Great spot for brunch. My favorite is the corn bread French toast like a lot of others on here. Truly a perfect and harmonious marriage!
Would recommend this spot to anyone and everyone in london - just be ready to queue!
Banana Loaf with Banana Caramel Yogurt
Cornbread French Toast - Bacon, Rocket, Avocado, Paprika Maple Syrup
Two Crumpets "and too much butter" with Honey
In bed at a comparatively early hour after the Monty Python Live show at The O2 the night prior and with lunch reservations in Bray set at noon it was with the sun that I rose on Thursday morning and after putting nearly thirteen miles of pavement beneath my feet along the river once more a quick shower and travel through the tubes brought me to Caravan, a kitschy little breakfast corner whose reclaimed woods and casual cool would not be out of place in Portland, Brooklyn, or Chicago's Logan Square. Considered by many to be one of London's best spots for coffee and creativity far beyond the "Full English" it was just twenty minutes after the restaurant opened its doors that I arrived and already more than half-full I was soon seated against the back wall - my server up-front about laggy computer systems causing issues with Wi-Fi and the expediting of orders but promising everyone was doing their best to make-do, the extra effort noted as I was checked on frequently without a hiccup aside from the Wi-Fi and everything I'd ordered arriving at once despite a request for items to be coursed out. Every bit as hipster as the aforementioned American Meccas in its stylings but decidedly less detached in its approach to customer care it was with a cheery "Good Morning" from the barista that my Americano arrived and undoubtedly the best of my trip to that point I sipped slowly, the lightly-roasted beans on par with those found stateside proving a perfect complement to each of my plates, a quartet of house-baked goods running the gamut from supple banana bread topped with tangy yogurt to a savory sandwich of cornbread kissed with custard and fried golden around crisp bacon, fresh arugula, and smashed avocado plus a smoky sweet linger. Perhaps not as "British" as many visitors would prefer but clearly a hit with locals as nearly everyone in house seemed like a regular it should go without saying that breakfast at Caravan is a decidedly different experience from that at The Delaunay and although both are excellent if I had to compare one item "head-to-head" my only means by which to do so would be the crumpets, a category where Caravan wins hands down with a dish every bit fitting its description and all the better for it.
Truly gorgeous soy latte. Truly. I've been to the likes of Monmouth and try to be as excited as my coworkers about its espresso, but Caravan is more my speed (literally, I am buzzing around like a right weirdo after mid-afternoon Monmouth; Caravan was much smoother sailing).
Tucked on a side street less than 10 mins from Farringdon Station, Caravan is more bar/restaurant than coffee shop (despite making it to more than a few Best of London Coffee lists AND having its own roastery in the basement).
But don't let that deter you, because the food was great, too. Just worth noting in case you're expecting a coffee shop/hunker down and do some work vibe. There are no laptops in Caravan.
I had the spicy tomato soup (£5.5) and a side of their famous cornbread (£4) and a fresh lemonade spritzer (£3). The latte was £4, plus 40p for soy. The corn bread was not the fluffy, finely coarsed buttery bread casserole of the American south, but thick slices of loaf style bread with hefty corn pieces and fried. I will repeat that: And. Fried. It came with a garnish of lime and plenty herb butter and was unlike anything I've ever had -- crispy, savory, slightly sweet and pretty much perfect.
At 6pm on a Monday, most were enjoying glasses of wine and light bites in groups of 3+. Indoor/outdoor seating that includes picnic style and bistro tables. Total bill for two for a few small plates, two coffees and two non alkie drinks was £33 (including 12% service charge).
Speaking of service, it was excellent right up until the end, when it took 25 minutes and asking three times to get the bill.
I always tried to come hear and order something different, but I couldn't go past the baked eggs with Chorizo and sourdough. So so good
Appalling service. Ignored for 10 mins by staff. Cafe wasnt busy. Curt service when I managed to finally be served. Then 30p service charge on a £2.60 coffee. Ridiculous much?
Good coffee though.
Everyone's saying it, but I'm just going to reiterate the wonderfulness of the cornbread french toast.
Seared so that a thin eggy edge gives way to dense but crumbly and slightly gritty (that good cornmeal kind of grit) with kernels of fresh corn inside. Almost like corn pudding for you American Southerners out there. And bacon and arugula and a bit of avocado and its delicious. It sounds ridiculous and too much. But it's not, it's perfect.
