Love and Scandal on Lower Marsh
School’s officially out and despite the impending misery of deadlines and dissertations there’s excitement in the air.
With daylight savings ending tomorrow, sunlight shall soon shine into the wee hours of the night. That’s an added perk for those of us who live in Lower Marsh where darkness not only equals depression, but also dodgy. Maybe walking home at night will actually be pleasant!
Before you think this post is about the weather, let me clarify that living in London has not made me that British. But speaking of British habits, I’m glad that brunch is slowly becoming one of them, and that’s exactly what this story is about.
Because Everyone Loves a Good Scandal:
Love and Scandal is a standalone cafe where I have spent many a Saturday indulging in the sacred institution otherwise known as brunch. The ambience personifies the quirky vibe of Lower Marsh, the street behind Waterloo. Also home to Four Corners and La Barca, which I have paid a visit to, you can tell why this street is quickly becoming a favourite.
Light wooden tables, exposed brick, and artworks adorning the walls – which change every few months to showcase new talent – speaks a language that’s all too familiar for my hipster soul. Throw in a large community table, and I’m all set to sit here for a few hours with my laptop.
Coming to the sustenance, the options aren’t plentiful: 3 dishes to be precise. That I, the food blogger whose duty is to experiment, have returned here at least five times, is both love, and a scandal.
So here’s introducing my love affairs with the Avo, the Fry, and the Scandal itself.
With Avo, and poached eggs this is the most quintessentially brunch-y dish. The base of sourdough bread is slightly stubborn when it comes to being cut, so you may find yourself struggling, but it’s worth it. The generous topping of Dukka, an Egyptian condiment that combines herbs, spices and nuts is a clear winner for it the flavour and zest that it adds to the dish.
True to its name, it’s a sinful combination of a French toast sandwich stuffed with maple bacon and Gruyere cheese. The small side of rocket leaves adds the needed hint of pungency. My only quibble, which is that the overall texture is slightly dry, can be easily resolved by requesting for a side of Maple syrup. Word is that Brown Sauce also does the trick, but my non-British palate hasn’t taken to it yet.
A twist on the traditional British breakfast is likely to be loved more by those who aren’t British and perceived as a scandal by those who are. This is coming from someone who recalls expression of horror on her British flatmate’s face when adding pepper and herbs to baked beans – which are considered sacred to the institution of British breakfast.
Since I’ve had no qualms in clarifying where I feature on this spectrum, it won’t be surprising that I am a fan of the fry. For one, I’m fonder of poached eggs than fried, and secondly, I’ve always sided with my American friends when they claim that British bacon is really just ham.
Yet, while the plateful of poached eggs, real Amurrican bacon, mushrooms, beans, and sausages has been a welcome combination, and not to mention a great hangover cure, it is also a feat to get through. Alas, that and my undying love for Avos/Gruyere, have made me skeptical of ordering it a second time.
A Note for Non-scandal Lovers
I should also mention that if your scandalous quotient is low, the yogurt parfait is a lighter alternative – filled with fresh fruits and crunchy granola, it beats your preservative-laden store-bought yogurt pots. Next up on my non-brunch list is the ham and cheese croissants. And with school closed that next time seems much nearer. So, stay tuned for more scandalous love affairs!
Where: Lower Marsh, Waterloo, London SE1 7AB