Brunch is by far my favourite meal of the day. Breakfast comes too early but brunch always means an indulgent, lazy morning. I’d spent weeks with my nose pressing up against the bus window every time I passed Foxcroft and Ginger, in the heart of London’s East End, on my way to work with my stomach rumbling at the thought of what brunchtime treats lay within. One Saturday morning, I headed inside to find out how brunch has gone upmarket and to sample some of their artisan offerings.
The interior was achingly trendy; all exposed pipes and lighting, distressed wood and hipster staff but the aroma of freshly baked sourdough loaves, which are piled up by the entrance, distracted my inner cynic from judging this book by its try-hard cover. This site is the second from Quentin and Georgina, the duo behind F&G, who opened the first in Soho in 2010 after careers launching other restaurants. The fixtures and fittings have clearly been thought through carefully, right down to the F&G heart logo carved into one of the tables, but it is the food that really shines.
The dynamic duo: Quentin and Georgina
The menu has a hearty offering with dishes like sweet or savoury French toast and spiced aubergine, labneh, halloumi, mushrooms, peppers and eggs on toast. I opted for the eggs Benedict with porchetta (I always judge a place on its poached eggs) and settled down with a cup of delicious coffee. It was clear from speaking to Georgina that carefully sourced and freshly made food and drink is at the heart of F&G. The coffee beans are brought in from three carefully selected roasteries and all the bread is baked at their Soho site. Georgina said, if they’re not happy about something, they’ll do something about it, “It’s the little things. We were using sausages that we weren’t 100 percent satisfied with so we decided to make our own. Now they’re produced on-site, every day. It makes the difference.”
Brunch is served
When the food arrived, the presentation matched the feel of the place – imperfectly perfect. The lashings of hollandaise sauce spilled onto the plate with a casual sprinkling of chives on top. The heavy sauce and porchetta were complemented well by the light texture of the homemade English muffin (and the eggs passed my poaching test with flying colours). The relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff mean you never feel like you’re being rushed – perfect for staying on to people-watch. After another coffee, I left Foxcroft and Ginger content and revived and even though I had a slightly numb bottom from the hard wooden seats, it was worth it.
Foxcroft and Ginger, 69-89 Mile End Road, London, E1 4TT