezed table sizes made me feel this was better for a one on one of family brunch, and certainly not one for staying a long time.
ED: Our waitress was lovely and I chatted to her about Italy. It is a popular local place, so perhaps much more suited for a shorter brunch, not a destination brunch (had we had less to talk about the noise of the place might have encroached and irked more). The toilet situation wasn’t ideal and could definitely do with a sprucing up.
ELEANOR: A small mooch about Crouch End with Lou on a nail varnish and necklace hunt then back to Greenwich to finally watch Wonder Woman, which was bloody brilliant.
LORI: Off to meet friends and do a spot of market browsing.
LOU: Anxious about dressing for a forthcoming site visit, Eleanor and I went and bought a beautiful necklace for me to style up my work wear.
ED: Back up the hill to meet up with the husband to do the weekly food shop!
ELEANOR: It was lovely to visit Ed’s neighbourhood – I’ve visited The Haberdashery before and would happily visit again. It’s a lovely local cafe with a solid standard of food.
LORI: It was nice to visit a café in a part of London I’m not familiar with, but Haberdashery was a bit too busy and cramped for me. The food wasn’t quite impressive enough to warrant a return visit all the way from south east London, but if I lived locally I’d definitely go back.
LOU: I loved being in a different part of London, and understand why places like Crouch End are so popular – it was nice to feel like a visitor to another neighbourhood!
ED: I was honoured to have my Brunch Club Comrades up in my neck of the woods. This is one of my favourite local places because the food is of a good standard and a step above just basic eggs and beans brunch. Would be even nicer on a quieter day!
The image of The Haberdashery Crouch End at the top of this post is from a lovely review over on londonkjokken.com (because I stupidly didn’t take a good enough photo of the pretty counter myself!). All other images were snapped by Brunch Club members on their phones, so excuse any blurriness as we were all rather excited about eating the food.