They also make an excellent flat white, as they should since it's a roastery by name. This makes all the difference when the wait for brunch is an hour+ long.
Let me throw a few more paprika-maple-syrup-drenched stars on Caravan...
Firstly, the cornbread "french toast" with avocado, rocket and BACON? I highly recommend. Why has no one thought of this before!? Simply wonderful and achieved that super fine balance of sweet and savory in one dish that I always dream of in a breakfast. Harmony! Satisfied!
I was lucky enough to arrive on a perfectly crisp and sunny brunchy morning midweek (Wednesday) so avoided any wait times (a la weekend). I was quickly seated and equipped with water and drinks while I awaited my dining companion. Service was friendly, but a bit aloof/absentminded. Drinks from the bar/barista took unusually long -- but I was not in rush so it wasn't terribly important. They do quite a bit of takeaway coffee business as well so I presume it backs up the bar.
Their brunch menu is succinct, but packs a punch. Ask around and you'll definitely hear "cornbread french toast" muttered more than once, so take the hint and try for yourself.
A must in Exmouth Market. Add it to the rotation!
With prices appropriate for the area, the Caravan restaurant is a lovely place for breakfast. I usually prefer eggs or oats for my morning meal but when I get a craving they have some of the best blueberry pancakes amid other brunch choices. The atmosphere is lively. Its food has given it a wide reputation leading it to getting very busy -especially for weekend brunches. The coffee is very good. I have yet to dine for dinner but hear they have a good cocktail selection as well.
This place is everything I love about brunch rolled up into a modern on the inside, rustic on the outside, cafe. It's simple; it's savory; it's sweet. The flavor combinations on the menu are not your typical French Toast and Fry-up. They are exciting and attention-grabbing.
The Baked Eggs with Tomato Ragout, Greek Yogurt, and Chorizo caught my attention and my friend and I had it to share. Gorgeous combination of spicy sausage, palate cooling cream, and fresh and peppery ragout. The eggs blended in effortlessly. Home Run. Might come again for that alone.
Though as we sat outside, eyeing the menu, I noticed other unlikely brunch ideas such as Cornbread French Toast, Bacon, Rocket, and Avocado. Along with Grilled Coconut Bread, Strawberries, and Lemon Curd Cream Cheese. Goes without saying that I'll be back. Definitely on the high-end breakfast side and is a hell of a wait at the busy times. My only negative was the manager telling some people that they had to pay or leave when they used their laptops after their food was done. I am not a fan of that- but seeing how busy they get, I do understand that everyone should get a chance to enjoy this place sitting down!
Possible dinner items on my "Salivate List"
--Arabica Oxtail, Herbs, Creme Fraiche Polenta
--Sichuan Salt and Pepper Pork Belly with Tofu Salad, Gooseberries, Mache, and Pumpkin Seeds
--Almond Couscous, Tomato Ragout, Aubergine, and Sumac Yoghurt
rustic space, very cozy and comfortable.
Service was friendly and helpful.
Truely enjoyed their brunch items and drinks.
Funky, cool, and laid back atmosphere makes this place ALMOST perfect for brunch. Except Caravan, PLEASE figure out how you can serve alcohol before noon!!
We started off with some lovely smooth coffees, and made our way into the toasts. Now I probably dont say this enough, but i LOVE sourdough bread. and Avocado. So can you imagine the combination of those two lovely items together topped with chili flakes and sea salt? HEAVEN.
For our mains, we had the following:
Scrambled eggs on toast -- seemed good, standard fare
And then literally the rest of us had the baked eggs with chorizo and again HEAVEN. Spicy flavorful goodness in my mouth with some strong sourdough bread to mop up the sauce.
This is one of my fave places to brunch and I think its going to continue to be that way. Keep those interesting dishes coming (and with the decent price point, who would want to do anything else???)
Over the course of my year in London, brunch was a Thing. Everybody was all about brunch clubs, and being to as many places as they could. Consistently, Caravan was mentioned to me as a must-do, from various sources. Okay, then, I accept the challenge. I love brunch, and had a friend in town who needed to meet the new beau, so we decided to do brunch on a Sunday morning.
