Review: brunch at The Commercial pub, Herne Hill

The Commercial pub Herne Hill brunch

The Commercial, Herne Hill

A fully booked Brockwell Park Lido Cafe meant that The Commercial was our second option for brunch on a sunny Saturday. Usually an ideal pit-stop for Sunday lunch in-between pottering around the market, their early doors food option isn’t to be sniffed at.

Doors open around 11am and while it’s empty, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get a table if you’re in the area and feeling spontaneous (which is quite refreshing, really. It’s maddening when you have to plan ahead all. the. time.).

The 'Breakfast of Champions' for two at The Commerical pub Herne Hill brunch

The ‘Breakfast of Champions’ for two at The Commercial

The brunch menu is varied enough to suit all tastes, although it really is a meat lover’s heaven – you even get black pudding with the full English.

Eggy bread, bacon and maple syrup

Eggy bread, bacon and maple syrup

The showstopper has to be the Breakfast of Champions, served in a huge frying pan for two people (or, you know, one super hungry person). The pan is filled with fried eggs, sausages, bacon, bubble and squeak, black pudding ‘cheeky’ beans (a new one on us, they tasted like regular beans but never mind) and tomatoes.

Eggs Royale at The Commercial Herne Hill

Eggs Royale

Other highlights included Eggs Royale and their Eggy Bread with Grilled Bacon and Syrup – you’ll be fed and watered for around £10 – not too shabby. Empty plates all round from us.

Herne Hill market

Herne Hill Market

This is by no means a comprehensive post about Herne Hill market. It’s so big and ever-changing that it’ll take a good couple of outings (and another pay packet) to get the full feel of the place. Nevertheless, the below should so far give a good idea of what the weekly market has to offer, to those who are yet to visit.

Herne Hill Market

Located on the pedestrian paved area outside Herne Hill station and across from Brockwell Park, the market takes place every Sunday from 10am-4pm. The umbrella company is City & Country Farmers’ Markets Company, and together with Lambeth Council the Herne Hill Market was born.

There’s a good mixture of ready-to-eat dishes, deli foods (think huge slabs of cheese and charcuterie and there’s a stall pretty much dedicated to olives and beans), pop-up butchers and craft, records and interiors stalls. Basically, if you’re not careful, you could spend a LOT of money here (and gain a few weighty pounds in the process).

Some of the stalls are fairly regular, but every now and then a new one pops up. We spied a couple of fish stalls past The Commercial selling a great mix – you can happily walk away with a lobster, monkfish, whole salmons, huge mussels…

Fruit and veg at Herne Hill market

There were at least three fruit and veg stalls, not to mention the grocer’s shop on the concourse. Prices were very average but the quality and size of what was on offer puts supermarket fare into submission. We picked up a bunch of beetroot and carrots for £2, and spied HUGE courgettes (which we thought were marrows, ahem) for 80p.

fruit and veg at Herne Hill market

Another great find was this stall selling all manner of homemade scotch eggs – chorizo, haggis, haddock, all with a rich, melting yolk in the middle. At £3.50 each they’re a treat but split in half and served with salad, they made a great lunch.

scotch eggs at Herne Hill market

Next time we go we’ll grab a couple of boxes of salads from Rainforest Range, a Caribbean stall with colourful veggie flans, lentils and salads that makes healthy eating actually look fun.

The Rainforest Range food stall

The Rainforest Range food stall

One interiors stall we enjoyed poring over was Dolly Did It, who specialise in homemade, vintage and upcycled goods. We picked up a blue desk chair for £35 and if we had enough room, that gorgeous drinks trolley would be ours, too. Their website is still in construction but once it’s up, we reckon it’ll be worth a look.

Items on sale from Dolly Did It - Herne Hill Market

Items on sale from Dolly Did It


Drinks trolley on sale by Dolly Did It, Herne Hill market

For the imaginary house, a gorgeous drinks trolley from Dolly Did It

On the other end of the homewares spectrum is Joan Longley, a botanical artist who creates beautiful cards and gift wrap in, well, botanical prints including this festive holly and ivy. You can pick up two sheets of paper with two gift tags for around £2.50 or thereabouts. She’s there every other week.

Holly and ivy wrapping paper by Joan Longley, Botanical Artist, Herne Hill Market

As mentioned earlier, this post is one that will be added to over time – there’s a lot more to offer than what we’ve mentioned here so far.

Herne Hill market, every Sunday.






Review: Brockwell Lido Cafe

Beautiful Brockwell Park - location of The Lido Cafe

Beautiful Brockwell Park – location of The Lido Cafe

Think of swimming pool cafes and limp sandwiches, milky cups of tea and the faint whiff of chlorine comes to mind (we also had a Slush Puppy machine at our local one back in the day, a rare treat after a lesson).

Anyway – Brockwell Lido Cafe certainly breaks with tradition. This place has even won awards it’s that good. After a sweaty Park Run we joined the queue for a table on a recent Saturday morning. Word of advice; if it’s warm and you want an outside table, book a few days in advance. Seriously. This place gets busy, but the service is so swift and cheery that it doesn’t feel cramped or stressful.

The ceiling at The Lido Cafe, Brockwell Park

The ceiling at The Lido Cafe, Brockwell Park

The morning menu is typical brunch fare – pancakes, eggs benedict, salmon, full English, along with smaller options like granola, pastries and bacon baps. Prices vary between £2.50-£11.75 so there’s something for every budget.

The portion sizes are plentiful – although we wouldn’t have turned down the offer of second helpings if the option arose.

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We tried and can happily recommend the pancakes, eggs benedict and smoked salmon and poached eggs.

The lunch and dinner menus, with their long lists of meats and cheese, look pretty impressive, and change every month with the seasons, so this really isn’t your typical leisure centre cafe.

There’s links to other local businesses too. Brockwell Lido members get 10% off orders (the perfect way to refuel after a swim, right?), as do Ritzy (Picturehouse) members. Find out more about what the cafe has to offer on their website. We’ll definitely be back.