Sunday 16th November - Clapham Common is raising its game.
WC Wine & Charcuterie, The Dairy, Brickwood, Craft Beer Co., and most recently The Manor have all settled down in SW4 in the last couple of years, making it more than just a Saturday night student town.
One of the most exciting new openings is Fields, a new café from the owners of the fantastic M1lk in Balham, operating out of the skate park building on Clapham Common itself. I went along for a speedy brunch to see how they are getting along.
Fields took a little longer to open than expected, and for the moment they are only serving food from a "test kitchen" on Friday-Sunday 9am-4pm - do check ahead though as the times are bound to change.
They've made a great little documentary series following their work on building and opening the site which is well a worth a watch - www.fieldsjournal.com/blog/
Fields is pretty open to the elements so wrap up. Their superb coffee (Koppi or Workshop with Spirit Triplette machine) will soon warm you up.
|Rosie not included|
Rosie's poached eggs on Brixton sourdough with confit vine tomatoes were a fine example of the genre. But if you want something extra special, order them with Workshop Cult of Done espresso hollandaise - it's been causing quite a stir on Twitter.
I opted for a beautiful plate of Smoked Pear, Rosemary Cream, Wet Walnut & Wandsworth Honey - unusual and delicious, I recommend sharing it alongside some combination of eggs to get the best of both worlds. We were too late for a special of Braised Oxtail on Toast, Chocolate & Pickled Shiitake - a return visit is definitely in order.
|Poached Eggs on Brixton Sourdough with Confit Vine Tomatoes|
|Smoked Pear, Rosemary Cream, Wet Walnut & Wandsworth Honey|
Don't leave though without sampling getting stuck into their Bakery & Sweet selection of delights. The Hay Smoked Soft Serve Gingernut Crumb is as incredible as it sounds, though I was a little smoked out after the pears. We also had a quick taster of a moreish, zingy Lavender Yuzu-ade Slushie that shouldn't be missed. Alternatively, treat yourself to a giant Anzac bisuit or an appealing Peat Smoked Lardy Cake.
|Hay Smoked Soft Serve with Gingernut Crumb|
|Lavender Yuzu-ade Slushie|
|Peat Smoked Lardy Cakes|
It may not quite have the fun Saturday morning in Williamsburg atmosphere of M1lk just yet, but the food & drink at Fields is at the same high level, and they are making some of the most interesting dishes on the London brunch scene right now, alongside reliably superb coffee & tea. Check it out asap.
Saturday 15th November - Whilst in SW4, I'll just quickly mention another breakfast option round the corner from Fields on Clapham Common High Street.
The Pepper Tree is a popular "no frills Thai canteen" on the main strip, next door to Blackwood, both of whom recently won Timeout Love London awards. Last month, The Pepper Tree started opening for breakfast at the weekends for the first time, offering a Thai twist on popular brunch dishes.
If you want the full experience, order one of the epic bowls of Congee, a typical street food Thai dish of porridge made with meat stock, blended rice, pork balls, prawns, poached egg and spring onion. Add a fiery Bloody Mary with Thai basil or a Lychee Mai Tai with Mekhong and you'll be good to go for the rest of the day.
There are also Thai omelettes with creamed kaffir lime yoghurt, poached eggs with lemongrass hollandaise and homemade Thai spiced sausages amongst other options on a quirky menu.
Grab a long table with a group of friends and settle in for the morning. The charming owners will look after you until you are ready to face the afternoon.
|Poached eggs with lemongrass hollandaise + a Lychee Mai Tai made with Mekhong|
|Thai omelettes with creamed kaffir lime yoghurt|
|Congee - a typical Thai street food dish|
Coming soon : A write up of an outstanding lunch at The Manor in Clapham Common
Have a sneak peek at the full set of photos on Matt The List : Facebook
|A showstopping dessert at The Manor - see more photos here|