New? Now a couple of years old, St Clements is a staple feature in the weekends of Parsons Green residents.
Where? 201 New Kings Road, Parsons Green, SW6 4SR www.stclementscafe.co.uk
First Impressions: As chic yet unfussy as you’d expect for any brunch cafe in South West London, the main feature of St Clements is the counter, piled high with seriously tempting-looking cakes and pastries. Populated almost exclusively by girls in their activewear, with a few couples in their mid-twenties and a couple of buggies outside, St Clements is clearly a failsafe meeting spot for locals at any time of day.
The Look: The space is airy, with the counter taking up the whole right side of the ground floor. Seating-wise, you’ll need to be prepared to queue during busy periods (basically all weekend) but now the weather is nicer, the outside seating at the front of the cafe can maximise bums on seats, as can seating downstairs. An eclectic selection of jars sit on shelves around the room and a little vase of red roses sat on our table.
On The Menu: Everything you’d hope for brunch (except, most notably, eggs benedict) can be found on the menu here, with gluten-free and dairy-free options available. Handmade fresh each day, the menus are seasonal and vary from week to weekend – scrambled eggs on toasted sourdough, herby braised beans with poached eggs and the ‘health plate’ seemed popular choices, with the option to add extra avocado, grilled chorizo, bacon or smoked salmon if you’re like me and no amount of avocado is ever enough. An alcohol license means you can have a glass of wine with your food and the afternoon tea option means if you’re late for brunch you won’t go hungry (but you will miss out on the eggs…). Producers are proudly declared – sourdough and rye bread comes from Bread Bread bakery in Brixton, sausages and bacon come from The Ginger Pig and Tillys Traditional eggs come from a small farm in Northamptonshire.
What We Ate: Kicking things off the only way we know how, flat whites were clearly made by a proper barista, complete with latte art. The health plate nearly took my fancy but when a fritter is on the menu I can’t resist. Two crisp green courgette fritters with perfectly runny poached eggs did not disappoint – they weren’t bland (as fritters can sometimes be) and although a pile of rocket bulked it out, wasn’t really needed. The most manly option on the menu was baked eggs – an individual skillet with tomato sauce came with sourdough for dipping and runny-yolked eggs – not always the case with baked eggs so an added bonus when they are. Brunch food in general tends to be pretty fail-safe but a single overcooked egg or slightly too-long wait for a coffee can let it down – none of that happened here.
What We Drank: Smoothies and juices make it on to the menu but quality coffee made with organic milk is always expected for any self-respecting brunch place. Our flat whites came complete with latte art (bonus points!) using hand roasted beans from Ozone Coffee Roasters in East London. Cold pressed organic juices come from Bobos Juicery, with other juices from Luscombe Organic and Heron Valley.
Go With: Girl friends, girlfriend(s) or your personal trainer after a circuits session on Parsons Green.
Final Word: If you love brunch you’ll love St Clements – simple as that. Service was friendly, efficient and the food is everything you’d hope for of your new favourite brunch spot.
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Fran can be found sipping espresso martinis by night and, by day, on the hunt for London's best brunch. Bonus points for a runny yolk and the perfect flat white.