Author Archives for Noemi

About Noemi

I am 32 years young, originally from Berlin but a traveller at heart having spent most of my formative years travelling, exploring and living in different parts of the world. Please join me on my journey, I am excited to exchange.

brünch – 2015 in review

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun.

2015 was a fantastic and certainly eventful year for me. I am so very grateful for all the experiences I have made and people I have crossed paths with.

As you know, in October 2014 I left my corporate city job to launch brünch – London’s first and only Berlin pop up, bringing people together in London’s quirkiest venues to enjoy some proper Berlin vibes.

I quit my job because I did not want to wake up one day and regret not having tried. I wanted to follow my passion and live my ideas and dreams. But I also left my corporate job to change my lifestyle, find more balance and appreciate the small things in life that we often take for granted.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, who has come to my events and who has chosen to become and stay part of my journey. You know who you are and you are amazing – thank you.

Since I launched brünch in February 2015, my pop ups have grown from ‘bread brunch booze’ Berlin style to a platform for collaboration, up-and-coming DJs showcasing their talent, meeting new people, discovering London’s hidden and unusual spaces and bringing new small-batch German drink brands to London. You might have seen it already – I also launched BrotZeit in 2015 – my new mobile Berlin breakfast bar concept ideal for markets, corporate events, festivals and small cafes.

Our Berlin brünch community is growing and we (yes, the royal ‘we’ for now) have lots of exciting plans for the New Year – come along and join us! 🙂

brünch – 2015 in review

In 2015 I hosted ten Berlin pop ups and two BrotZeit events where I welcomed over 600 guests in 11 different venues. brünch was named ‘one of London’s most active pop ups in 2015‘ by London Pop Ups , ‘one of the capital’s most exciting pop ups this summer’ by STYLISTand ‘one of London’s prettiest breakfasts’ by About Time Magazine. brünch was also featured in Time Out London, the Evening Standard and my face even made it into Germany’s top newspapers such as Der Tagespiegel with an article on ‘Berlin, London und das ‘brünch’ – Wie sich das Frühstück ändert.‘ I still can’t quite believe it all and my heart still jumps with joy :)))

Last year, I took my pop ups to converted warehouses, rooftops, antique salvage shops, railway arches and craft beer breweries all across the city. In memory of a great year, here a little snapshot of my events in chronological order:

My very first pop up took place at Salon, Brixton in February 2015. Tickets were sold out almost a week before the event with around 40 people attending. Salon is such a beautiful venue owned and run by Nick Balfe, former head chef of Jackson Boxer’s Brunswick House and Frank’s Campari Bar. I can only recommend visiting his restaurant in Brixton Market Row for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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My second pop up took place at The Doodle Bar in Battersea in March. With 50 people attending, it was another sell out event. The vibe was fantastic and I met lots of lovely people and like-minded foodies including Spooncereals, the GrubClub, The Brick BoxSnactThe Social PantryCulinary Canvas and many more. DJ Dirk from Germany put on some hot electro sounds to get into Berlin mood.

In April, I hosted a Berlin Easter brünch at Brixton East 1871 – a converted 19th-century furniture warehouse just off Coldharbour Lane. The venue is stunning and has retained much of its original character and charm. It was a lovely event where about 40 guests attended with their families, friends, dates and partners.

A week later, we went the extra mile and took brünch to East London for the first time. Stage 3 in Hackney Central is part of the Hackney Empire building and with the help of DJ Dirk on the decks, we converted the venue into a little bit of Berlin that day.

In June I was asked to participate in the Streatham Food Festival with my pop up. I felt very honoured and excited to host a German-inspired Summer Dinner at Boyce da Roca, a small neighbourhood cafe in the heart of Streatham. I cooked for four days straight and even my mum arrived from Berlin to help me. It was beautiful ❤ I worked with Axiom brands and mixologist Fliss together to design some amazing cocktails to pair each dish on my menu.

Then it was time for a little Summer break. I went travelling in France for two weeks after reminding myself that leaving my office job also meant more time for myself, work-life balance and adventure. I went into the mountains in Provence and it was beautiful – a peaceful village tucked away from city life – so much beauty and time to let go and appreciate.

When I returned from holidays, I started spending more and more time up east. I explored Hackney Wick, London Fields and Clapton on my bike. Hackney reminds me a lot of Berlin – the vibe, the sense of space, the people…On one of my exploration tours, I came across the CRATE Brewery and in June I hosted my Berlin brunch pop up in their ‘Brew Shed’ – such a special setting. DJ Mo with his own label Homage Records on the decks – amazing vibes, amazing people.

