I recently put together a list of
all some of the restaurants in London that I want to visit. It’s just a quick list on my phone but I’ve found it super handy for when I’m out and about and trying to think of somewhere to go to eat or if I’m planning a dinner with my boyfriend or friends. I don’t know about you but despite knowing there are loads of places I really want to go my mind literally goes blank when the time actually comes to try them out so my list, as gay and organised as it might be, helps me remember those places.
One of those places on my list was the Riding House Cafe.
I honestly don’t remember why I wanted to go there, where I came across this place or who recommended it to me. I just knew that I would love it when I finally did get to pull up a chair. And love it I did!
After a wonderfully girly evening of X-Factor, manicures and a Holy Cow takeaway (oh my god, if you’re a Londoner and you haven’t tried one of these yet…why not?!) the night before and a inspiring morning of blog reading and instagram fitness page scrolling (anyone else do that?); my friend, Alex and I headed into central for a spot of shopping and some food.
Getting off at Piccadilly we struggled with where to go…strolling firstly towards The Breakfast Club in Soho before detouring to The Diner in Carnaby – only to be told it was a 25 minute wait for a table – before I finally remembered my list! Whipping it out I suggested finding the Riding House Cafe. Now increasingly hungry, we quickly google mapped our route to the restaurant and dodged the (early) Christmas shoppers and dawdling tourists until we were the other side of Oxford Street heading onto Titchfield Street.
After a relatively short walk we found what we had been looking for.
The Riding House Cafe doesn’t really look much from the outside and where it’s not on a main street you’d like to think that getting a table would be no problem for the casual walk-in. Well, apparently not. It seems like I wasn’t the only one with The Riding House Cafe on my list. The trendy 20 something by the front door told us it would be appetite increasing 40 minute wait. *huffs and puffs* however we’d walked for so long now that it seemed like the best thing to do was wait it out rather than find somewhere else. Plus we were so charmed by the decor that we couldn’t help but park our behinds in the nearest chair.
Low and behold though, not 10 minutes later a lovely waitress was showing us to our seats…albeit it at the bar rather than a table
No harm, no foul. The bar actually suited us perfectly, being just two and the seats were surprisingly comfortable, not being backless stools. What’s more there were several bartenders/waiters right in front of us ready to take orders as soon as we had decided. Meaning no crazy arm flailing was needed to attract a passing staff member’s attention before hunger won over and we passed out.
It also meant we could see some of the drinks being made and thus lead me to order a ‘hard-shake’ purely so I could drink it out of a milk bottle (happiness really is all in the details). My ‘hard-shake’ of choice was Toblerone and consisted of Baileys, Frangelico, Kahula, honey, chocolate ice-cream, milk and cream. Oh.my.word. Alex went for a good old fashioned bloody Mary.
Then came the food.
A wonderfully varying menu of brunch favourites we already had our
hearts stomachs set on eggs of some kind. Of course there were eggs benedict, royale and florentine but the poached number with chorizo hash brown and mushroom stole our hearts and we ordered the same dish.
The food was delicious and faultless is my opinion and it definitely made me eager to come back and try more. Particularly the pancakes, a few plates of which wafted past us while we sat. I also thought the small plate choices were a great idea for when you’re feeling indecisive or for sharing with friends – like those times you’re in need of a snack between bottles of champagne. And of course the roast dinner which I could spy on a table of 4 – all rich brown gravy and yorkshires the size of your face.
This place really did not disappoint and I was so glad to have it ticked off the list – if only to return with other friends/boyfriend and a smug smile that I’ve been before. I actually realised whilst writing this post that The Riding House Cafe is part of the Village London group of restaurants, one of which, The Garrick (which you’ll find a short walk from London Bridge) which i went to for my birthday last year. They all have a very cosy yet quirky feel to them whilst still remaining welcoming. Somewhere you could certainly while away a lot of hours.
Check them out on their website – here!
Where are your favourite places to brunch? Have you been to the Riding House Cafe?