For a late breakfast or brunch away from the crowds, I would recommend The Table.
It is perhaps not somewhere you would find in passing, as it is located a couple of streets behind Tate Modern, housed within an architects’ head quarters. (I found it while visiting the offices as part of Open House London). It is a casual venue with shared tables and a small outside seating area.
There is also usually a small selection of Cakes
The Table – upping its game!
The Table just gets better and better. There was a real buzz during my visit today, see video :-
It was busy when I arrived, but one of the waiters immediately spotted me and found me a space. The service and the food based on this visit was actually better than I remember from earlier visits. My sweetcorn fritters (which the waiter advised me would take at least 10 minutes to make) were just perfect. They were served with two lovely runny poached eggs as well – an addition that had not been part of the dish last time I ordered it. The staff were really on the ball, a glass of tap water was provided within about a minute off asking for it, as was the bill.
The area (Southwark Street – near the Blue Fin Building) is much more lively now too, lots of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating.
UPDATE – The Table’s menu and chef has changed. The interior is slightly different as they have removed the area that used to be used to display cakes, so no longer somewhere to pop in for just coffee and cake. It’s main focus is still breakfast and brunch type dishes, it is also now possible to make reservations.
You can not book, so it is all about timing. We arrived at 7.00 p.m. to be told that it would be a twenty minute wait (what ever they say always wait – have a drink in the rather cramped bar area), we actually got our table in less that 5 minutes.
The menu is tasty and varied, and service is brisk.
The charcuterie is always a good option and they do a nice goats cheese in honey.
The seats are not very comfortable (I guess that is good business practice to ensure a quick turn over), the tables are so close together that you inevitably end up having conversations with the people at the next table, mainly about the food, it’s just that sort of place.
UPDATE – September 2011. Still as good as ever, we sat outside on a warm evening and enjoyed a few old favorites and some tapas dishes I had not had here before. The Ham Croquettes were especially good but the fish plate would have been better with more fish and less apple garnish.
One of the highlights on the culinary front, in an area sadly lacking in good places to eat, is Miles Cafe Culture. It is in a prime location overlooking the harbour. It is open all day/every day. It has a very good breakfast menu, much better that the usual greasy all day breakfasts a lot of the places in Ramsgate do. The handmade sausages being a highlight.
The kitchen is pretty much geared up to provide an opportunity for all day food grazing, should you find it hard to leave! On our last visit we were especially impressed by the “fresh” Calamari* rings that were made to order.
It’s also a good venue for a relaxed Sunday Lunch too. I would suggest booking for that, as there is limited space in the Restaurant section and this is popular among the more well healed locals and London visitors.
The wines are also of a good standard, from about £40 for the Amerone to about £13 for the Riddle Riesling-Gewürztraminer.
UPDATE – December 2013 : We paid another Visit to this vibrant bar, but were very disappointed when we ordered the Calamari*, it had been so lovely on my last visit, I just assumed it would be again. No such luck – something had definitely changed. It was like eating elastic bands. I love Calamari when it is done well and hate it when it is like this. So much as I like Miles Cafe, I think I will restrict myself to just ordering drinks in future.
UPDATE – June 2019 : CLOSED and in its place is an excellent restaurant/cafe/bar called Little Ships.
If you fancy a trip to the Seaside or have recently moved to this beautiful part of the UK, here is some guidance to help you find some of the better places to eat, drink and shop in East Kent/Isle of Thanet. The information provided is based on local knowledge and should help you avoid tourist traps.
Pur is in the Flon, the “trendy” part of Lausanne, “edgy” is a better description, but that is part of the charm. We found it by accident, it was a wet evening and it was next to the Cinema – see www.pur-flon.ch
We never made it to the Cinema as Pur turned out to be rather special. The food is imaginative, the service friendly, the way they light up the terrace at night is superb, you can just visualise this place in New York’s East Village or London’s Soho.
Lambeth Pier Fresco Cafe AKA “The Hut” has to be one of my favorite breakfast locations, it is just a hut on the river at Lambeth Pier with views of the Houses of Parliament.
At first glance you may think tourist trap – they have postcards and cheap trinkets on sale outside. The location is just too good. It’s right next to where the Tourist buses park for River boat trips and Japanese tourists pose next to the red telephone box. Don’t let that put you off, as “The Hut”, which is pretty much a glorified Sandwich Bar with outside tables, does a mean bacon sandwich and is a great place to watch the world go by.
UPDATE : September 2010 – The Hut is now under new management and called Riverside Cafe. It no longer has the souvenir stand and has extended its menu to cover a larger selection of breakfast options.