Once the Lavender Pub, the building has been transformed into an Italian restaurant by an Italian food-loving family. The renamed The Lavender presumably gets its name from its location on Lavender Hill, between Clapham Junction and Battersea. Here authentic, fresh food and wine from Italy, particularly the Abruzzo region, is served.
Today we were sampling the bottomless brunch menu, which can be 2, 3 or 4 courses. For an additional £15 you can turn your brunch meal into unlimited alcoholic beverages. The choices are: red wine, white wine, prosecco, mimosa and Bloody Mary. You must stay with your selected drink choice throughout the 90 minute time slot. Every time you finish your drink the observant staff replace it with a new one.
For starters I had Calamato, which as the name suggests, is grilled calamari on a bed of burrata and green beans. The calamari was grilled to perfection. My friend had the Caprese which was creamed smoked buffalo mozzarella served in roasted tomato with basil mousse.
Given we were at an Italian restaurant we both opted for traditional Italian pasta dishes for the main course. As the Lavender Carbonara is one of their signature dishes I just had to give it a try. Made from homemade spaghetti with Italian guanciale, pecorino cheese, fresh egg and pepper (with dollops of parmesan cheese to taste) it was lovely. Made from authentic recipe it uses no cream. My friend loves seafood and so she enjoyed the Gemerlli prawns and zuchinni dish. Again, as the name suggests, it is made from handmade pasta with fresh zuchinni slices and an ample amount of prawns.
There is a small but sufficient dessert menu. The Millefoglie which is crumbled pastry, fresh berries and fresh cream was absolutely delicious. For those who like light desserts this one is for you. I had the crème brûlée with baileys which had just the right crunch, though perhaps a touch sweet.
Portions were good sizes allowing us to enjoy all three courses. As food is sourced from small producers or markets such as Smithfield and Billingsgate several times a week the menu may vary slightly based on availability and season.
Prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of the food. Two courses and unlimited bubbles or wine can be enjoyed for as little as £29.90 per person.
We had a very warm, inviting and relaxed dining experience. ONIN London recommends bottomless brunch at The Lavender.
Address: 171 Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TE
Phone: +44 (0)20 7978 5242 or +44 (0) 79 1585 8640
Written by Caitlin Neal