Thursday, 3 July 2014

One for the weekend - Crystal Palace brunching

My adventure to Crystal Palace in London for a spot of brunch...

A Sunday morning is perfect for breakfast in bed and a stack of weekend newspapers scattered across the sheets, but recently the weekends have been simply too gorgeous for a lie-in.

One place in London I’d been wanting to explore for a long time was Crystal Palace, and with friends recently moving to the area, we decided to go for brunch at the French Café St Germain.

We managed to find a table outside, and with the cars whizzing by, the sun shining, flowers in bloom and the view of the Crystal Palace's take on the Eiffel Tower (aka - the radio mast) – you could have mistaken it for a Parisian bistro.

OK, maybe not. But it was still a perfectly nice little café to while away a Sunday morning in South London.

Inside it had a French-bistro feel, with wicker chairs, lots of pictures on the walls and bottles of liquors lining the shelves.

The menu was quite extensive, and more notably, cheap. We took a while to decide on what we wanted, but in the end asked for an omlette, scrambled eggs on croissants and the crème de la crème – the Parisian Crepe.

The Parisian Crepe

Scrambled egg on croissants

The food arrived promptly and with no-frills except a little salad, but the star of the show - as expected - was the crepe.

The Parisian Crepe was filled with a delicious garlicky tomato sauce, spinach and goats cheese, and it was accompanied by a French baguette for mopping up the juices.

Goats cheese and spinach is becoming very popular in vegetarian dishes, and this combination with tomato and soft crepe worked well. The dish was similar to cannelloni, with pancake instead of pasta. I remember eating a crepe-cannelloni on holiday years ago where the crepes had been rolled up, filled with a tomato sauce, slathered in bechamel and baked. I definitely approve as a brunch choice - just make sure you're hungry, because the portions at St Germain's are huge.

Following a brunch like that it was necessary to walk it off in the park, which is just over the road. Crystal Palace Park dates back to the Victorian times, and is English Heritage Grade II.

It was an eventful walk, full of dinosaurs and getting (very!) lost in a maze.

You'll find all sorts in South London

Mazes seem to get more difficult with age

I made it to the middle! Now, how the hell do I get out?

Escape gate for a quick exit - Thank goodness for that!

Keep reading for more of my breakfast adventures across London and beyond.