This weekend I put Sunday in Barnsbury to the test.
First things first – you can’t make a reservation and my only piece of advice is to arrive early, hold off breakfast until the afternoon or be prepared to join a line. Knowing little about the popularity of this tiny cafe, we arrived at prime brunch time and spent an hour queuing in the cold. Usually I would have given up, but feeling strangely encouraged by the length of the queue and excited by the prospect of the food I could see through the window, we ordered take-out hot chocolates (hand-warmers) and stuck it out.
Once we were seated we had soon forgotten about the queuing situation, ordered some more hot drinks and began to study the menu. And what a menu it is. You can’t help but order more than you need – it all sounds (and looks) amazing and the thought of missing out is just too much to deal with. We weren’t the only ones ordering an extra dish or two either. Sharing is caring, right?
Inside, the cafe is snug. You squeeze around tiny tables, which adds to it’s cosy charm. There are hanging lightbulbs, mix-and-match wooden tables, quirky serving sets, jam-jar glasses (so hip) and painted patterned floorboards. There’s outdoor seating too for when the sunshine finally arrives. The open kitchen gives you something to nose at once you’ve exhausted spying at all of the other tables around you.
We ordered the ‘buttermilk pancakes, berry compote, bacon, honeycomb butter and maple syrup’, ‘Huevos rancheros, spiced black beans, chorizo and avocado’ and then, deciding that we couldn’t risk missing out on something good, ordered the ‘courgette fritters, halloumi, avocado, poached egg, yoghurt and dukkah’. There’s none of this ‘tiny plate, tiny portion’ nonsense either. It’s a big time fill-you-up-brunch and the pancakes deserve an award – I just don’t understand how they can be so fluffy… The flavours and colours of the dishes complimented each other perfectly and presentation was on top form. You can tell a lot of care goes into the crafting of each dish, and you can taste it – this isn’t your usual brunch.
There is one thing, brunch here should come with a warning – it’s really bad for conversation, the food tastes so good that you forget to talk. We did lots of nodding, pointing and generally made ‘mmm’ noises. It’s also obligatory to dive into each others plates (or at least I did). I guess this says it all about the food.
‘Sunday’ has got brunch haven/relaxed neighbourhood cafe down to a T. As you’ve probably already gathered, it has a committed following and is always busy. Even when we left there was a long queue. Despite this, the staff are really friendly and just as happy to help you out with your choices or let you be and take your time.
A couple more coffees later, feeling very happy and very full, we wrapped up and were on our way. Sunday on a Sunday (or a Saturday for that matter) is a perfect spot for a long, lazy day and lots of wholesome tasty grub. Take note – Sunday is open throughout the week and for dinner too. It doesn’t have a website, but the cafe’s Instagram/Twitter will persuade you if I haven’t. Cancel your weekend plans and head to Sunday.
P.S You might have guessed, but this was totally a ‘recovery’ brunch because the boys had their album launch party the night before. Check out Coasts new album – it’s pretty good.