11 months ago

You’ve got to try Brew and Barrel’s new brunch menu

And whilst you’re there try the coffee. Oh and the cocktails. And also, we think you’ll really enjoy a smoothie. It’s all very, very good.

Brew and Barrel is a really special place in Clapham Old Town. A family run all day cafe/bar that want to be a positive alternative to the high street chains and quite frankly, they’re nailing it. Like any good Londoner we know spreading ourselves too thin can be a recipe for disaster; the coffee-lunch-after-work-drink thing is something so many places try and fail at. But that didn’t stop Brew and Barrel from giving it a go and thank goodness, because they are the rare exception to the rule that actually do manage it all. It’s owned by twin brothers who are local to the area and we have a feeling that this has something to do with the success of the place- as locals they’ve really got to know their niche and have bought an unpretentious, relaxed eatery to Old Town that serves everything from your morning latte to your evening old fashioned. The space is immediately welcoming and with exposed brick and cosy green tones it’s easy to settle in and not think about leaving for a few hours.

Chef Jason Howard made an appearance on Masterchef Professionals in 2015

The coffee is a big deal here, they use speciality, single origin speciality coffee from Brazil, and the staff are all coffee fanatics too. Every version we tried really hit the spot, creamy iced coffees, latte art on point… could this be some of the best coffee in Clapham? You’ll have to try it and see for yourself. Of course, this translates easily into the evening where their signature cocktail is the espresso martini. They’ve got three types to choose from; classic, Black Forest or salted caramel. A nightmare for the indecisive, but all three make for a real treat. But check out their Clapham themed specials too, you can’t go wrong.

Their kitchen is in great hands. The chef, Jason Howard, made an appearance on Masterchef Professionals in 2015, so the food already comes with great promise. They’re launching their brunch offering and we couldn’t wait to try it out. Their menu is exactly what you want for a savoury brunch- lots of elevated classics and a couple of summery Mediterranean influences with the addition of chorizo, pesto and garlic prawns in deliciously sneaky places. We gave four of their new dishes a try; first up was the levelled up eggs Benedict. This one came with a poached egg, bacon, Parma ham, cheese and a tarragon-spiked hollandaise sauce. In a friendly twist, you can choose to have it on toast, crumpet or a traditional English muffin and whichever you go for you can expect a filling, meaty mouthful.

The saltiness, the cheesiness and the bacon mean it would be a perfect hangover cure… if that happens to be where you’re at. If eggs aren’t your thing but you’re after that same savoury hit, then get the mushrooms on sourdough. They’re jazzed up with bacon, tomatoes, rocket and parmesan to give a real taste of the Med. Have this one with a spritz and you’ll not need that trip to Spain.

Next up was our favourite- the chorizo and scrambled eggs on sourdough bread. It sounds like a no frills dish, and it wasn’t, but it was really, really good and paired perfectly with their creamy iced latte. Coming in hot at a close second was the basil pesto and seasonal tomatoes on sourdough toast. Everything you’d want for a light brunch- sweet and fresh and a good crunch from the sourdough. Get it with the açai smoothie to feel virtuous.

They’ve already gathered 60 Google reviews online and we couldn’t find one that was less than 5 stars… So it’s not just us that think they’re doing something right. The comments reflect our own sentiment- great coffee, great cocktails, great vibes and some of the friendliest staff out there.

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