For the ninth meeting of Brunch Club, we decided to start tackling the expanding list of places that have been recommended to us by others ever since we started our quest. On 20th August 2017 we met at Mildreds, 200 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9JP for perhaps the most exciting Brunch Club outing for Ed, as everything they sell is veggie or vegan! Their brunch menu has waffles (oh, how we’ve missed them!), plus plenty of gluten free options, so we were all looking forward to getting stuck in.
Ed: I had a v high quality English Breakfast. The pot was slightly on the smaller side so I ended up having two over the course of the brunch (I will never be happy with what size tea pot I’m given!)
Eleanor: I bumped into Ed on the walk up and on arrival I had an orange, apple, lime juice – I’ve been ill so needed the vitamins. It was lovely.
Lou: I had a rather good breakfast tea (bagged, T2), followed by an orange, apple and lime juice which was absolutely delicious! Heads up that Mildred’s charge extra for Soya milk, but it’s *good* soya.
Lori: Soya latte, as usual. One of the best I’ve had in a while – very tasty indeed!
WHAT WE HAD
Ed: What a wonderful luxury, as Mildred’s is all vegetarian and vegan food, I could have had anything on the menu! I went for the Big Brunch, which was delicious. Scrambled eggs, roasted vine tomatoes, some lovely smokey beans, a glamorgan sausage and two slices of big thick sourdough. Really fantastic. The only downside was my own fault, I dropped a bit of sausage down myself in my desperation to consume it! For Brunch pudding I had a chocolate and hazelnut brownie with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream on top. Very nice indeed, a good sized portion, not just a plain old chocolate brownie, it was delicious.
Eleanor: I had the smashed avocado on sourdough toast with poached eggs. It was a very generous portion and the poached eggs were very well done. It was very tasty. As someone who loves their meat at brunch, I did feel a bit limited by the menu but the food I ate was very good.
Lou: I had the tostada – so so good, best black beans I think I have ever had – the only downside is that I could have used an extra tortilla to mop up the delicious salsa/beans/egg combo. I was impressed that they offered scrambled tofu as a vegan option.
Lori: I went for the tostada as well, topped with a fried egg, and devoured it in what felt like seconds. The beans, tomatoes, avocado and egg were extremely tasty and I would happily have eaten seconds, but it just meant I had room for ‘brunch pudding’. Seeing as the only sweet option on the brunch menu is not gluten free, I ventured onto the main dessert menu and had the Sicilian lemon mascarpone cheesecake which was utterly divine. I also treated myself to a cocktail… although I was tempted by the espresso martini, they had another type made using a fig liqueur which sounded like it would go well with my cheesecake. It did.
Eleanor: Waffles! For second course, I shared them with Lou. I hadn’t even clocked they were vegan, nor the ice-cream being vegan. They came piled with blueberry compote and fresh blueberries. Thumbs up for vegan waffles from me!
Lou: The waffles were delicious – dense and made with oat and quinoa they stood up to the gooey blueberry compote whilst still being soft and nutty. Highly recommended!
WHAT DID WE CHAT ABOUT?
Ed: Lots as always to talk about, drag race, my post-wedding to do list, tattoos.
Eleanor: Due to being ill, I’m trying to remembered but there was good news shared, much drag race talk and brunch club planning.
Lou: I caught the gang up on my recent house move and how to decorate my walls (with Drag Race fan art, obvs), impending project deadlines, and my new favourite dish – jambalaya.
Lori: Drag Race, house moves, work, and getting a few more dates in the diary for brunch!
SERVICE, ATMOSPHERE, TOILET STANDARDS/QUIRKS
Ed: Service was really friendly and chatty. The floor manager (is that the right word?) overheard us talking about Drag Race and told us all about how he’d served Michelle Visage when working at Mildred’s in Soho, I was suitably impressed!
Eleanor: We had very friendly staff. The restaurant decor felt a little sparse and not the most comfortable spot but lovely for a quicker meal. I love the vintage-style of the business card and it’s a shame that doesn’t follow into the design.
Lou: It felt buzzy and at times a little loud, but our table was somewhat out the way which was nice. Toilets, whilst clean, were super narrow, although there was a well equipped disabled loo which doubled as a nappy changing station and gender neutral space.
Lori: A friendly place with great service and big enough tables for all our teapots and many courses. The restaurant has a bright and airy industrial feel, which was great on a sunny morning summer, but may not feel especially cosy on a winter evening.
Ed: Straight home to catch up with husband who had been away, spent afternoon sorting out wedding photos.
Eleanor: A nice long nap, then to my dear friend’s house to tie 150 tiny anchors on to bits of twine. Then more sleep.
Lou: I went on the hunt for sugar soap so I could give my new wardrobes a good scrub
Lori: I went home to put my feet up and start watching The Defenders on Netflix.
Ed: As someone who has been veggie for more than half his life, it is such a rare pleasure to go somewhere and not worry about double checking the menu and maybe asking the waiter if that foodstuff name you don’t recognise is meat or cheese. Because of that, I feel the experience was probably even more enjoyable than the food itself. I thought the food was great, I do feel the menu could have one or two more items on it though. The location and the decor does seem a little characterless, it is a unit in one of these new-build complexes (Bill’s was set dressed up to the nines and had crap all over the walls!) Overall I’d recommend it for affordable, delicious food for veggies and vegans.
Eleanor: I’d visited this branch for dinner before, and while enjoying the food, found the whole experience a bit bland. This experience didn’t change my opinion, but good quality food and lovely staff mean I’d recommend it to someone in the area but I wouldn’t make a special diversion. (Though feeling a little bit of meat-eating-privilege, if that’s a thing?)
Lou: It’s hard to find affordable veggie and vegan food in London and was impressed by the menu, range of vegan and gluten free choices, and would definitely come back, although I might avoid the long tables and ask to get tucked into a corner to have a more intimate experience.
Lori: I’ve never managed to get a table at the Soho one as it’s tiny and always packed, so I’m pleased that I’ve now got to see what all the fuss is about. Mildreds’ food definitely lives up to the hype! Also, zero queuing for a place where you can’t book in advance but has great food is a big fat recommendation in my book.
The image of Mildreds King’s Cross at the top of this post is from a great review on Veggie Matty’s London Patties where he reviews one of their burgers. All other images were snapped by Brunch Club members on their phones, so excuse any blurriness as we were all rather excited about eating the food.