Tucked away in a corner of Battersea Park right next to the Boating Lake is a cafe I am so happy to have discovered. The Pear Tree Cafe serves a delightful menu of beautiful dishes all made from simple, fresh and locally sourced produce.This wonderful cafe, with it's inviting art deco interior, is open for breakfast and lunch everyday, and dinner on Wednesdays, the menu changing with the seasons.Their food is absolutely delicious, but what I love most is the sense that this is a place full of regulars (and their dogs) having a quick cup of tea and home baked treat, and that is it also peppered with destination foodies seeking out the very best London has to offer.The Pear Tree Cafe works with independent brands both front and back of house, so you can enjoy a fresh juice from Press London, tuck into some Savoursmiths crisps, order a Jude's Black Coconut Ice Cream (or if you are vegan some Pana chocolate), and settle down in the evening with a glass of Chapel Down wine or Orchard Pig cider. AND you can eat delicious dishes prepared with Clarence Court eggs, Seven Seeded artisan bread, fish from Pinney's of Orford and fruit from Chegworth Valley.They are open all day and their Smashed Avocado with Watermelon Radish is a must for brunch. For the more adventurous (those who dare to branch out from avocado of the smashed variety), their Buttermilk Pancakes are quite delectable. And do try the coffee, it comes from Volcano Coffee Works, a local roastery in Brixton. Wednesday evenings are Live Jazz evenings, so come along and enjoy the music and ensure you try the Burrata with fresh figs, and a glass of AIX rosé.The Pear Tree Cafe is the mastermind of Annabel Partridge and Will Burrett, who met whilst working at Petersham Nurseries.After Petersham Nurseries, Annabel helped set up Spring at Somerset House with Head Chef Skye Gyngell. She has worked for over 30 kitchens and restaurants all over the world, including Tartine Bakery & Cafe, in San Francisco, and time spent cooking in Italy.Her love and interest for creating beautiful dishes stems from cooking at home when she was growing up. Dinner was at always 8pm sharp and there was a rota, with each member of the family taking their turn to cook dinner that evening. And then at university she lived in a house with boys, and they would all take it in turn to cook, which became very competitive. Often the boys would arrive back home after weekend with some game, so the freezer was always full of useful ingredients.After university she spent some time in Australia and, on returning home, shunned a grad scheme in favour of a two week placement at Petersham Nurseries. It wasn't all plain sailing, and there was a huge amount to be learned very fast, however she stuck it out and went on to work full time for Petersham. Having always wanted to set up a restaurant of her own, she spent a year looking for a site and settled on the space in Battersea Park, opening in October 2016.The Pear Tree Cafe is really beautiful, Annabel drew the layout for the interior herself and decided on the colours, and I love that every detail has been thought of. It is just as enjoyable sitting indoors in the conservatory, as it is sitting on the picnic benches nestled by the Boating Lake. The cafe has a lovely friendly honest atmosphere, and you know that the food you will be eating will not only be delicious, it will also be fresh. They buy British as much as possible, work with independent brands and follow the seasons, buying from local markets.They often host events at the cafe, recently Sri Lankan cuisine Weligama did a kitchen 'take-over', and DJ Mani played a number of nights over the summer. I also love the support of other local businesses, JamJar flowers installed a stunning floral arrangement for the Chelsea Flower Show week.They are also happy to arrange private events (I think it would be an excellent place for a 30th birthday party 😘) drinks and dancing are encouraged.Annabel's favourite part is the pleasure of working with her team, and also creating new menus and dishes each month. She said that setting up her own business has been both exhausting and incredibly satisfying, and I have to say the results are really wonderful, I am big big fan.If you haven't yet been, you must pop down to this hidden gem, tucked away in the corner of Battersea Park for a smashed avocado, it really is a treat.Alice xxxThe Pear Tree Cafe
It's Wednesday which means the weekend is fast approaching, and it is definitely time to start planning some fun weekend activities 😃.