Having been a few times to Maltby Street Market for food, drink and shopping, I inevitably fell in love with the most amazing antique salvage shop in London – Lassco Ropewalk. And so it happened that I managed to convince the owners to bring a little bit of Berlin to their shop in July. On a rainy Sunday morning my team and I converted this beautiful space into a buzzing Berlin den with fresh waffle and Nutella smells running through the shop and gorgeous bread from St John Bakery on offer. I love this venue.

I had been invited to the launch party of The NINES in Peckham in February which was run by two girls who were friend of someone I had met through another friend (this is basically how I find my venues ;)) The NINES is a converted garage bar hidden behind the Bussey Building and exactly what I was after for brünch. It took six months until we finally met up to discuss hosting an event together. In August, 40 people came to enjoy a long lazy Sunday brünch with proper Berlin electro tunes from Moody Pat, a young cutting-edge DJ from the French Caribbean who is definitely one to watch.

To take advantage of the warm summer months, my next event brought me back East to London Fields where I stumbled upon a new quirky venue with probably the best views overlooking London Fields (apart from Netil House perhaps). Playground & Proof had only just opened and it was a pleasure to be the first pop up to host an event up on their roof terrace – a hidden gem you should definitely go and check out if you are in the area.

In the whole month of October I then worked with Streetfeast on the opening of their new Hawker House in Canada Water – a 2,500 people venue with 14 street food vendors and nine bars – and project manage Oktoberfest, which welcomed approximately 5,500 people over two days. We ate, we drank, we danced – such an amazing experience and project to work on 🙂

November was another eventful month for me. I left Brixton after six years and moved to East London – it felt like the end of an era… I also celebrated my 30th birthday in November in Berlin and I launched BrotZeit at the Morning Glorville afterparty! In the meantime I was hatching plans and getting everything ready for my Berlin Winter brünch the following month.

I had visited Palm 2 in Clapton, a lovely venue tucked away above a cute local gourmet deli shop, back in the summer. I fell in love with the venue straight away and having moved close by now, my heart was set on hosting my last event of 2015 here. I welcomed about 40 people for a cosy Berlin Winter brünch in December with lots of German spiced Glühwein, fresh cinnamon waffles and delicious Berlin cocktails.

What a year!

I am seriously excited about 2016 and no doubt Berlin is here to stay 🙂

I am also incredibly proud to have worked with some of these amazing suppliers in 2015:

Berlin/German Drink Brands (among others)

Local Food Suppliers

Coffee Suppliers

Special thanks go to my fantastic friends and family for all your support and help – Sarah, Jamie, Pete, Esther, Roman, Lucy, Kaia, Rocio, Bill, Vicky, Sophie and Christie.

See you in 2016!

Lots of brünch love,

Noemi xx

Christmas marzipan recipe

 

I love Christmas!

Well, I guess I like the romantic notion of Christmas – cold winter days, candlelit dinners, lovely food, roaring fires, spending time with family & friends  – but ever so often reality looks slightly different. With Christmas around the corner, stress levels build up to make it all so perfect. We run around town to find the perfect gift, we spend a whole lot of money that we don’t have and by the end of it we are so exhausted that if something doesn’t go according to plan we snap at each other and eventually melt into tears.

Last year, I made a conscious effort to relax a bit more and not try to tick every single Christmas box there is. And the same I intend to do this year.

Instead of expensive presents, I get creative and make things – photos collages and calendars are always beautiful presents and they are made to last. I invite friends for dinner and spend quality time with them. Last year I had eight friends over and I made home-made chicken liver pate on toasted brioche which went down a treat with a few glasses of bubbles at the beginning of the meal!

This year, I am doing more baking & cooking to surprise my loved ones. Food brings people together and can say more than thousand words.

I want to share one of my recipes with you which takes less than 30 mins to make and looks great under the Christmas tree.

German Marzipan Recipe

I made my own marzipan for the first time at one of my pop ups in 2015 and ever since I get asked for my recipe. Well, here it is 🙂

Marzipan is very popular in Germany all year round. During the Christmas time, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a bread, which is called ‘Marzipanbrot’ or small potatoes ‘Marzipankartoffeln’. Another tradition is a Glücksschwein (‘lucky pig’) on New Years Eve.

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Historically, Marzipan is a specialty of the Hanseatic League port towns. In particular the city of Lübeck in the north of Germany, has a proud and long-standing tradition of marzipan manufacture and you will find the German Niederegger Marzipan in most shops these days.

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Marzipan is so delicious and quick to make at home. You can add it to cakes and cookies, make decoration for cakes or simply enjoy it on its own.  I love recipes that allow for modifications. You can add anything to the mix – nuts, chocolate, spices, colourings, you name it.