I had the Caravan Fry-Up, which is basically English Breakfast (eggs, streaky bacon, tomatoes, mushroom and toast) without the blood sausage (good! I ask for it to be removed every time anyway!). It was pretty tasty, though nothing as mind blowing as I've had at other places. My best friend much preferred her brunch here among the places I took her whenever she visited, so I guess it's a trade off. I did notice a distinct lack of chorizo on the menu, which always loses a few points with me. Nothing is ever made worse for including chorizo.
Overall, it was a nice experience. We didn't have to wait to be seated, the service was good, and the prices were standard for a central London brunch at a highly reputed place.
If I were reviewing Caravan based solely on the food, then it would be an easy five stars. This place serves some of the best brunch dishes I've ever had in the UK, and while it doesn't quite rival my beloved Dottie's in San Francisco (the actual best brunch place in the whole world: FACT), it's definitely worthy of some very high praise indeed.
However, having eaten here a few times now, I have to say that it still wouldn't be my first choice for brunch in London. Despite the food being amazing, the service and atmosphere really let this place down. If they could just sort that out, then there would be nothing stopping me eating here on every single trip to London, so here's hoping they can improve in that respect soon.
So let's start with the food. Did someone say 'cornbread french toast with bacon, rocket, avocado and paprika maple syrup'? Yes please! This is one of the most wonderful things I have ever eaten at brunch time, with the most perfect combination of flavours and textures imaginable. I think I would quite honestly eat it every day if I could. They also make a very decent Bloody Mary, which anyone who knows me will tell you is the quickest way to my heart. There are some other very imaginative items on the brunch menu, with the coconut bread and lemon curd cream cheese causing a particular stir amongst my friends the last time that I was here. They even have a breakfast cocktail that's served with a slice of toast - what's not to love?
The problem is that, as with many places that make a name for themselves serving really, really good food, it's hugely popular. And they don't take bookings. Now, I've no problem at all with this in theory. I've happily queued for 90 minutes getting a table at the aforementioned Dottie's in the past, because I knew the food was going to be totally worth it. But the system here is just all wrong.
The last time I was here was the worst. I was with a few friends, and while waiting for our table we got asked to move by a different member of staff literally every minute. One person would ask us to move because we were blocking the exit, then someone else would ask us to move again because we were now blocking the bar, and then someone else would ask us to move back to our original spot because we were blocking the kitchen... and this just went on and on for the entirety of our 45-minute wait. We would happily have queued outside to keep out of everyone's way, but they wanted us all inside so that they could keep track of everyone who was waiting.
If they just sorted out their waiting system or, better yet, actually took bookings, then it would make for a much more relaxed, enjoyable experience, and this would be the most amazing place for brunch. Being so busy and crowded with waiting brunchers doesn't look like much fun for the staff either, and several times I've had items forgotten, or the wrong thing brought over, because the staff just seem so rushed off their feet - not really the atmosphere that you want when you're looking for a leisurely Sunday brunch.
This place is so very nearly perfect. Caravan, please just sort out this one fundamental problem, and then I will undoubtedly become your biggest fan!
30 minute wait for brunch on a Sunday @ 11AM. Not too shabby. The place is a madhouse though.
My little party of 3 were anxiously awaiting for a table at Caravan this morning. We were all starving & salivating at the sight of all the dishes that passed by. We decided on sharing everything, which I'm a huge fan of because then we can try everything.
ORANGE SCENTED PANCAKES, HONEYCOMB BUTTER & BLUEBERRIES - Mmmmmm. A stack of 2, light pancakes with a huge glob of their honeycome butter on it and a side of blueberry jam. Fan-freaking tastic. Highly recommend getting this and sharing.
BAKED EGGS, TOMATO & PEPPER RAGOUT, GREEK YOGURT W/ CHORIZO - Very tasty. Although not really typical of breakfast food, it was still very nice this early in the day. Get some extra bread to dip in to this as well.
CORNBREAD FRENCH TOAST, BACON, ROCKET, AVOCADO, W/ PAPRIKA MAPLE - One of my favorites at the table! Not too sweet, but still soooooo good. I love the sweet mixed with savory.
