As you may have seen, I’ve recently tried out the Sorolla set menu at the National Gallery Cafe. But did you know they do breakfast/brunch and afternoon tea too? Read on to see what I thought of their weekend brunch offering!
* Full disclosure, my brunch at the National Gallery Cafe was free in return for this honest review, all opinions are my own*
Brunch at the National Gallery Cafe, Trafalgar Square
The restaurant & decor
Walking off of the busy Charing Cross road, you enter an oasis of calm in the National Cafe.
The restaurant area is decorated in calming greys and pinks, with Scandi touches of warm wood.
The back lit sky painting panels are inspired by works from the Gallery itself and add to the natural light in the Cafe.
I started with a skinny latte and Laura took an English Breakfast tea.
The tea arrived in a pot with a separate jug of milk – proper British style!
We also got a glass of cava with our food and kept hydrated with their juices.
I had the apple & raspberry juice and Laura had the watermelon & mint juice. Both of the juices were super refreshing – I don’t drink a lot of fruit juice, but when it’s fresh there is nothing better.
The staff also kept us hydrated, topping up glasses of tap water for us.
The menu is quite large, with a wide selection of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes if you are there a bit later. This made it super tricky to decide what to go with, but as we were there early, it had to be egg based…
We started with a ‘breakfast basket’ of toast and croissants. As Laura had toothache, the staff really looked after us and made sure that there was some soft bread for her to chew on.
Summer courgette fritter
I decided to get out of my comfort zone with my main brunch course…
I ordered the Summer courgette fritter, which came with grilled halloumi and a salad with basil and orange dressing. You can see that the salad had fresh peas, different heritage tomatoes and pumpkin seeds in it. I had my extra poached egg, but to be fair I probably didn’t need it with so much on the plate.
My fritter was one substantial piece, made with grated courgette, onion and carrot. I think it would have worked better as several smaller fritters, as then you would have gotten more of the crispy outside. It was very filling too, the salad wasn’t so much of a side salad as a major part of the dish. I was certainly full and felt very healthy after eating all those veggies!
Avocado toast with poached egg
Laura got the avocado on toast (but on bread for her!) with poached eggs. This also came with heritage tomatoes, feta and chilli. Despite her tooth pain, she managed to eat through most of it! Even the millennial ‘classic’ of avocado toast was made summery with the addition of fresh basil and all the contrasting colours of the heritage tomatoes.
Beautiful vivid orange egg yolks make me happy!
Other brunch options on the menu that sounded really interesting to me are almond pancakes, the Reuben sandwich, shakshuka, and the hake and haddock cake with lobster sauce! For lunch (from 12pm-2pm) there were veggie burger, steak or chicken Kiev options too.
Visit the National Gallery for free
After our brunch we headed into the National Gallery to see some of the paintings.
As it’s free to enter the Gallery, you can literally pop in for 20 minutes (although it might take you longer to find your way back out!).
The verdict on brunch at the National Cafe
I really enjoyed our brunch at the National Cafe. The menu was super interesting and had so many options that I will definitely be coming back to check more of them out. The staff were lovely, the service very good and they really looked after Laura with her tooth pain. Our waiter also spotted that my poached egg had turned up on Laura’s plate and swiftly got me another without me having to ask. Little things like this make the difference and make the National Cafe stand out from other restaurants nearby that are more tourist focused.
The location is very central and makes for a great place to start off a day out in London. Or even just a calm place to escape from the busy galleries and Trafalgar Square.
Will you be heading to the National Cafe this Summer? Let me know in the comments below!
National Cafe Opening Times:
Monday – Thursday: 9.30am – 8.30pm
Friday: 9.30am – 10pm
Sat & Sunday: 9.30am–6pm
Lunch is available from 12:00 noon daily, and the kitchen closes at 8pm Mon-Thurs, and at 9pm on Friday.
To book a table go to The National Cafe website.
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