I made some Marzipankartoffel the other day with dark chocolate coating and inside it had a roasted almond. I wrapped them up nicely and gave them as a present. It was a winner

Here is how it goes 

Makes ten to 15 little marzipan balls

Ingredients

1 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of icing sugar
1 egg white
2 table spoons of pure almond extract
1 table spoon of rose water 

For the filling & coating

100gr of dark chocolate (80%)
Whole almonds

3 table spoons of icing sugar
1/2 table spoons of cinnamon

Preparation

  • Add the ground almonds, almond extract, rose water, icing sugar and egg white together in a bowl. Use your clean hands to kneed the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed together. No need to get the whisker out.

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  • Refrigerate the dough for 15 mins.
  • After 15 mins remove the marzipan from the fridge and form little balls or squares with your hands (any shape goes really). Place one whole almond in the middle when shaping the dough (optional)

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  • Prepare the chocolate. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl.
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Ensure no hot water gets into the chocolate.
  • Cover the marzipan shapes with chocolate and allow to cool on a flat surface. You can also use cocoa powder for coating, which is less messy and equally delicious.
  • Mix the icing sugar an cinnamon and sieve over the cooled chocolate marzipans.

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Done! 

Eat straight away, wrap up nicely as a present or serve at the end of your meal with coffee & teas.

Enjoy your Christmas and don’t forget..

Christmas is not be about the size of the turkey, the quality of champagne or the amount of presents under the Christmas tree. It is the time to be with family and friends, cherish the moments we have together and appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

x

 

Die kulinarischen Trends für 2015 – die ultimative Tidbits-Prognose!

Very excited about how the Berlin foodie scene is changing – great place to be. Thank you Cathrin for sharing Berlin’s food trends with us

Berlin Tidbits

Einmal im Jahr schreibe ich für Euch auf, was in der kulinarischen Luft liegt. Meine ultimative Trend-Prognose ist zumeist am eigenen Gaumen, auf Reisen, auf Festivals und Messen selbst erlebt, in Gesprächen mit Köchen, Produzenten, Kulinarikern und Geniessern gesammelt oder in Magazinen und auf Blogs gelesen und bewertet. Es geht um das, was sich international tut und um das, was hierzulande ankommt oder ankommen wird.

Manches ist in 2015 ziemlich neu, das Meiste bahnte sich schon 2014 an. Davon hat sich erfreulicherweise auch schon einiges wieder erledigt. Hier findet ihr die Prognose aus 2014 zum Auffrischen und Nachlesen: https://berlintidbits.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/die-kulinarischen-trends-fur-2014-die-ultimative-prognose/

Ein bisschen Wunschdenken ist jedes Jahr dabei. Über manches freut man sich, über anderes ist man entsetzt. Mittlerweile nehme ich ja auch einiges selbst in die Hand. Der Trend zur Fermentation kommt in Deutschland nicht soo richtig an? Pfff…macht nix, die KrautBraut wird schon dafür sorgen…

Länderküchen:

Bleibt:
Die eigene Küche…

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Review : brünch, pop-up

If you missed out my last Berlin brünch at The NINES In Peckham, here a little insight from Nikki who is also a Food critic for @Brixtonblog and @Brixton_Bugle. Thanks so much Nikki for coming

As I’ve said before, I get pretty excited these days at the prospect of a non-eggs-and-bacon-centric breakfast. So I was more than happy to head along to brünch, which promised to delight guests with a long, lazy, Berlin style get-together.

This is a proper pop-up which uses under-utilised spaces to host a truly unique gathering. Founder and host for the day, the totally charming Noemi Dulischewski, takes pride in finding the best spots to compliment her thought-filled events. This time we were at The Nines in Peckham – an open and bright, yet basic space near Peckham Rye station. The brickwork and industrial windows, not to mention access from round the back of the Bussey building, give it a temporary pop-up feel, and make it all the more special. Noemi herself is a great host – friendly, knowledgable and passionate about brünch. She recently left her nine-to-five job…

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There’s a German Food revolution happening in London and it’s called Berlin brünch

thedelicioustraveller

The Berlin brünch a new German food based brunch roams around London’s quirkiest venues and this August has two super-cool venues, which will certainly get the party started on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Berlin – Bread Brunch Booze vibes will be in full flow as each venue offers a quirky and fun atmosphere while enjoying a proper Sunday Berlin-style brunch with all the trimmings. brünch has stumbled upon two as yet undiscovered London insider gems – Playground & Proof in London Fields and converted garage venue in Peckham.