CHILLI BEANS, GOAT CHEESE, & FRIED EGG ON GRAIN TOAST - My friends loved this. I was indifferent, but if you're a fan of all that is listed then you'll probably love it too.
The food & service is all pretty good. If you're coming in on the weekends, be prepared for a wait. It is very busy so expect it to be noisy.
I grabbed brunch with my friend here, and both of us ordered the scrambled egg with salmon. I have to say that it tasted divine! It was a simple wholewheat toast layered with buttered scrambled egg and salmon. Somehow it tastes really good. Make sure that you know that there are two store locations to this brunch chain: at least one in King's Cross and one in Farringdon. I was confused and went to the wrong store, and my friend apparently recommends people to go to the King's Cross store for better scenery and city view. Both locations would offer great food though! Service is good, but seating is only allowed when all parties arrive. Expect to wait about 20-30 minutes on average.
Brunch is one of my favourite meals and this is absolutely one of my favourite brunch destinations.
For me, Saturday morning brunch after a well-earned lie-in is the transition I need to unwind from work and settle into the weekend. Therefore I like it to feel as unhurried and long drawn out as possible, something to be celebrated and savoured.
This is partly why I like Caravan so much. They don't rush me. Despite being popular and busy it doesn't feel like a production line, getting the punters in, shovelling them full of food and booting them out as quickly as possible to make way for the next wave. I can read my paper in peace and get a good way through it with a pre-meal juice and coffee before my order gets taken and food arrives. And then I can linger pretty much as long as I like with a second or even third coffee (the coffee is extremely good).
The menu is interesting and varied, so there are enough choices that you don't have to keep coming back to the same thing every time, and they clearly make an effort to come up with more unusual options rather than just the standard breakfast fare.
Notwithstanding the opening of the newer, bigger Kings Cross branch, I still like the Exmouth Market Caravan better. It just feels more friendly and cosseting.
Caravan is arguably one of the best places in London for brunch. The coffee is really as good as it gets.
My favourite though is the cornbread french toast which is served with a generous heaping of avocado and streaky bacon. The slightly spicy chilli syrup really brings out the flavour. Get a side order of the chorizo and you'll be set for one of the best breakfasts around town. Corn bread is hard to find in London, let alone as a base for french toast---and Carvan makes it perfectly!
The downside---no reservations for brunch which can mean you will wait and wait and wait...so get there early! Service can be spotty, but for brunch, Caravan needs to be on your short-list.
Off the beaten tourist track is always a plus, and this branch of Caravan seemed to be full (and it was packed) with mainly locals - a very good sign. We came for brunch, and the menu was very extensive in its options with the price range starting small and but growing upwards (£9 for a brunch option bit much?). I had the homemade muesli with greek yoghurt and it was one of the best mueslis I've had: wide mix of ingredients and not dry in the slightest. The portion size was also very generous. My sister had the salmon and scrambled eggs and again a very large serving. However, my mum selected the banana loaf with creme caramel, and although she said it was delicious, the portion was tiny - especially considering it was one of the more expensive options. This was the only real fault however. Meals passing by our table looked brilliant: the toast with compotes/relishes etc especially as the homemade bread looked delicious and was sliced thickly. Also, the coffee is a definite highlight. It's available to buy, and I was sorely tempted as it was so full of flavour and really earthy. Finally, the staff were very helpful in giving directions and very friendly in general, and the decor is different but relaxed: lots of old maps of South America on the walls etc
Lovely spot. My first morning in London, I just wanted bacon (spent 8 days in Israel leading up to this). Met a local there for coffee and breakfast. Though my macchiato was sub-par, the food was perfectly tasty. The fire-roasted tomatoes were great on the dish. Things were fresh and good, and the service was fine. Not much else to say. Good spot for breakfast if you're in the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.
Two words: avocado toast.
And sage sauteed portobello mushrooms.
And orange-scented pancakes with blueberry compote and vanilla butter.
And cornbread french toast, smothered in avocado and paprika maple syrup.
And the best, richest, deeply-flavoured soya latte I've had in a while.
And trendy (and mostly helpful, other than the server who kept knocking my bag and coat off my chair every time he walked by) staff.
And an intelligently designed restaurant space, with a coffee bar and (very used) waiting area that is separated from the table seating.
