Reviewed: Earl Grey & Rose, Streatham Hill

On our first ever walk up Leigham Court Road towards our new flat, we passed this quaint little cafe-cum-jewellery shop. The bottom of this road is a random combo of the usual shops – newsagents, barbers, charity shop and a restaurant called the Dorchester that looks like it’s in a time warp (we’re SO visiting there soon).

Earl Grey & Rose sticks out – the pale blue shop sign, windows stuffed with looks-good-enough-to-eat cakes and bakes (just as well, of course). We’ve lived in Streatham for a month and this was our first opportunity to visit.

No detail has been spared – you’ve got bunting, jam jars, rows of teapots and homemade chutney (more on that later), and a miss mash of shabby-chic tables and chairs, not to mention Radio 2 in the background (pleasingly it was Tony Blackburn’s show, which fitted the vintage feel rather nicely).

So, food. We had:

*Brie, bacon and avocado sandwich (£4.50). You could choose between white, granary and rosemary/olive oil bread, and toasted or not. We went for rosemary/olive oil, plus toasted (who can resist the melty texture of brie?).

*Ploughman’s (£7.50)  – choose between a huge variety of cheeses, then whether you want it as it is or half and half (that’d be with a helping of ham).

*Strawberry cupcake. Choose between various basic but delicious flavours, all made that day – lemon, blueberry, chocolate etc. All delicately decorated, as you’d expect…

*We washed it down with Victorian Lemonade and elderflower cordial – hardly their fault, but I always think these bottles are way too tiny for the price sold and the amount you really want. I’d finished mine before our food even arrived.

We only waited around ten mins for our orders. Everything was in huge servings, garnished with soft lettuce leaves (none of the leftover stalky stuff you’re reluctant to gnaw on), and a syrupy honey/mustard/balsamic style dressing. When we say huge, we mean it. Check out the HUGE chunks of ham!

Delicate enough to tear apart easily with a fork, there was actually another layer of the stuff underneath the lettuce, pictured. The gherkins and pickled onions were a fab traditional touch, and the homemade chutney was sweet with a pleasingly sharp aftertaste. You can buy the stuff to take home, too.

The sandwich didn’t lack any ingredient, and the bacon was also substantial and fat-free. Quite frankly, we were too full for the cupcake but we did our duty and gobbled it up. See, strawberries all the way inside too…

Our lunch came to just under £20 – we won’t need to eat until dinner now. It wasn’t as busy as the likes of Lavish Habit, which surprised us. Perhaps because it’s not quite in the hub of Streatham, we don’t know. Do make a visit though. The relaxing environment let us take a step out of our hectic lives, if only for an hour…

Enq: Earl Grey & Rose, 1 Streatleigh Parade, SW16 1EQ.

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