I am a great believer in brunch ☕️🍴on the weekend (this is partly because I like sleeping 💤 very much), but also because it is the perfect way to kick start a day that otherwise has the potential to be very lazy. I like brunch food - the choice of savoury or sweet, healthy or indulgent, and being able to order two drinks at once and not look like a weirdo.
I am, however, quite fussy about my brunch, and I am afraid a greasy fry up doesn't really interest me, and have to admit I have succumbed and am a self-confessed smashed avocado, flat white bruncher through and through 😘. What I really like, is an interesting menu with healthyish food that actually tastes nice (I am a secret healthy food lover), along with a proper coffee and a green tea. I'm not too fussed about alcohol, it's nice to start the day with a clean start, although I did once go to a prosecco soaked brunch at Bunga Bunga which was the best fun ever, I urge you to go.
I would also say one of the MOST important things about brunching is being able to walk straight in and sit down at a table. I DO NOT WANT TO QUEUE. There are places I have eaten very good food, The Breakfast Club and Brew are two, but I have absolutely no wish to stand on the street for 45 mins (usually in the cold) whilst they chivvy someone else away from their breakfast to make a place for me. Brunch is to be enjoyed and should be lengthy, if you want it to be, and relaxing, it is the weekend after all ☺️.
I also need to be able to either walk or cycle to brunch from home, having possibly indulged in a few too many cocktails the night before, so places I go, tend to not be too far from where I live (although I am doing a very dry January, and made it all the way to Notting Hill from the deep depths of Wandsworth on my bicycle in time for brunch last weekend, and I am perhaps feeling a little smug).
So here are a few of my local favourite brunching spots. 😃 ☕️🍴.
424 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, SW18 4HN
I like Bean & Hop. They are really friendly and their menu is interesting, and unexpected. You can choose between porridge with spiced poached pears, an excellent bacon butty (I always have smashed avocado in mine) or Black Bean Fritters which sound a little on the scary healthy side but taste delicious. They do really good coffee and always have a special smoothie, my favourite so far was a berry smoothie with chocolate brownies mixed in - superb 👌.
123, St John's Hill, Battersea, SW11 1SZ
For me, Birdhouse is a quick brunch place. This is THE best coffee, and they always ask if you want sugar, which I find weirdly endearing in the current 'sugar is evil' climate. I usually have the banana bread which they will butter for you even if you are taking away, but they also have a varied savoury brunch menu, including bocaditos - Cuban sandwiches.
63 Northcote Road, Battersea, SW11 1NP
Cafe Tamra is brunch with a twist, they have Moroccan, Mediterranean and Greek inspired dishes, so you can have Shakshouka (Moroccan baked eggs) and they also do all the normals too - eggs how you like them or pancakes, so there is something for everyone.
314 Trinity Road, Wandsworth, SW18 3RG
Toast Rack has a very friendly vibe to it, and a very good, more traditional menu. It's refreshingly not too trendy, being based in Wandsworth you more likely to encounter small children and small dogs than bearded philosophers. I like it a lot. They do an excellent selection of teas, and a good simple full english breakfast, or you could branch out and have kedgeree.
4 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth, SW17 7EQ
If you are a yummy mummy living in Wandsworth I suspect you have been to Flotsam at least once.. Flotsam has a lovely atmosphere, although this is the one place on my list I am afraid you may have queue for. But once inside, they do a mean BLT Toasted Sandwich - bacon, lettuce, smashed avocado with ailoi, or you can feel really good about yourself and have the coco-mango bircher (in the photo) all sorts of healthy things looking pretty in coconut yoghurt.
79 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1ET
This may be my current favourite. If you go, you must have the blueberry pancakes with bacon, they are the best and come with creme fraiche too. The fresh juices are terrific and so is the coffee (they first started with only coffee) and they have a fun outside seating area at the back, which is open to the air when it is sunny.