And a great little area in Angel/Clerkenwell/I dunno where exactly near Exmouth Market, that is generally conducive to wandering if the weather suits.
Okay, maybe two words is not enough to adequately capture the goodness that is Caravan. All you need to know is that you have to go there as soon as possible, and you have to order everything on the brunch menu. Just kidding. But go* (right at 10 when it opens, so there are only 8 or so people waiting, rather than a 30 person queue as is usual), try some things (good luck deciding, though), buy a cup of coffee, and you'll have already accomplished a hell of a lot on a weekend morning.
*Just a note: you can't make reservations for weekend brunch, so you will wait. The question of how long is entirely up to you (and your alarm clock!).
My friends and I came here for brunch this past weekend. The place was packed and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but it was definitely worth it. We started out with hot chocolate and lattes, which I got a huge kick out of because they draw patterns in the foam.
My friends weren't completely happy with the choices but Caravan was very accommodating and they were able to create their own eggs Benedict's by ordering the sourdough bread with poached eggs and getting sides of hollandaise, goat cheese, mushrooms, etc. They also got the orange-scented pancakes which are probably the best pancakes I've tried in Europe so far--extremely fluffy and flavorful! The blueberry compote on top was also wonderful.
I ordered a blueberry muffin, sourdough with butter, and the cornbread French toast. The French toast was so good that I finished it in literally ten minutes. The unexpected combination of sweet and savory with the added bitterness of the arugula was exactly what I was looking for. As many before me have said, their sourdough bread was delicious. My only disappointment was the muffin, which I found too sweet and dense for my liking.
Prices overall were pretty good considering how expensive London is in general.
We plan to come here one more time before leaving London next week and I'm already excited for it!
Huge, huge fan of Caravan. This place has got to be one of the best brunch places in London. I had the luxury of going there on a Monday morning which means I did not have to endure a wait as I would have if I went on a weekend. It's located right at the start of Exmouth Market so you will not miss it.
The atmosphere is rustic with lots of natural light coming in. I got the baked eggs which I'm still dreaming about today. My only regret was that I wasn't able to finish it because it was quite a lot of food. The baked eggs came in a mini metal casserole/pot with tomato and pepper ragout. There's an option of adding chorizo, which I did. The dish was drizzled with some Greek yoghurt. The server recommended that I add a slice of toast since the baked egg dish has a good amount of tomato and pepper ragout and I can soak it up with the bread-- fantastic idea. A single slice of the sourdough toast was pretty big so good thing I ordered a slice.
Caravan also roasts their own coffee. Bonus points for that.
You know those places that you've heard so many positive things about that you just -really- want to love because everyone else loves them? The kind of joint that everyone oozes about when it's brought up. That's Caravan in a nutshell. A local hangout that I desperately want to adore, but can't justify the praise.
Perhaps its popularity has engendered a certain arrogance or ennui. It's clear, during weekend brunch-times, that they're certainly not lacking in eager diners, but the way that we were handled from start to finish left a little something to be desired.
Even from the moment we walked in, there was a sense of confusion or lack of concern. We weren't even greeted by an employee and had to inquire with a passing server whether or not we could be seated. Then, we were pointed to one of the counter seats across from the bar, so we settled in.
Shortly after ordering food and drinks, a different girl came over to ask if we were waiting for a seat in the dining room - we hadn't even been presented that option earlier; we didn't realise we were in 'temporary' seating! Having already gotten ourselves situated, we couldn't be bothered to move. It would have been nice if that had been communicated earlier.
As for the food and drink, my bloody mary was acceptable, if not noteworthy. The baked eggs dish with tomato and pepper ragout was worthy of a post-big night brunch. Of course, as a massive fan of chorizo, I couldn't pass up adding those on for a £2 extra charge.
Caravan could go a long way toward being a staple Sunday ritual if they just got their act together on the service front. As it is, I'd rather spend my coin at St. Ali instead.
A caravan is for two types of people, the over 65s and the traveling circus workers. Okay, okay maybe that is a huge generalisation, because I have no desire to be either and I want a caravan. I just think it would be really useful to have the extra space. A traveling bedroom of sorts. So with this in mind, I should really love Caravan, the bar. There is some logic there I promise!