Quirky venues around London Quirky venues around London

On Sunday 16 August Berlin brünch will be hosting a bottomless Berlin-style brunch at ‘Playground & Proof’, an amazing new rooftop venue above London Fields’ Railway Arches. Experience a little bit of Berlin overlooking London Fields. Indulge in generous Berlin-style brunch with fantastic cocktails, hard-to-come-by drinks straight from Germany and some hot Berlin tunes from a local…

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Food Photography – some Tips and Tricks

Food Porn is definitely a ‘Thing’!

Instagram is thriving because we love looking at beautiful food pictures. It does not only create cravings but also presents a lifestyle – healthy food, convenient food, comfort food, etc. Great food photography makes people want to be part of the bigger picture. I mean is it really about the Chewy Sultana Cookies that Deliciously Ella makes? I doubt it. It is about her, her story and philosophy, her lifestyle that inspires people to live healthier lives. But to buy into a story like this, we want to see lovely pictures that help us visualise what we could have – and she does that pretty well.

My food photography is not the greatest (yet!) but I am working on it. 🙂 A year ago I treated myself to a really nice DSLR Sony camera, which I use a lot for my pictures. However, you don’t need heavy equipment anymore or spend a fortune on an excellent camera. Thanks to all those new Photo Editor Apps, ‘photoshopping’ has become pretty easy and made food photography a lot more accessible. But there is more to a good picture than changing the filter and adding some fake highlights.

I recently attended a workshop by Echo Food Sessions in collaboration with Grub Club , who invited professional photographer and Instagram enthusiast Isabelle to lead a workshop on how to do great food photography for your business using the simplest of tools – your phone and Instagram. The Grub Club has summarised some of her top tips:

Get Inspired

  • Browse through food magazines, blogs and Instagram feeds, and replicate things you like.
  • As well as your food, think about other ways you can tell the story of your business/brand – how about some pictures of your suppliers, your prep process, or people enjoying your food at an event?

Setting Up Your Shot

  • Try out different layers and textures in the background – everything from wooden chopping boards to slate, to fabric like tablecloths and napkins (make sure you iron them first).
  • Take pictures from directly above – stand on a chair, or even arrange your shoot on the floor so you can get a good angle.
  • Have plenty of natural light streaming through – daylight is the best setting for food photography.
  • Use props to offset the balance of your shot – e.g. a knife halfway on the plate, a sprig of mint in the background, a little glass with flowers in a corner.
  • Keep it simple – don’t overload the plate or surroundings: focus on the food and use a few striking props to enhance.

Using Instagram

  • Take pictures using your camera app, and upload them into Instagram afterwards – that way you can select the best ones, crop and edit to get the very best picture.
  • Don’t just use filters – use the wrench tool to adjust things like brightness and structure. Try Tilt Shift to focus different areas of the picture.
  • When choosing a filter, you can adjust the level of filter to apply by double clicking on the filter and sliding to adjust.
  • Add a location so your picture will appear on maps.
  • Use hashtags to describe your picture and engage others – Tagmoatic is a useful tool for generating hashtags.
  • Try the new layout tool for creating collages.

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Adding to the above, my advice is

  • Use small portions – you don’t need to take a picture of an entire serving size. A small portion of all the goodness you created is absolutely sufficient for a great picture.
  • Add ingredients into your picture -it is really nice for the other person looking at your picture to follow the story of your dish. What ingredients have you used, how have you prepared it?
  • Use colours in your food – make your dish stand out more by adding accents. Perhaps some pomegranate on white yoghurt and a mint leaf. Complimentary colours can create some striking optical effects.
  • Take your time & prepare in advance – block out an entire morning/afternoon (best when it is light) and get everything you need in advance. It takes a while until you get the perfect shot. I requires a lot of experimenting and trying out. You don’t want to realise afterwards that all your pictures are rubbish. Prepare and get all the props and ingredients in advance so you can focus on photographing, not wasting time on getting your bits and bobs together. Plus not being stressed by time pressure makes it an easier and more enjoyable process.

To see a few of my food photograpy, follow me on Instagram at FoodInbrixton and Bruench_popup

 

 

Quark – The Guilt Free Ingredient and next Big Thing in Nutrition

I love Quark (‘kvarg’)

.. and I don’t mean the type of matter particle you find in your physics books.

No, I am talking about the Quark that is lovely and creamy, very easy to work with and super healthy too.

Quark is very popular in German-speaking countries and I am really surprised why Quark is still not very common in the UK. But what is it? Quark is a fresh curd cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk. You can easily miss it among of all the cottage cheeses, cream cheeses and ricottas. From a nutritional standpoint, I would go for Quark over Greek yoghurt, normal yoghurts and other soft cheeses any day.

