Breakfast is an oft-underestimated treat. During the week I swallow down a bowl of cereal without much regard for the contents, and as I’ve never been partial to a fry-up, the more traditional ‘brunch’ doesn’t hold much sway for me either. But when you’re faced with the time, the money and the inclination for frivolity, eating breakfast out is one of life’s great treats.
I live approximately 100 steps away from one of the nicest places for breakfast in London. It’s a gem of a cafe, with my favourite shade of grey on the walls, old school style tables and lots of design knickknacks threaded between giant loaves of banana bread and salted caramel brownies. Birdhouse, on St John’s Hill, serves lovely coffee and seriously good cakes, but what they also do is a small but ridiculously tasty breakfast menu, not brunch, breakfast.
There may not be bacon, eggs and beans, but there is baked eggs – if you haven’t had them you need to get to Birdhouse fast. Cooked eggs swimming in fresh tomato sauce with spinach, chorizo and mushrooms and served with toast. Yum. Or perhaps you fancy smashed avocado and mint on toast? Or giant nutty granola and greek yoghurt? Or maybe just a slice of the aforementioned banana bread, toasted and smothered in butter.
The guys who run it are friendly and fun – we’re just getting to the point where they recognise us and it feels like ‘a local’ in a way you don’t always find in London. My flatmate and I are very protective of Birdhouse, taking deserving guests for their first visits and looking snootily at the ‘competition’ on the fashionable streets near by. Northcote Road can keep its Brew – we love Birdhouse.