I've been here twice and both times I've left with very little to say about the place. It's had a real bunch of mixed reviews. Apparently the coffee is fabulous, roasted on the premises, but I've only been here for drink. And if the service is anything to go by, I can see why people don't know what to think of it. Really friendly but really slow. Inept, might be a good word to describe it. Which is such a shame as the location and cocktail selection are both really quite pleasant. I will be back though. It's got a certain draw to it. Maybe it's the name... Anyway, I like, I don't love. I may well update this after the next visit. I'll keep you posted.
Simply the best.
Decor, food, takeaway coffee, booze, service, atmosphere, wifi - Caravan's got it all.
My americano was stellar. My cheddar on sourdough toast with caramelised onion chutney was perfection. I was so overcome with breakfast ecstasy that when the server came over and asked if I wanted a second americano, I nodded in enthusiastic affirmation, despite my original plan to get a second cup at another nearby establishment.
That's how good it was, people.
I almost don't want to tell you how much I love this place since the only thing that would cause me to ever downgrade Caravan form 5 stars to 4 would probably be the wait for breakfast on the weekends... but if you're willing to be a table harpy and swoop on the outside picnic tables you can usually slide right into a delicious brunch in under 20 minutes.
The best thing about this place has got to be their coffee, although the food is a close second. So far, this is the best coffee I've had in London (though Monmouth is on the list of "to try's"), and they even do the American style drip with freshly rousted and ground for you beans. AMAZING!
Current favorites on the menu include:
*The Caravan fry up (but sub Bubble and Squeak for the soy mushrooms)
*The Baked eggs with chorizo (get some toast too to sop up that ragu goodness)
*The smoked salmon on toast (add avocado)
the only thing I haven't really liked there are their bloody mary's... but hey, no one's perfect right?
Let me stress- GREAT coffee, which is what lured me to Caravan in the first place.
Next time I went back for brunch, which in summer was delightful to sit on the benches outside. Now in the colder months I am experiencing the comfort of their cosy interior, which is very trendy indeed.
I am docking a single star for the slightly-too-relaxed service, which is fine and pleasant but we are in Exmouth Market, not on holiday in Hawaii after all, which is more the pace the waiters seem to operate at.
Simple breakfast items such as eggs on toast make you believe the 2-inch thick cut toast and fluffy-scramble decorated with fresh herbs and pepper was a designed menu item. The warm cakes are good too... am yet to eat a non-brunch/coffee meal here yet but am so far very satisfied.
This review is mainly based upon my brunch experience at Caravan over the last couple of years. I have been for breakfast midweek once and also in the evening but that is not really what Caravan is about (at least for me).
Caravan doesn't take reservations for brunch so you either need to arrive early (before 10.45am, sometimes earlier) to guarantee a table. However, if a table isn't available, you can still grab a stool by the bar and order a coffee while you wait. The coffee is roasted by caravan on site and is consistently good - although, because it is popular, and due to the care taken on each cup, there can be a bit of a wait before your order arrives (although this has improved recently).
The food is ordered from a short seasonally adjusted menu. It is hard for me to get away from the baked eggs and chorizo which is excellent, although when I do I am rarely disappointed (the cornbread french toast and the mackerel omelette are both excellent). The menu has an Antipodean vibe - think Providores and you will be along the right lines.
Service is friendly and casual - you are not rushed away from your table - nor is there a great deal of urgency to take your order or bring you your bill most of the time. This is something I like as I can enjoy my weekend paper in peace but I suppose this might be a bit erksome for some.
I feel dirty. I feel like I cheated on someone. I suppose I have.
This was my second time at Caravan, and again the brunch was fantastic. Delicious food (I had the baked eggs with chorizo! yum!), and a delicious Bloody Mary to go along with it. Nothing says brunch more than being able to drink while eating breakfast. If you want to read more about the food, check out my previous review of the place, this review is about the coffee!
While I was waiting for a table and the rest of my party to show up, I ordered a filter coffee. What I love about Caravan is they have a selection of filter coffee to drink. Most people in the UK seem to go the espresso route when it comes to coffee, but I prefer regular coffee. Not that I dislike espresso, because I do enjoy the occasional one, but I love the variety in roasts and beans that you can get with just a regular coffee. Anyway, the coffee I had was supurb. The taste was amazing. I really can't describe it. I went with a recommendation of the server, and it was a good recommendation indeed.
