The breakfast/brunch menu at a restaurant is always super important. It can tell you a lot about a place, and as a North/East London resident (totally converted) venturing outside the realm of Stoke Newington is really quite rare. So. Much. Brunch!
However when looking for a new place the frame of mind is always paramount and depends upon:
1) Am I in a sweet or savoury mood?
2) How hangry am I?
3) How hungover am I?
Therefore the menu must offer the following options: both sweet and savoury; both large and small; hair of the dog; comfy seating/optional lying down; and extremely strong coffee.
Lucky for us The Alice House gave us all we could ever want and more.
A stones throw from Queens Park station (I know North West!) The Alice House throws a warm hug around you as you step through the door. However it’s not stuffy at all. There is a awesome warehouse/shabby chic vibe that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a trendy yet homely East London hangout.
The menu covered any base you could ever want. From a Cullen Skink omelette topped with horseradish creme to buckwheat pancakes covered in London honey. We ended up choosing their duped up full english: black pudding, sausage, a potato cake and fried duck egg; and their spiced peaches and creme on toasted brioche.
An added bonus is there is emphasis on local sourcing. Alice’s great chef often finds ripe berries on his travels and brings them in with ideas for jams and compote.
Back to the food. Wow what a perfect contrasts. The crispy duck egg oozed over the perfectly seasoned potato cake, plus the sweet black pudding and amazingly herby sausage added meaty depth. Essentially our brioche was pudding. The spiced peaches were warm and basted in cinnamon and nutmeg. The cob nuts added another nutty dimension and the creme made it, well, beautifully creamy.
Our lovely waitress (who gave us some great recommendations!) suggesting trying a couple of Alice’s freshly baked pastries too. Good shout! We had a rich and orangey Eccles cake and a bakewell tart. Both had beautifully crisp pastry (no soggy bottoms here!) and were packed with fruity flavour.
To let our brunch settle we nabbed a copy of trivial pursuit from the corner and played while listening to some relaxing music and taking in the dreamy weekend vibe (although it was a Tuesday….you only live once right?)
Best Tuesday ever.
Head down to The Alice House for brwakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks. The guys are always there offering top notch produce!
Reporters: Aspen and Mumma Glencross ¦ @gollumcrackcorn ¦ #caracastle
The Alice House