Those were a dark few months that have just passed. Seriously, emerging from that final exam was like seeing the goodness of light for the first ever time.; you can only be a study hermit for so long until you can actually feel your soul growing stagnant and increasingly antsy by the day. Of course, every year I try to be that organized type who manages to maintain *proper* to-do lists, who fully sees tasks through and stands untempted by procrastination. But obviously it never happens. Instead, every year I’m greeted by the same chaotic + frantic mess of a student as the year before, only with knottier hair and even more responsibilities and deadlines topped off by 3 hours exams that wont. stop. coming. By this point the stress gets so much that you actually become strangely chilled and silent. It’s weird. You also you find yourself irrationally sceptical about whether this hoax of a term is ever going to end.
Thankfully it did (omg). And so YAY! Here I am preaching to you about (what I’m convinced are) the hands-down-bestest-ever scrambled eggs in London.
Jessie and I had been dreaming about/drooling over/perfecting our plans for our first brunch of freedom ever since the dawn of exam season (procrastinators gonna procrastinate), so when we got there it was all sunny and bright in Notting Hill, we were still so happy and feeling all light and airy from our examless-ness that didn’t even mind the queue outside. To be fair we actually met up an hour later than originally planned because I thought I’d discovered a new London life hack by hopping between circle line trains without actually checking the destination… Turns out I was yet to learn the true hack: for the love of God, stick with your initial platform – that means even if it has been 15 minutes and you’re dubious of whether this forsaken train actually exists or not, because I promise you it will come at the exact moment that you choose to run to the adjacent platform for the wrong train and fall up the stairs in the process. So there you have it. You’re welcome.
Once, in, at first we both 100% wanted the hotcakes. Why? Because… because…pancakes…except not pancakes! And brunch has to have something or other that’s syrupy and sugar dusted, amiright? These hotcakes have also been all-the-rave on Instagram recently too, like Andrea’s feed. Coming and going without meeting them for ourselves was obviously not an option.
But then we started eyeing up what everyone else there was already eating. DILEMMAS.
All we could see was a plethora of the most beautifully whipped heaps of swirly, buttery scrambled eggs, huge avo halves, inch thick sour dough toast being passed around and many jumbles of cute little chipolatas and chestnut mushrooms and so much more. We didn’t think our hotcakes were quite gonna cut it. Not today. Besides, I wanted a heap of those whirly egg piles so badly. Being struck down by indecision in a restaurant full of food envy has never been so appetizing.
So ah, here’s where I drop in just how much I love going for brunch with Jessie, who is thankfully always up for something savoury to cancel out all the sugar I tend to over-order. We find it really easy to compromise on our cravings, so this time we settled on sharing the hotcakes as well as a cheeky big brekkie/”Full Aussie” to go on the side, asking if we could swap the tomato for some of that ridiculously green avo.
I also pushed her into a side of toasted + dusted + buttered coconut bread to share. Because puuuurlease how. can. you. not?!
Halfsies = happy times. It was definitely the kind of event you wish could last all day. The ricotta hotcakes were more thick and ‘squidgy’ than fluffy – definitely not comparable to butter milk pancakes (you don’t say) – but they tasted more like the healthy/yoghurt-y kinda pancakes I tend to make at home; not so indulgent to put you into a food coma for the rest of the day, and I’m used to that taste anyway.
They do lush mochas here also. When mine arrived, the two American gals sitting at the end of the bar next to us were all like “OH MY GAD, is that the hot chocolate?” (too bad accents can’t be typed…) as soon as it was put down; too rich to be true, just a bitter-sweet drink-able heaven (though not for the faint hearted/milk chocolate lovers).
The next time I stop by I am sooo going for a combo of the hotcakes plus a side of those dreamy scrambled eggies as well as round two of their amazing sourdough, only with some almond butter + dulce de leche as they promise they can serve with it. It’s decided. Already unsure how I could settle for a birthday breakfast anywhere other than here, guiz.
I should probably mention that we were given the option of sitting at the bar, as opposed to an extra 15 minute or so wait, which was fine. The bar space actually turned out to be really spacious, especially compared to the seated area which seemed pretty crammy! So if you ever find yourself queuing outside and offered the bar space – don’t turn it down! You will end up with far more elbow room than anyone enjoying the window light. Oh and p.s., try to grab Charlotte as your waitress – she’s so sweet!
Sometime during our brunch Jessie tried to convince me that Florida was in California…We fixed that little disagreement with the second quick Google of our brunch (first time was trying to figure out what on earth Labneh was), hoping that the 2 American gals didn’t a) hear us or b) figure out that we are both Geographers (Jessie can be quite convincing). #Awkward.
What a lovely way to kick-off summer time and mark the end of year 2. Caramel fro-yo’s, coffee and strolls along Portobello road trailed. This year has been such a blur. Time really does fly! It’s almost time to list out all the to do’s I need to have not seen through by this time next year (see first parag). That said though, if there’s anything I can take away from the past 9 months or so, it’s that nothing turns out the way you idealize. Reality is far more unexpected, less utopian… but way more exciting. Something you couldn’t make up. We came to Granger and Co. expecting to be an hour earlier, hoping for an actual table, to eat hotcakes and leave. But what we actually had was way more colourful and perfect for us on that very morning – A slightly elusive (ok yes terrible) analogy for the way this past year has unfolded… but everything really has been slowly clicking into place just in time for now. Even though the way here was chaotic and sometimes gloomy, this is a good place to start appreciating all of the the little unexplainable chances that criss-crossed this ones spirally little path. And for that, I’m so thankful.
P.S. Happy 1st birthday TLS!!