The person sitting at the table next to us ordered some coffee beans to take home. An idea popped into my head. _I_ could do that. Then I felt guilty. I already had coffee at home that I ordered from my usual coffee place. It was sitting there waiting for me. But the dreams of the coffee I had that morning were in my head. I debated to myself. I talked to the people at my table. In the end, I bought some to take home. I asked for the coffee I had that morning, and the server said he was pretty sure he knew which one I would have been recommended.
I do wish he would have asked. I did end up with different coffee than I had. It was a bit annoying as the bill clearly stated which one I had, but he just assumed it was the one the servers drink. I just made a pot of it, and it is also quite spectacular, even if it isn't the same.
I've cheated on my usual coffee supplier. I feel guilty. So guilty. But yet I feel so good. I think I may be in love with Caravan's coffee.
The food is interesting and the service is friendly. The small plates / snacks are an eclectic mix of flavours from around the world and could easily suffice as dinner. The smoked salmon and the blue cheese & peanut wontons are two of my favourites. The But it would be criminal to miss out on the mains. They are particularly skilled at creating interesting and moist fish dishes.
But, with all that said, I'm still only giving them 3 starts. Here's why... they make it a bit tough for you to enjoy yourself. They pack the restaurant like they're packing a tin of sardines. We booked well in advance for 9 people, but when we showed up the table looked like it was meant for about 6 people. With only 2 girls in the group, and some very tall guys, it proved to be a struggle. Maybe it's just not a great place for groups.
Well slap me silly and call me Susan, I've found my new top meeting spot. With free wi-fi and fresh local artisan coffee (seriously, they roast their beans in the basement,) what else do you need to know before saying "Hello person I'm meeting for our thing of relative importance we must discuss, let's meet at Caravan."
Brunch? Tapas? Coffee? Beer? Cocktails? They have it all, and pride themselves on their lack of focus - or at least that's what it would seem from a menu with everything from falafel to sichuan to schnitzel, with some oxtail in the mix. It's fusion at its best and with small plates, a seemingly perfect place for nibblers and grazers like myself.
Top that off with an uber cool industrial interior, wide open windows facing the market and friendly if somewhat playfully aloof waiters?
Yes please, I'll definitely hop on this caravan.
Intimate - check
Cool waitresses - check (QWOC?)
Nice vibe - check
AMAZIN food - check
people - go here. Its wicked and sweet and the food, every mouthful was a taste explosion. the woman serving us was a cutie and me and my partner had a romantic time, we loved it.....
A MASSIVE disappointment:
My friend's coffee took almost 40 minutes to arrive, despite reminding the bar staff when we were waiting for a table, then reminding the waiter who seated us, then reminding the person who took our order and eventually after our food had arrived I told them one last time before it arrived. To be fair, they apologised and took it off the bill but this was a shoddy start.
My french toast was full of sweetcorn and I hate sweetcorn, also it didn't taste anything like french toast and the combinations of flavours made my stomach churn so much I haven't been able to eat anything all day since and still feel sick. I had an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth for hours. I think this dish was trying to be too many things at once.
One of our party had a kind-of eggs benedict with ham and poached eggs but her eggs were really overcooked even though the ham was tasty. Another had an admittedly tasty but overpriced omelette.
The decor was kinda nice and the place was buzzin'. Well good luck to 'em I say, as I will never come back here. Bleurgh.
Brunch on Sunday - wow
I was actually just going to leave the review at that, but realised it wasn't that informative for others, so here we go:
GET THERE EARLY! If you are expecting to rock-up at midday and expect to get a seat straight way you are going to be disappointed. Even though you can book a table during the week, this place is so popular on the weekends for lunch that it is first come first served.
If you do rock-up at midday or even later, they do a pretty good job of queuing people and communicating when they are expecting a free table for you and your friends. They actually give you a bag of coffee beans with a number on that you have to keep and then trade it for the table.
The food really is incredible, tasty and great quality. I recommend the 'bubble and squeak' and the chorizo, oh and the poached eggs and....oh sod it, you get the idea, it is all fantastic!
