It was a stolen day today – our plans for museum visiting and tea with friends were foiled by unforseen work commitments. Not ours. So we were left with an entirely free agenda. Naturally we decided to fill it with food.
First up, a wander through Victoria Park in blazing sunshine, coupled with cold noses from near zero temperatures. Then veering off through not-so picturesque industrial estates and along darkened underpasses: all to find the Counter Cafe. When you see the Ca_lton tower, you’re there.
It’s a brunch menu, served throughout the day. Two super-smooth lattes to start with, complete with the obligatory antipodean feathered milk tattoo. We chose the Big Breakfast and the French Toast and berries with a side of bacon. Salty and sweet rules my world. The Big Breakfast includes skinny sausages, fat slices of lean bacon, sunshine yellow fried eggs on wholewheat toast. Along with crispy homemade potato cakes, homemade butter beans in tomato sauce and superb tomato relish (available in jars to take away). The French toast – thick square slabs of golden goodness and fried bananas, scattered with sharp berries and flaked toasted almonds and the obligatory miniature jug of maple syrup for pouring.
The crowd is mixed – Guardian-reading couples, friends gossiping over coffee, walkers fresh from the Capital Ring tucking into substantial breakfasts. They consciously try to use organic ingredients where possible. Interestingly, less families than the often overrun Pavilion in Victoria Park, another local favourite. I’d quite like to potter down to the Counter Cafe on a working day and settle into the old cinema seats by the window, use the wifi and write in the sunshine.
Fliers on the table directed us down to Stour Space, for their monthly Craft Fair. It’s an artists’ collective and studio space – super friendly people and a nice collection of designer makers. So many pretty things – sadly so many makers without websites. Grr. (How?? In this day and age? Mutter mutter </rant>). The fair is on the last Saturday of every month – certainly worth a look.
Following the canal all the way, we wandered to Broadway Market. We’d been promised Hummingbird today as an afternoon sweet treat – but plans for town went out the window. So we came in search of Violet cupcakes. I have to say, I was slightly perturbed when we got home to discover that they were scattered with flecks of ‘dust or something’. I suppose we’d bought them at the end of the day. Dammit. They still tasted good – better than good. Some of the best I’ve had.
Passionfruit and Blood Orange. Wonderful once tucked up at home with tea again. Shortly we’re off to another local Supper Club – And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Our Bread. It’s the Evil Menu. Should we be scared?