Caravan, in Exmouth Market, (15 minutes down the road from me, how lucky am I?), is a stalwart of great London brunches. In two months it will be turning five years old. The intimate venue, with a rustic charm and downtown New York kind of cool, serves as a bar, restaurant, coffee shop selling roasted beans and a greasy spoon. The latter is what we're interested in.
At 11:30 on Sunday the place was pretty buzzing. There were three of us. We hadn't booked and I was late - not in my nature, honestly - but we still managed to get a table. About an hour later, as we left, more people were milling around the bar waiting to be seated.
The menu offers fruit and cereals like granola (although why anyone would go for any of these rabbit-food options is beyond me), and then your assortment of toast with toppings, such as avocado or portobello mushrooms. And, of course, grain or sourdough bread is available.
I ordered the caravan fry up, which comes stacked up in a tower of streaky bacon, slow roast tomatoes, thyme roasted portobello mushrooms and eggs any way you like.
My friend ordered the orange scented pancakes with blueberries and vanilla butter. This dish was enormous. Two huge and pretty dense pancakes smothered in sticky blueberries. It was very sweet, far to sweet for me, but my sugar-loving companion was very pleased with her choice.
Unfortunately we experienced some bad service. One breakfast was left completely off the order and we waited rather a long time for the food to come out. The second breakfast was, however, brought out to us speedily and some money was deducted from the bill. (Apparently our waitress was on a trail so unfortunately she probably didn't get the job. Best of luck to her none-the-less. I hope she is in employment now or will find some soon.)
There is a separate brunch and breakfast menu at Caravan. We experienced the weekend menu (brunch). I am eager to make a return visit on the weekday (breakfast), and am looking forward to such delights as baked eggs with tomato and pepper ragout, greek yoghurt and chorizo, and banana caramel porridge.