Half-way through the Easter bank holiday weekend we decided it was time to venture into London for a little culture and brunch. Life had been busy of late with very little time to enjoy the delights on our doorstep. So this was a good opportunity to make use of my Tate membership by seeing two exhibitions – Picasso 1932 and Modigliani at Tate Modern. With the reward for schlepping around two galleries, a restorative brunch at Grind in Covent Garden.
Grind has been on our list for a while and as they market themselves as the go-to brunch destination, expectations were high. I had previously visited their Clerkenwell restaurant with work and enjoyed each visit. Grind launched in 2011 in Shoreditch where they still grind their coffee and they now have a number of restaurants across central London. With idiosyncratic interiors drifting between coffee shop, restaurant and cocktail bar.
After a short cab ride we arrived at our destination on Maiden Lane. The Covent Garden branch of Grind has a lovely large window frontage, perfect for hip young things to peacock to the passing footfall. It is also more café than restaurant with small bistro tables. The pleasant young staff quickly whisked us to a comfortable table downstairs (and out of sight) and swiftly ran through the basics, coffee ground in Shoreditch etc. etc. and the filtered water only £1 with free refills (really? for tap water?).
A. ordered an english breakfast tea and I went for a small long black. The tea (£2.75), in A’s opinion, was simply not what it claimed to be. A disappointment as she had already survived far too long without a cup of her favourite brew. My coffee was also disappointing (I recommend going for the larger long black, 10p more but probably worth it) as mine was small. And a word to all coffee shops out there, as you are charging £2.50+ then take some pride in your product – a good long black should retain the crema.
On to the really important stuff, the menu choices (I have to say at this point that I personally missed the inclusion of French Toast or Pancakes, essential brunch dishes in my opinion). A. went for One-Pan Eggs with chorizo, spinach and yogurt, served in a skillet – a nice touch (£9). This dish got a big thumbs up from a satisfied A. – delicious. My choice: Beetroot Smoked Salmon with eggs on toast (£10). This looked gorgeous, the deep red of the salmon against the yellow of the egg made for a visual treat. I probably made a mistake in this instance by choosing scrambled eggs as I think a softer egg would have worked better with the sourdough toast, however still very enjoyable.
We had a chat about our visit, we hope you find it interesting and we’d love to know what you think so let us know by dropping us a note!
I find it hard to give Grind Covent Garden a full blown yes as in this price range there is a lot of choice. The food was really good but on balance we felt we can find better and will not be rushing back.
Loo Review (PMC Rating): ★★☆☆☆ A well deserved rubbish score for less than clean and horribly fragranced facilities. Most restaurants easily beat these standards!
Grind, Maiden Lane, Soho,London WC2E 7LJ Sunday, April 1st 2018