This locally lauded brunch spot is a must try, but be warned – The Table Cafe gets really busy!
London has finally come to a more manageable temperature last weekend. Following an overnight thunderstorm, Sunday morning was greeted with bright blue sky and a cool breeze. On a balmy Sunday morning what can be better than a brunch date?
Andrew and I met up with our friend Meghan for a long awaited catch up and with a hankering for eggs ben. I didn’t know why I was so surprised to find that London Bridge was teeming with people at 11AM on a Sunday, or why I didn’t bother make reservations. (Rookie mistake. Note to self, always reserve brunch.)
Thankfully, trusty old Google came to the rescue with a suggestion. Southwark local brunch spot, The Table Cafe, is highly recommended and it is only a 15 min stroll away. A 4 star google rating, a Timeout best brunch in London stamp of approval, and tucked away from tourist thoroughfare? Yes, please!
We luckily got there before the wave of brunchers. Without the lunchtime queue the cafe looked like office space. You can definitely miss it should you be speeding by in an uber. I liked this understatedness, actually. We sat alfresco, which was really lovely on a sunny day with a cool breeze. The restaurant space looked like it had the same vibe too. It was airy, bright, and inviting.
Our experience of Table Cafe was somehow tainted with a long wait for our orders. Understandably the place was buzzing with customers coming in and out for waffles, but we were disappointed to get our food and coffees over 30 mins from ordering it. I’m also very un-British about requesting for a follow-up – I made sure to ask (very nicely and with a smile!) to follow up on our orders with three different individuals. While I understand fully that it was a busy day, the nonchalant attitude towards the late order was left us a bit confused. Did they forget about our order? Is this a one-off? Friendly as the staff was, there were no apologies or recognition of the delay. Is this the normal wait time, maybe? Just seemed quite a long time for two coffees and three plates. Let’s hope we were just unlucky!
Moving on to what’s important – the brunch. The Table Cafe makes simple food well, a bigger statement for a restaurant than it sounds. It would have been nice to get a recommendation as to what they do best from the waiter – it seemed everyone around us had an idea of what they wanted and what looked good. My friend’s Green Goddess, a healthy version of an English breakfast, and Andrew’s eggs benedict were both looked good and were suitably tasty. My chicken and avocado burger in brioche bun was generous and delicious. Does it meet expectations? Sort of. For a spot that has a claim to fame for being one of the best brunches in London, maybe I was expecting to fall in love at first bite.
Did The Table Cafe wow me? Not quite. Is it worth a recommendation? Yes, but mainly because we need more places like this. Unpretentious, fresh, delicious, slightly off the grid, and brimming with local pride. A bit of love in the service and this place can really shine. Maybe I’ll be luckier next time!
The low down
THE TABLE CAFE
Category: Brunch, Casual dining, British favourites
Location: 83 Southwark St, London SE1 0HX
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