We don't often eat at the same place twice. Not for lack of wanting to. But there are so many options, so many new openings and old classics we still haven't visited, and not enough time, money, or space in my jeans to eat out as much as we would like to.
This last couple of weeks, however, I made an exception. I met C for a girly brunch at Riding House Café on Saturday morning. By late Saturday afternoon (as soon as I'd got myself home and in front of a computer), I'd booked to go again with B the following Sunday. Brunch at Riding House Café was something he simply had to experience.
I'm happy to be able to say that I wasn't merely blinded by the appearance and chic-ness of the place on my first visit. It was equally inspiring, sleek and delicious the second time round. A mere 7 days later.
The staff and the décor are stylish and smart without being over-fussy or intimidating. And the food matches that perfect equilibrium of feeling spoilt, but not oppressed and underdressed.
The juices are delicious, fresh and zingy, giving you that healthy kick. For those looking for something more indulgent, the PB&J 'smoothie' or the naughty milkshakes come in traditional milk jars with a straw. Makes you feel your young again. Primary school break-time rituals. Putting a smile on the customer's face (obviously aided by the coffee liqueur hidden inside).
Coffee is served after juice (the right order, methinks), with warm milk in a mini milk bottle. I never have milk in my coffee, but couldn't resist using this freshly heated, sweetly presented, soothingly warm present. It's the little things in life that make me happy.
C had poached pears and strawberries with granola and yoghurt which achieved the perfect balance of indulgence and a healthy-yoga bunny touch. They provided enough granola. Something not normally achieved anywhere apart from your own home. Pret seem to think three nuggets of oats is sufficient. Something we disagree on.
Eggs florentine and eggs royale, whether a small or large portion were decadent, beautifully formed, and cooked to perfection. The hollandaise a vivid yellow and more than adequately rich, the eggs explode to cover the wonderful, almost rustic china, and the muffin fresh and doughy.
A buzzing heart in the otherwise quiet area just off Regent Street early on weekend mornings. I'd happily go every weekend. A Sunday morning ritual. My kind of religion.
Highlight: Mini milk bottles of warm milk
Lowlight: Slightly too cold smoked salmon