Here a little comparison to give you the full picture

 

Lake District

Fat Free Quark

Total 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt Onken Natural Yogurt Low Fat
Energy             63kcal          96 kcal              46kcal
Fat              0.4 g           5.0 g               0.1g
of which saturates              0.2 g           3.6 g               0.1g
Carbohydrate              3.4 g           3.8 g               4.3g
of which sugars              3.4 g           3.8 g               4.3g
Protein              11.6 g           9.0 g               5.4g
Salt

             0.1 g

           0.1g               0.2 g

 

As you can see, it is a great source of protein, naturally fat free and low in salt and sugar – perfect if you are in training mode or simply like to eat healthy and look after yourself.

I use a lot of Quark in my daily cooking and Berlin brünch popups. It is such a versatile dairy ingredient perfect for mixing and baking, in savoury and sweet dishes. At my pop ups many of my guests ask me  where they can buy Quark.

Unfortunately, you cannot get Quark everywhere but don’t despair. The Lake District Dairy Co. Quark, which I personally really like comes in three varieties – ‘Original’, ‘Lemon’ and ‘Vanilla’ and you can get your hands on a 250g pot at a larger Sainsbury’s (the smaller stores often don’t have it). They usually put it separate from the yoghurts and close to the Mascarpone and Ricotta. A pot at the supermarket costs you £1.25 but Sainsbury’s house brand Quark is pretty good too and costs £1.

Here some interesting facts about Quark

  • Quark originated in Europe and is very populat in the northern countries
  • Quark accounts for about half of the total cheese consumption in Germany
  • It has double the amount of protein content than common yoghurts
  • It is the perfect healthy alternative to ricotta, mascarpone and cottage cheese
  • Unlike most commercial cheeses, quark contains neither rennet nor added salt

Now then, I hope this gives you a bit of an idea what I am on about. All I can say is give it a go, taste it and experiment with it. Below a few inspirations and recipes which I love and which are easy for you to try at home.

One of my own signature brünch dishes is Vanilla Quark with home-made Amaranth & Chia Granola. If this sounds too complicated, come along to one of my brünches and I walk you through it.

Tip – Don’t buy the ready-made Vanilla Quark but add fresh vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste and some icing sugar to the ‘Original’ version. If you don’t have Granola at hand, top it up with some fresh fruit and nuts and et voilà 🙂

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Or how about a German Quark Cheesecake with poppy seeds?

 

Quark Cheesecake by Essen und Trinken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture & Recipe from ‘Essen und Trinken‘

Tip – Always drain the Quark in a towel before adding it to the mix, otherwise the cake becomes too wet.

Or, if you like it savoury, try out this delicious herb quark (German – Kräuterquark) on rye bread

Krauterquark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by Eatsmarter.de

Tip – I like to add chives, parsley, garlic and onion but you can add any herb you like really. Add the Herb Quark to your tortillas, sandwiches, on boiled potatoes (typical German dish) or Sweet Potato Wedges instead of sour cream and Mayonnaise.

Or Waffles with Quark?

Tip – Best with fresh fruit, icing sugar and perhaps some golden syrup

 

 Waffles with Quark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture by brünch 

RECIPE FOR YOU TO TRY AT HOME

So here it comes – one of my favourite Quark recipes is QUARK ICE CREAM

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Picture by brünch 

I can eat ice cream any day of the year and any time of the day.

I love a proper gelato – creamy and rich in a fresh home-made waffle. So GOOD! My friend Michael, who is possibly the best chocolatier in London and also a passionate cook, made a fantastic ice cream at one of his dinner parties and I got very excited. Weeks after I was still thinking about it and had so many ideas of what type of ice creams I could make. So I borrowed his ice cream machine and tried a few things out. It is brilliant – you can literally add anything you like ie Molasses, dry sourdough bread (yes, it’s amazing), earl grey tea, Nutella, your favourite chocolate bar, fresh fruit and QUARK.

I was designing my menu for my German-inspired Summer Dinner Pop Up and I decided to serve Quark Ice Cream with Rote Grütze, a German fruit compote which I serve at my Sunday Berlin brünches. A few days later, Michael, his girlfriend Alex and their little daughter Augustine witnessed the making of the best Quark ice cream I have ever tasted (well, it was kind of the first one I tasted..)

Making ice cream is so easy and done within only one hour – perfect for when you have friends spontaneously showing up for dinner. This one is definitely a winner. We tried a few versions until we were happy with the texture, flavour and looks of my frozen desert.

