214-216 Railton Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 0JT
With a much quieter pace of life than central Brixton, Herne Hill is slowly becoming a new hangout for us – whether it’s the pubs (Prince Regent, The Florence, The Half Moon), coffee hangouts (The Parlour), or even the farmers market on a Sunday. So be warned that you may be seeing more Herne Hill spots pop up on the blog.
This is a brunch review so will be short and snappy. It was last Sunday, with the weather being in between glorious sunshine and torrential downpours so we took shelter in Milkwood, after a quick stroll around Brockwell Park. Originally going for ‘just a coffee’ we ended up with the full brunch works (with booooze!).
Vauxhall Park, Fentiman Road, London, SW8
Another weekend, another walk and yet another award winning park from Lambeth – with tennis courts, basketball court, model village, lavender garden, one o’clock club – and an Italian cafe that is open 7 days a week to six o’clock, except when the Park closes earlier in winter. Continue reading
Myatt’s Fields Park, Cormont Road, London SE5 9RA.
Hot days in June and July so a walk around the park with lunch is our choice of how to keep cool. A good choice is Myatt’s Fields – voted one of Britain’s top ten parks. For those who are more energetic there is a football pitch and a tennis court. This park will not provide much of your 10,000 steps a day unless you go round a couple of times but that just adds to its charm.
The cafe has tables and benches outside with sunshades, high chairs and when we were there a makeshift paddling pool. The menu is short – pizzas, panini, chips and some breakfast dishes. We chose two paninis – a veggie one with roast pepper and cheese and a caesar salad (salad, chicken with a rasher of bacon through the middle.
The panninis will be really hot when they arrive on your plate so be careful. They were both fine and value for money. We washed them down with homemade lemonade and a cucumber, mint and lemon smoothie. Both were really refreshing on what was a very hot day.
This is clearly a community resource as on the next table there was a makeshift party with a lovely pink and white cake for grownups. This is a great lunchtime destination for people watching and sitting in the shade.
address: 11A-13 Market Row
Telephone: 0207 737 4410
We often buy bread from Wild Caper but rarely visit for a meal. So, surprisingly, despite being one of earliest manifestations of the change in the food available in Brixton, it’s never got a review. But we were hungry, after getting caught up in the Sing Out Streatham choir on Electric Avenue – yes a local choir singing Bowie’s Starman. It was Sunday and everywhere was gearing up for lunch and we wanted breakfast – Wild Caper was still serving and almost empty.
There are various choices all involving eggs and some involving bacon. We chose the Wild Caper special and bacon and eggs on toast. When they arrived the special – despite being a quid cheaper – filled the plate. I really enjoyed this meal and ate all on the plate. Bacon on smaller plate (see photo) was also very good.
The bill including two coffees came to £17.50. And then, although what we had already eaten quite enough, greed got the better of us and we finished off with a iced doughnut from Dum Dum Donutterie located temptingly opposite in Market Row.
128 Acre Land, SW2 5RJ
Phone: 020 7733 0697
Tuesday & Wednesday: 6-10 pm
Thursday to Saturday: 12–3pm, 6–10pm
Sunday: 12–3pm, 6–10pm
Souvlaki has suddenly become a thing but how does it differ from a kebab. Wikipedia defines it as “a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually served with grilled bread, or in a pita wrap with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes.” So it’s a kebab, but trendier and not from something that announces itself as a kebab shop for those needing a protein boost in between pubs.
Anyway, Mikos Souvlaki has recently opened in the busy part of Acre Lane. Painted a bright pink it’s hard to miss, even though it’s partly hidden by the bus shelter. Inside it’s minimalist with basic tables and chairs and little on the walls. It also has a minimalist menu, with just four main dishes, the classic, i.e. pork, the chicken, the vegetarian – cheese, (Cypriot halloumi) and the mushroom.
Despite not having had a kebab for many years we had read good things about this restaurant and swung by early one weekday evening. We chose a classic and a mushroom with added chips. We really enjoyed both but were not convinced that having the chips inside the wrap is a great idea, unless it’s for the convenience of a takeaway. With the salsa and tomatoes they are bound to end up soggy. The mushroom souvlaki had not only a good taste but also some texture.
There’s also a few shared plates on the menu, including some olives (which were great) and oregano-salted fries (OK, except the oregano seemed to be a bit lacking). There’s also “Aegean slaw” and extra tzatziki but we were not brave enough.
As well as the soft drinks there’s are two types of beer and four types of wine (2 red, 2 white); all Greek. But as it was a school night we opted for tap water.
Unfortunately I’ve lost the bill but it cost around £15 altogether and was great value.
Brixton Station Road – near to Brixton Road
Opening hours – most days
The changes to the arches on Brixton Station Road has meant the loss of many of the cafes and shops – but not the Moroccan Cafe. We reviewed the Cafe back in 2014 – see here – but we a pleased to report that it lives on in the form of the catering truck section, with tables and chairs nearby. The vegetable stews and soups have gone but the grilled meat dishes live on with a short menu of sandwiches and plates with a choice of baguette or wrap for the sandwich.
I chose the beef kofta in baguette which comes with salad (no surprise) but then there is a sprinkling of chips on the top. A choice of chili sauce or no chili sauce so not really a choice at all – chili is essential.
It was HUGE. Even half was a bit of a challenge and the other half is still in my fridge until there is space in my stomach. Next time I will be brave enough to ask for even more chili sauce as it tends to sink into the bread but it was delicious, hit the spot and again, given that I was on my way back from the gym, put on the calories I had worked hard to burn off.
At only a fiver it was a bargain.
Address: Arlington Parade, Brixton Hill, Brixton, London SW2 1RH
Telephone: 020 7733 4810
- Monday to Saturday: 7am to 6pm
- Sunday: 8am to 4pm
Brixton isn’t all about the new places. There are plenty of relatively unassuming cafes and restaurants, where the newer Brixtonians will rarely be seen. These places will never be reviewed in Time Out or the Guardian and Vera Cruz is just one of those local places and it has been in our sights for a while. It’s in the small row of shops just at the beginning of Brixton Hill but isn’t looking its best at the moment covered with scaffolding that mean you can easily miss it. We went on the off chance but we guessed that it would have a long stretch at lunchtime – we were right.
The decor consists of red vinyl chairs and Formica tables, walls covered with plastic covered pictures of Madeira. The menu echoes these routes and is much too long to explain. We chose the special (creamy chicken curry and rice or bravas) and picado (pieces of tender sirloin steak cooked in garlic, gravy and red wine sauce).
As you can see from the photo, the chicken curry was creamy and lurid but had little flavour. A bit of salt might have helped. I was worried about the rice but it was good with separated grains.
The picado did not live up to its name – it was good exercise for the jaw and certainly took more than 15 chews. The sauce was ok although had a bit too much cornflour. The best bit one either plate was the chips. Homemade, golden brown and crispy and went well dipped in the gravy.
The really interesting part of this eatery was the choice of reading material on the bar – The Journal of Psychological Studies sounds pretty mainstream but not when it comes from the spiritist psychological society. This is a society that link philosophy and religion to the spirits with three main protagonists God, Jesus and someone called Alan Kardec. I might return just to flick through the pages but this time I will not roam from the egg and chips menu.
The meal for two cost was around £14 including one Coca Cola.