I have wanted to go to the new Shad Thames branch of The Watch House (www.watchhousecoffee.com) ever since I walked past it in its opening stages a few weeks ago. So, when my boyfriend suggested we pay a visit to alleviate our margarita-induced hangovers one Saturday morning, I jumped at the chance!
We walked down the beautiful cobbled street leading up to The Watch House, and arrived quite early for brunch (10am) but it was already heaving. They don’t take bookings (which is a personal pet peeve!) so the option is just to queue and hope a table frees up – thankfully it did!
Interiors: The interiors are quite hygge: all white with gorgeous wall-mounted menus, and I love that their bakery wares – from croissants to huge slabs of millionaire shortbread – are so prominently displayed on the counter as the central focus of the café. These are available to both take away and on offering on their menu.
Atmosphere: Each table (of which there are only a few – hence the queue!) is spaced apart from its neighbour, meaning that you are able to enjoy being in your own brunch bubble without anyone else intruding. The Watch House is far from many of London’s recent brunch offerings that are geared towards huge groups of friends enjoying bottomless brunches. Instead, this space is for couples or families: prams rather than prosecco!
Menu: In my opinion, the menu is perfect. I love brunch menus that are slightly different to the standard staple items you can get anywhere. Many of our fellow diners loaded up on fresh pastries and granola. My boyfriend and I obviously stuck to the protein and both ordered eggs: eggs benedict for him (with delicious, moist hand-pulled ham hock) and eggs, smoked salmon and smashed avocado for me (pictured). The eggs were perfectly poached, with generous portions of their accompaniments, on top of delicious ‘Little Bread Pedlar’ sourdough that’s delivered to The Watch House daily. And each for a very reasonable £7!
Overall, I loved our relaxing experience at The Watch House, where the focus is on good food rather than creating a brunch party atmosphere: something that is becoming increasingly harder to find in London. You could easily have an equally fantastic time by yourself here. So, on that note, I will be back ASAP to sample my next choice from the menu: Knead peanut butter on that delicious sourdough!
Food menu (options available): 5*
Food (taste): 4.5*
Drinks menu (options available): 5*
Drinks (taste): 5*
Service: 3.5* (you have to order at the counter so service isn’t the most dominating characteristic of this brunch spot… yet!)