Here is how it goes:

Ingredients

  • 150 gr of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 300 gr natural quark (The Original Dairy Farm Quark from Sainsbury works well)
  • 2 vanilla beans OR 2 tablespoons pure vanilla bean paste

Method

takes 20 mins to make and 30 mins in the ice cream machine

makes about 500 ml of ice cream

 

  • Add the sugar with a little bit of water (3-4 table spoons) into a sauce pan until dissolved.
  • Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the sugar syrup until pale and creamy and tripling in volume.
  • Whisk together the cream and quark with a hand-held whisk until it becomes creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Fold in the egg mixture and blend with a baking spatula until fully combined.
  • Add the smooth cream into the bucket of the ice cream machine (¾ full) and set the timer for 30 minutes. If you don’t use a machine, fill the cream into a Tupper Ware Box and put into the freezer overnight. Blitz the frozen mix in the morning and back into the freezer for an hour. The latter takes longer but tastes equally delicious.

Ready!

The ice cream maker is definitely on my birthday wish list. Mum I hope you are reading this..:)

Clapham – Insights from a Foodie

I love living between Brixton and Clapham.

Personally I prefer Clapham during the day and Brixton at night! It is just fact that when the sun is out, Brixton lacks outdoor seating whereas Clapham benefits from many places around the Common that get their chairs and tables out so that the punters can soak up some of that lovely London sun with a glass of wine or a pint in their hands.

Clapham is truly thriving these days and has done so for some time. Testament to that are lots of new restaurants and bar concepts popping up on the High Street and side alleys.

In Clapham you find many young professionals that live in the area and work in the City. As a result, rents are much higher than in Brixton for example. Houses around the Old Town are very pretty, well maintained and if you head towards Clapham Junction along the Common you will pass some pretty grand-looking manor houses. Clapham is also not short on options when it comes to its out-and-proud gay scene with KazBar, Two Brewers and The Bridge attracting the crowds from across London.

But not only that – Clapham has seen many new (good, bad and mediocre) restaurants, bars and cafes opening over the past few years. I decided to write this blog post to share with you some insight into what is going on in Clapham’s food scene and turns out there are some key players that continue to transform Clapham into a true foodie heaven.

Burgers, Ribs and American-style Diners 

Clapham shows no shortage of burger places, diners and rib shacks – that one is for sure. You name it – Honest Burger, the Chicago Rib Shack, the Red Dog Saloon, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byron Burger, Honky Tonk all within a stone throw of each other. There is something for every taste and budget – an Honest Burger made from Ginger Pig’s Dry Aged Beef with Rosemary fries sets you back a tenner while some Jacobs Ladder cut ribs cost you £18 at the Chicago Rib Shak and £22 at Bodeans. Not sure how many more of those Clapham needs but seems like they are doing well…

For the more refined palet and adventurous foodie scene, I can recommend some of the following (and my own favourite) brunch and dinner spots in Clapham.

For the more refined palet…  

Among all those small and medium sized burger and rib chains, Clapham has seen a number of independent restaurants, bars and cafes openings in recent years. You can find anything from home-cured and smoked meats, freshly baked sourdough breads, ingredients grown and foraged locally and beers brewed on site. Just the thought of it makes me hungry.

I am very passionate about new food concepts that immerse themselves in their local environments, that don’t try too hard to re-invent the wheel but do what they do well and take pride in every single aspect of their business.

A good example for that is Trinity, located in Clapham Old Town. Trinity was one of the first high-quality restaurants to open in the area. Trinity started out back in 2006, with a self-set mission to serve seasonal, inspirational and, above all, delicious food. No wonder the privately-owned restaurant has got 3 AA Rosettes. In 2012, the owner Adam Byatt – chef, restaurateur and food writer wantedsomething a bit more informal. He opened a second site on Abberville Road called Bistro Union – a British neighbourhood bistro where all things quintessentially British take the lead. At least 10% of the restaurant’s fruit and vegetables from those grown by schoolchildren at a local allotment, which is just a little fact of the day for you 🙂

Bistro Union © M Franke_MG_0079Trinity_Chocolate_Cremosa_009 (2) Trinity_Inside_2_002 (2)

Bistro Union © M Franke_MG_0211

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few years later, Trinity got some new neighbours. In 2013, restaurateur and consultant Jayke Mangion and local entrepreneur Stefan Boehm opened up Brickwood Coffee & Bread bringing a much needed breath of fresh air for Clapham Common’s brunch scene. They recently opened a new branch in Balham and finally got a proper new website too! I can really recommend their brunches and the staff is very friendly too. Allow for some time though if you come on a Saturday morning around 11am – this place gets pretty busy.