Busy, trendy, small. I like the down to earth atmosphere but it really seemed a little too crowded with everyone bumping into you. We were there at 11:30 and had to queue for 20m for a table for two for brunch so it gives you an idea of how popular this place is. The staff is friendly and really efficient.
The food was well prepared, straightforward and great value. I had poached eggs with ham and buttered crumpets. The food was tasty but wasn't extraordinary.
Caravan would be right at home in the Mission district of San Francisco -- from the the exposed wood and steel to the bar lights made from antique glass carboys, the decor is classic San Francisco hipster. And the coffee is amongst the best I've had anywhere -- they clearly care about the quality of the beans they use, they take their time making each cup, and the result is consistently good.
I've only had breakfast here on a few occasions, but each time the food was high quality and tasty. The coconut toast with strawberries and mascarpone was fresh and flavorful (great for a light breakfast), and I was amazed by how perfectly they cooked their eggs (most restaurants fail abjectly when it comes to eggs).
About the only thing missing here are crowds -- I've heard that Caravan gets busy in the evenings, but during the day, it's a great place to grab an unhurried breakfast or brunch.
I went to Caravan for a friend's private party a day before her wedding. We had an exceptional evening. They gave us a private table and space in the downstairs area, away from the hub-bub upstairs. Our waiter immediately told us that we had the table reserved for the entire evening, so we could take our time to get settled, order drinks, etc. The kitchen arranged a great pri fixe menu with some astonishing, inventive small plates. We had them include a balance of vegetarian dishes. The duck egg was a hit, as was the baked bread with avocado. I had their beer on tap and a whiskey smash, which was well executed. Overall a fantastic experience.
I have not stopped thinking of my breakfast here since I stopped by this place last weekend.
My initial thought of the breakfast prices was slightly expensive but in saying that I would rather have one nice breakfast here a month than have breakfast here every weekend. Its well worth it and I felt the quality and freshness of the food was great. The tomato was full of flavour and I particularly liked the grain toast that I tried with my boyfriends Fry up. I thought the side dishes were a little pricey but then I guess that can be expected as side dishes usually are. I had the ham, poached egg and hollandaise sauce for some reason which is highly pecuilar and I generally am not a ham fan by any means. This ham was tasty and not fatty by any stretch of the imagination so much so I had nothing left on my plate.
The staff were always coming around topping up your glass with water and would bend over backwards. In some ways I thought they were a little too efficient and I kind of got to the point where I stopped drinking my water just so they would stop coming back to fill it up. I know whats good efficient service these days. We complain when we don't get it and here am I complaining that it was tooo efficient.
As we went on a Sunday around 10:30 we just managed to get a table (the place had a constant in and out customer flow) and the real crowds starting coming when we were leaving. They have a couple of outdoor tables which could be nice in the summer.
Hmm. What disagreement from people I normally trust!
Other than the fact it was way too busy, I would definitely come back here. We had the cornbread french toast, which we both thought was really good (sorry Tristan J.)... maybe just one of those taste things. The toast was nice too. Overall it was a tasty, high end breakfast... reminiscent of Los Angeles and its trendy breakfast spots for those with no office to be at. Mostly under £10.
This place has a reputation for good coffee and it was on that basis that I added it to my bookmarks. One Sunday, we felt like going out for a brunch, so we decided to give this place a try.
It was a medium walk from the Chancery Lane tube station, but not too long and we arrived and found the place packed. Nonetheless, we were acknowledged and told that we may have a 20-minute wait, but we could have a drink at the bar area. We ordered a couple of coffees which came to us soon afterwards. Mine was a flat white, which looked professionally made and had a good flavour. My partner got her usual long black which tasted rich.
Just when we had finished our coffees, our table was ready next to the window. The place had a louder noise level than others, but we could still have a comfortable conversation at the table.
I got the cheese on toast with a side of bacon. It arrived after around 5 minutes and looked delicious. It was! The sweet onion jam cut through the cheese on toast and the bacon complemented it well. My partner got the grilled breakfast, which was polished off with enthusiasm.
The service was excellent. They apologised when our 2nd coffees arrived within minutes of each other (but not at the same time), but we hadn't really noticed. When we asked for the bill, we got it quickly.
The coffee definitely lived up to expectation and I would come back just for that. I am also keen to come back to try some of the other menu choices.
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