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Let there be brunch by Lauren Cartridge

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Let there be brunch by Lauren Cartridge

Diploma student Lauren curbs her love of chocolate for Lent and finds some brilliant brunch spots in the process in this week's student blog.

I am not one for skipping meals. In fact, I like to add extra meals into my day. Brunch, afternoon tea, a midnight snack; I can usually be found eating somewhere and London has helped me to cater for my food addiction.

As well as my love for doughnuts, I have a particular soft spot for pancakes. Pancake day is one of my favourite days of the year, and because I usually give up chocolate for Lent, it means that I can pile my plate full of delicious crepes smothered in Nutella without feeling too guilty. I think this is why I also have a slight obsession with brunch. My most favourite extra meal; you can sit and have a glass of Prosecco at 10am whilst tucking into Eggs Benedict. Or, don’t fancy something savoury? Let’s have pancakes or French toast instead! There is no judgement and that is why, whenever I organise eating with friends, my first suggestion is always, “Brunch?”

I find it very difficult not to order the sweet choice on a brunch menu, which has led me to set out on a particular quest to find the most perfect pancakes in London. I recently visited The Locals cafe in Chelsea, where they offer Truffle and Wild Mushroom Eggs, Locals’ Full Healthy as well as many other mouth watering options. I’d heard fantastic things about their Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes and so both my friend and I ended up ordering them. I am not exaggerating when I say I could have ordered it a second time. They were d-e-l-icious! Sandwiched between fluffy pancakes were caramelised bananas, blueberries and coconut shavings. Heavenly. 

Three weeks into Lent and I am getting into the swing of not eating chocolate for breakfast. Instead, I have been broadening my sweet horizons and have been giving savoury options a chance to shine. Just off Uxbridge Road in Shepherd’s Bush, you can find Wild Thyme. My friend and I stumbled upon it whilst hungry and looking for somewhere to eat. I’m not usually one for choosing a Full English, as I often find it a bit overwhelming. However, the Wild Thyme breakfast was to die for, the chilli baked beans being a particular highlight. 

I have become a dab hand at poaching eggs recently and if you follow Dan Doherty (of Duck and Waffle) on Instagram, you'll see he creates the most beautiful plates of Shakshuka. Deciding to show off my skills, I created a Shakshuka of dreams on Sunday morning and I doubt I will ever be able to replicate it so I will have to hang my chef hat up and retire now, happy. 

I feel very lucky to be in a city where not only brunch, but food is celebrated. Having just finished the second term at Leiths, there have been a few ‘pinch me’ moments and I am just so excited for the final term. I am doing work experience with Blondies Kitchen over the Easter break, co-founded with Leiths alumna Chelsie Collins, so I’ll let you know how I get on! 

By Lauren Cartridge 

Visit letshavedessertfirst.wordpress.com | Twitter: @lcartridge | Instagram: @letshavedessertfirst

Lauren Cartridge

Author: Lauren Cartridge

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