Brickwood | One of the instigators for London’s Aussie café invasion
You have to tip your hat to the folks down under.
Although the UK apparently created brunch (a guy named, err, Guy Beringer in 1895… file that one away for your next pub quiz), they made it better.
Look to Brickwood as your prime example. A mini-empire of Aussie-style cafés, specialising in one of the best brunches in London, that have taken hold of the South (specifically between the hours of 11am-3pm, and on a weekend…). In their takeover, they’ve hit all the key areas: Tooting, Balham, Elephant & Castle, Streatham and Battersea. The first Brickwood to show up and delight the city with groundbreaking antipodean creations like smashed avo on toast and flat whites, though, was (naturally) in Clapham.
This branch was the instigator; a three-part space spread between a handful of al fresco tables out the front facing onto Clapham High Street, a narrow inside area made up of high tables and stools, and a walled-in suntrap of a courtyard out the back where the close proximity you share with neighbouring seats means you’re usually an unintentional eavesdropper to debriefs from the night before. Although it’s one of most popular places in SW to catch up with mates for its affable service and easy-going vibe, the food at Brickwood more than holds up its end of the bargain.
Hangover or not, you’ll be getting a headache: choices range from a four-cheese toastie (with aged cheddar, red leicester, mozzarella and cream cheese); homemade cakes and pastries (they’re famous for banana bread); fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes topped with mascarpone (tip: goes well with extra bacon); the big breakfast plate (dubbed ‘The Butcher’ with eggs, bacon, herbed sausage, mushrooms… you get the drift); a breakfast burrito (highly recommended); and the safe, if slightly vanilla option of smashed avocado on sourdough. In all honesty, there’s not a bad egg on the menu and regardless of what you order, food envy is just something that you’ll have to deal with here.
As for drinks, first things first: there’s no bottomless, though they do a solid bloody Mary (with vegemite & renaissance vodka), other brunch cocktails, and as you’d expect, some of the city’s most highly reputed coffee. The smoothies – so often passed up at brunch in favour of the boozy drinks – are worth a look-in too; particularly the one made with Milo chocolate and another, the ‘Missing Melbourne’, that’s packed with all your vital greens – spinach, basil and spirulina.
It’ll set you up for a g’day…
NOTE: Brickwood is open daily. As a chilled-out spot they don’t take bookings, but you can find more info about them HERE.
Brickwood | 16 Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AB
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