Restaurants
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Lantana – the best brunch in London?

The Greedy Diva recommended Lantana when we met up shortly after I had visited her hometown of Melbourne. I told her how impressed I was with the breakfasts, brunches and cafe culture in Australia and how frustrating it is to come back to London and not have great food like that widely available. Put it this way, there isn’t a Starbucks on every corner over there.

I was in Australia for a month and in that time visited Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Most of the places that I ate served delicious food and I didn’t have a bad meal (apart from the Vietnamese that some of you may have read about). I was excited by the fact that most places, even little convenience stores sold what appeared to be delicious, delectable homemade banana bread and (I am told) great coffee.

Two places that really stood out for me were Fringe in St Kilda, Melbourne and The Food Pharmacy in Dunsborough. Above is French toast with fruit compote and creme fraiche at Fringe.

Being a food lover and not being able to find decent fresh and delicious food so easily made coming back to London almost depressing.

I came back with a mission, which of course I’m not going to fulfil (yet anyway). I want to bring good homely fresh food to the UK – I want people to realise that buying an 80p cookie from a ‘fresh’ bakery in a Tesco Metro is not the best option. I want more independent coffee shops to serve homemade cakes, fresh salads and sandwiches, not that tasteless cardboard rubbish you get in the supermarket.

I don’t want to go into a Starbucks and buy an overpriced tasteless muffin. I want to walk into newsagents and be able to buy blueberry teacake that is not 4 days old or stuffed full of trans fats. I want to own my own cafe – but that is a dream and may well be achieved in time. It has spurred me on to bake more and bring my own tasty treats to work with me so I’m not tempted by average baked goods.

Don’t get me wrong, London has a fantastic food offering but I do feel that the focus is more on restaurants and not good cafes. The amount of times that I have gone into Central London wanting to go and sit in a coffee shop at 10pm and not a pub are countless. The closest thing that we have to the cafe culture in Melbourne is Old Compton Street and Soho – that is why it is one of my favourite areas in London.

I also do love a good old lazy weekend brunch. So, Lantana was the name and a fantastic Auzzie style brunch is their game. Seeing that they are open for brunch from 9am – 3pm, we took a trip down today. We arrived to a long queue out of the door and literally not a single English accent was in earshot. I knew I was in for a treat.

This was my second time at Lantana for weekend brunch, the first time I opted for toasted banana bread with date and pecan butter.

My boyfriend opted for the Spanish style baked eggs with chorizo sausage, mushrooms, spinach and spicy tomato sauce.

Today, having noticed they had changed the menu, I went for the French toast with chai poached pears and caramel ricotta.
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My boyfriend had the sweetcorn fritters with roast tomatoes, rocket, chilli jam and crème fraiche.
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We had a side of their spicy baked beans with feta cheese, which was delicious.
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A lot of our cooking at home is similar to food on the menu – we eat a lot of poached eggs, have copied their baked beans side, we’ll cook sweetcorn fritters for brunch every so often and chorizo often makes its way into our dishes. One thing that we don’t have often is French toast or banana bread because my boyfriend is so against fruit, it’s scary. So I treat myself when I go to Lantana, knowing full well that it’s going to satisfy me completely. And that’s just what it did. We were in there for an hour and a half. When we walked out, I felt completely and utterly relaxed and as happy as Larry, whoever he is!

I even tried the silky smooth flat white that my boyfriend ordered… and I liked it!

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Lantana without a doubt serves the best brunch I’ve eaten since Australia. I hope more cafe owners take note and start to take a leaf out of Lantana’s magical book.

13 Charlotte Place
Fitzrovia LondonW1T 1SN
+44 (0) 20 7637 3347

Lantana on Urbanspoon

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6 Comments

  1. Oh that looks good, and close enough to where I live to roll out of bed and stroll down there on a Sunday morning. How much did it cost?

    • Food for Think says

      You’re lucky you can roll out of bed there!

      It cost £8 for my French toast but the food ranges from about £4 – £9.50. They also do freshly baked cakes too and the coffee is amazing.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I’m going to have to give Lantana another go. Was disappointed when I first went for lunch so not tempted to return but your photos do look scrumptious!

    • Food for Think says

      What did you have to eat? They do the sweet dishes such as French Toast and Banana Bread exceptionally well!

  3. Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you liked Lantana. The corn fritters are my favourite thing there. And see, we’ll convert you to coffee eventually…

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