Picture by Noemi Dulischewski

brickwood coffee

Picture by Noemi Dulischewski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon after, in July 2014, Jayke teamed up with Andrew Bell to embark on a little mission to transform the 100-year old former Edwardian public lavatory, located underneath Clapham Common tube station into a bar/restaurant. The result of a lot of hard work and endless discussions with the Council meant that the decayed site was turned into a lovely Wine & Charcuterie Bar, called ‘WC’ (very clever!!).  I love it here – the two guys managed to maintain most of the original features of the former closet and they even discovered old love letters in the toilet walls from the 1940s and 50s as well as old Playboy posters of girls in bikinis riding motorbikes. You can still get a glimpse of those when you visit the men’s loos (yes, I had a look..)

http://www.we-heart.com/2014/12/11/wc-wine-charcuterie-clapham-london/

Picture by We-Heart.com

Picture from We-Heart.com

Picture by We-Heart.com

Picture from We-Heart.com

Picture by We-Heart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Clapham’s biggest new launches of 2013 included the opening of The Dairy on the Pavement by chef Robin Gill and Sarah Gill. The Dairy offers small plates from a seasonal Modern English/European menu amid vintage chic of a bar/bistro. Some of their ingredients are even grown on site in their own ‘kitchen garden’ on The Dairy’s roof.

by The Dairy

by The Dairy

by The Dairy

by The Dairy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their success lead to the opening of their second outlet around the corner from the Dairy. The Manor opened at the end of 2014 and as the signage leaves no room for surprise – it is “a modern bistro”.  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Noma are the big influences on chef Robin Gill and his chefs. On the menu super seasonal home-grown produce and hip Nordic techniques.

And if that was not enough for the team behind The Dairy and The Manor. Robin, Sarah Gill and partner Matt Wells launched an artisanal delicatessen shop ‘The Delicatessen’ next to their bistro (formerly a phone shop) not too long ago. They’ve also taken on an old storage shed below the rooftop garden and turned it into a full production kitchen where they bake and smoke creating everything from scratch for the shop.

Future openings in Clapham include ‘Mommi Bar & Grilli’ – a Peruvian/Japanese restaurant on the Highstreet (former Belgo site). The 85-seater restaurant is from the team behind Camden’s KOKO, who already run Bison & Bird in Clapham. They’re going to be putting on a mixture of raw and robata grill dishes alongside a comprehensive drinks menu and dannce floor. Opening on 1 July 2015.

I am especially excited about the opening of Cellar SW4 by Greg who owns DVine Wines on Landor Road. I have been buying my wines for my own events and for personal consumption and I encourage you to stop by when you are in the area. Their opening is imminent. Located opposite of Clapham High Street Overground Station between The Railway Pub and Tsunami.

Jimmy’s Pop Up has also chosen Clapham for one of his new sites. Look for the wooden door on Clapham Park Road, reach past the vines, and make your way through an urban jungle to get to his Secret Garden bar and restaurant. You got time to visit until the 31st of August. I advise to make a reservation if you are planning to come at the weekend.

I hope you enjoy your own little discovery tour around Clapham soon after reading this.

What are your hot spots in Clapham?

 

 

Assembly Coffee Roast – Re-Shaping London’s Coffee & Cafe Culture

I am not a coffee snob, but I do like to have a good cuppa on a daily basis.

Since launching brünch in February 2015, I brushed up on my coffee knowledge and worked with a few quality coffee rosters together including Volcano Coffee Works – a leading small batch, specialty coffee roaster based in West Norwood, South London. The team is great – hard working, full of passion and they really know their stuff. To improve my coffee making skills I attended one of their barista training workshops recently, which takes place every Wednesday between 10am and 1pm. More information can be found on their website.

20150610_103308 20150610_111257 20150610_114041 IMG_20150403_090032 IMG_20150403_092958 IMG_20150403_092928 IMG_20150403_092846

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20150324_095530 Volcano Coffee Works Volcano Coffee Works

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onny, General Manager at Volcano Coffee Works also introduced me to the recently launched ‘Assembly’ (March 2015)

Assembly began as a commitment to create a genuinely unique coffee roasting service responding to the evolving needs and ambitions of independent cafes.  He goes on to explain that Assembly recreates the role of the roaster so that it is not just one half of a transaction, but one equal part of a relationship involving all wholesale partners. 

Their goal is to acknowledge and value the diversity of experiences, knowledge and individual strengths of their peers in the industry. With a shared vision for creating forward thinking approaches to cafe culture, they have formed a collective where each individual’s insight grows the whole – called the ‘Assembly’.
Volcano Coffee Works are collaborating with Embassy East, Esters, Noble Espresso, Story Coffee, Mother’s Milk, The Wash, Three Wheels Coffee, Soho Coffee House and DunneFrankowski to create the Assembly – a hand picked group of coffee connoisseurs who all share a passion for excellent coffee and customer service.
A lot of research has gone into the new brand and design. The packaging is minimalist, focusing on the purity and quality of the coffee. The bright spot graphic included on the packages is unique to each coffee and visually communicates the sense of the blend to the customer—whether it is well-rounded and mellow, whether it might have more acidic flavors of fruits, or smooth caramels and chocolates.
We tested it and it really matched my experience of the coffee. Onny served the brew in specially design Assembly coffee mugs. The coffee was brewed in the new Techni Vorm Moccamaster which they wetted
 at the recent London Coffee Festival. I can testify that this is a truly premium new coffee label. Hence, I am super proud and excited to be working with Assembly at my next Berlin Brunch in Hackney Wick – come along and try it for yourself.
A few practical examples of the collective approach of the Assembly to date, include:


 



  • Group exercises such as designing a framework for group participation in green bean selection and roast profiling. Based on consensus on what best serves the objectives of our industry the group has created an Assembly espresso blend.
  • Opinion-led projects such as drawing on the collective experiences of the group to develop a consumer coffee learning curve to serve as a guide for promoting higher quality coffee in our daily interactions.
  • Opinion-led projects such as the development of coffee packaging which considers current practical obstacles, how information is best presented and aesthetic values

  • Creating a database to aggregate data gathered by cafes and serve as a source of insight to better inform our individual decisions as cafe owners.

 

Assembly Coffee Assembly Coffee 20150610_123752

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me or Onny for more information about the Assembly at bruench@gmail.com or onny@assemblycoffee.co.uk

@AssemblyRoast

facebook/assemblyroast

 

Vicky Dalton Banks reviews brünch for you

The lovely Vicky Dalton Banks – a passionate fellow foodie and highly rated food blogger came to my Berlin Brunch Pop Up at Stage 3 in Hackney recently.

Read here what she said – Vicky’s Review of brünch

Thank you so much for sharing Vicky and to many more Espresso Martinis together.

BRÜNCH POP-UP

It was recently my dear little brothers birthday. I say little, he’s now 26 and about 8 inches taller than me! He recently spent a couple of years living in Berlin but is now back in London. He misses the city dearly. So, when I came across Brünch whilst perusing twitter I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate his birthday!

Brünch is run by the wonderful Noemi, a Berliner foodie living in London. Created from a simple passion for bread, brunch, booze and Berlin, Brünch is a roaming brunch pop-up that brings the ultimate Berlin experience to London. The pop-up is about bringing people together over long Sunday brunches Berlin style and to discover some new London venues along the way. Previous venues include Doodle Bar in Battersea and Brixton East.

Noemi creates a Berlin style breakfast including locally sourced cheeses, meats and smoked fish, fresh fruit, home-made Granola with quark, German bread and Brötchen, homemade jams, typical German deserts & cakes and hard-to-come-by Berlin drinks such as Club Mate, fritz kola, Berliner Weisse and Bionade.

The brunch was being held at Stage 3 in Hackney. We turned up nice and hungry. The room was beautifully set up and the food looked delicious!Brünch-pop-up1-1024x1024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was great to finally meeting Noemi, she is just so passionate about what she does and my brother loved speaking to her about all things Berlin. Everything is locally sourced and homemade – Noemi is a great cook! Two favourites were her homemade smoked mackerel pate which was divine on E5 Bakehouse sourdough and her homemade amaranth granola and vanilla quark, I could have eaten bowls of this stuff. So creamy! Need to get the recipe. Below is the full menu.

Selection of cheeses: cumin gouda, somerset brie, smoked cheddar
– Selection of German cold cuts – pepper salami, schwarzwälder schinken
– Smoked mackerel pate
– Berlin style ‘Eggs in a Glass’
– Amaranth granola with vanilla quark
– Selection of homemade jams
– Rote grütze with vanilla custard and german marble cake

There was also a great selection of cocktails. I had to order a Club Mate straight away – this is definitely an acquired taste, and I don’t even know how to explain the flavour, it’s almost like a fizzy, fruity green tea will a shed load of caffeine in! I learnt on the day that it was nominated for ‘Best Vegan Drink’ in 2014 VegfestUK awards – the drink has a low sugar content and is made from Mate, an old South American jungle plant.

But we were here for Birthday celebrations and we know I love a cocktail so we had a couple of rounds of these too. The Breakfast Bellini (Aperol, marmalade, passionfruit and bubbles) was so refreshing and a perfect brunch accompaniment. After eating my weight in cheese, bread and the best granola I needed a little pick-me-up and went for one of my favourites, an Espresso Martini. This was made perfectly.

It was so great to meet Noemi and after a great chit-chat and hours of grazing we merrily headed out to enjoy the rest of our Sunday.

Noemi is holding her next pop-up, Brünch Summer Feast, on 4 June at Boyce da Roca featuring a seasonal menu, while mixologists from German Vermouth and Amaro brands Belsazar and Mondino prepare the cocktails. I definitely recommend you check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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