In Seoul I felt like I spent half my life looking for good brunch spots. In London I don’t think that has changed, in fact I probably spend more time than ever devoted to the fact. The problem is there are too many places, every one and their dog offers the boozy mid-morning meal and the pressure to find a good one often overwhelms me. My family are all very discerning eaters, so much so that finding a spot for us to meet a few weeks ago had me up to all hours but I finally set upon grabbing brunch at Crispin, just a short walk from Spitalfields market.
Crispin is a very unique spot, not only for its location which could be described as an island of pavement – but also the shape of the building and its distinctive architecture. It being a sunny day we decided to sit outside to take advantage of the last of the Summer sun. Whilst they were waiting for our arrival, my brother ordered coffee and a Croissant (£2.70). I was lucky enough to arrive before they were devoured and thought the Flat White (£2.80) was exceptional, as was the big fluffy croissant.
I could never conceive of the idea of having brunch without cocktails. I of course had to have a Bloody Mary (£8.50). It was well concocted and I’ve had many worse ones over the years but it didn’t have much pizzazz. I’m guessing as it’s not actually listed on the menu they haven’t perfected it yet. My sister ordered a Bellini, but got a Mimosa (£7) instead. We decided to suck it up instead of sending it back but it was a touch heavy on the juice side.
Despite being a pretty big group, most of us decided to get the Eggs Benedict (£12). A little boring of course, but who was I to deny them. The poached eggs came on toasted sourdough, with a brown butter hollandaise, kale, and your choice of salmon or prosciutto. Most went for the Salmon version, whilst I went for the proscuitto di parma. The eggs benny was just heavenly, especially as we added Avocado (£3). The bread was spectacular, the eggs fresh, and the hollandaise so good I would have licked the plate clean. You could tell every ingredient was top quality and well sourced especially my procuitto which I would guess was sliced in house.
My particularly fussy brother decided to buck the benedict trend and went for Heritage Tomtatoes (£12). This was no ordinary tomato dish, the sweet and juicy tomatoes came upon sourdough with burrata, marjoram, and leek oil. I adore anything with burrata so couldn’t resist a try of this one. Because the tomatoes were such high quality it was an absolutely epic dish that was just perfect for this hot summers day. It was so good we could have been in Italy.
Overall we thought the brunch at Crispin was fantastic, and the quality of the ingredients was outstanding. Despite our small drinks mix up, we all thought it was one of the best meals we have had in a long time. This is a real restaurant providing brunch, not a bar that is doing it to get drinkers in the door. I certainly plan to go back soon and try their dinner which according to their Instagram looks even better than the brunch.
Crispin is located at Pavilion on The Corner, White’s Row, London E1 7NF. The nearest tube station is Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith, and Metropolitan lines). For more information you can call them on 020 7247 1173 or check out their website. They are open for brunch from 9am on weekends.