Audrey’s… the home from home

Who is Audrey? I still don’t know.

I imagined the restaurant was named after THE Audrey (Hepburn, of course) or perhaps the owner’s mother or grandmother.

Either way she’s one cool lady. This is the finest example of a neighbourhood restaurant, I’ve seen in a good while.

For those wondering what I’m going on about, allow me to explain.

The neighbourhood restaurant is the modern gold standard, the kind of place that’s not too far away from home, so comfortable that the diner is easily drawn in for breakfast, lunch or dinner time and time again.

The food equivalent of a local, Audrey’s is this home from home. It’s rather like an old slipper but in a good way.

The atmosphere is relaxed, the staff, circumspect and chilled but mostly because they look like they’re having a good time, and the menu is small.

My family arrived on what felt like the hottest day of the year, it wasn’t officially so but certainly stifling in the city. As we approached there was something familiar about the building, standalone, in the middle of the road, at a junction.

Located in Flat Iron Square, it’s an area familiar to me but that wasn’t it. The solid architecture was unmistakable and it dawned on me that we were actually looking at a repurposed Victorian toilet.

The sunshine had driven most of the diners towards outside tables but with a small child in toe, we darted inside and away from the traffic whizzing far too close by.

Try out Audrey’s Pictures: Paloma Lacy

There was just one couple seated inside and their excitement and general giddiness pointed to a first date situation. I remarked to my husband that this was a memorable spot to help romance take hold.

Said couple chatted over what looked like cocktails, which took me a little by surprise given the early hours – 11am. I asked the waiter and he assured me all was well, they’d ordered breakfast cocktails, which are available from 10am.

For research purposes we tried Breakfast Martini – Mum’s Marmalade Gin, Cointreau & lemon – and Audrey’s Tea & Biscuits.

A tenner a pop but worth every penny – these are seriously good cocktails.

For anyone wondering, sadly the price tag isn’t steep by central London standards. The interior feels North American, with upscale diner influences throughout, albeit modern ones.

I have to admit when I arrived and saw the menu, I was a tad disappointed as all choices seemed to point to and include eggs of the breakfast variety.

It may have had something to do with the indulgent cocktail but after a few sips, my stomach didn’t much feel like breakfast.

My eye was immediately drawn to pork chop schnitzel, with aoli and pickled kohlrabi but no sooner had I smacked my lips, before I was informed that this was part of the post 5pm menu.

Other dinner dishes I would have liked to try included mutton popcorn, lemon sole carpaccio, aged ribeye, artichoke and bitter leaves.

The list was endless but not for my visit.

I definitely didn’t fancy eggs in any of the seven available incarnations, although shakshuka was a departure from the more traditional scrambled, poached, fried routes.

My husband went for Eggs Royale – poached eggs served on sourdough, hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon and dill – and seemed wowed by it.

Luckily for me, there were four toasted sandwiches up for grabs, bacon, brie and chilli jam worked for me as a combo.

I’m not a massive brie lover but adding decent smoky streaky rashers and pack-a-punch chilli jam, I was served a grade-A level sarnie.

I boosted the order with a portion of fries to give it more of a lunchtime feel.

Other choices included truffle mushroom, Reuben and goat’s cheese – all around the £7 mark and available until 3pm.

This is the time breakfast service finishes – for those who don’t prefer eggs, there’s bircher muesli, overnight oats and pastries.

This did leave me wondering what there is to eat between 3pm and 5pm as I’m sure Audrey’s doesn’t close mid-service.

Our waiter was very accommodating of our little one, for which we were grateful. She verbally dissected the smoked salmon as she ordered, removing rye bread, capers, cream cheese and lemon, leaving just the fish when her plate was presented.

Despite my initial disappointment at not getting quite what I wanted, I like what Audrey’s is doing and will return one evening.

Sharing platters, such as leek gratin, with Chablis, Ogleshield fondue and parsley crumb drove me wild – how fantastic does that sound?
I still couldn’t tell you who Audrey is? Perhaps she was the last patron to grace the public convenience.

Audrey’s is at 1, Flat Iron Square, Union Street, London Bridge SE1 0AB.

The general craze for chicken wings sees no sign of going anywhere.

Wing Shack Co has opened a new restaurant at Brixton Village Market.

Serving up from lunchtime to late night, wings, hip-hop beats and own brand beer are very much the order of the day.

Choose from wings, boneless bites, and chicken fillets, which all come with tasty homemade sauces.

Wing Shack Co Brixton Picture: Wing Shack

Favourites include Wing Shack founder Joshua Jarvis’ Jarv’s Tangy Buffalo sauce, Chang’s Honey & Sesame, Smokey BBQ, Flamin’ Hoisin and Mango Mazzaline.

Vegan wings – made from jackfruit – are also available, all coated in vegan versions of Wing Shack sauces.

If you’re more in the mood for a burger, choose from the Banging Buffalo, Chipotle BBQ, Eat My Thigh, which comes loaded with sriracha mayo and coleslaw, or The Maple Habanero – if you can handle the hot drizzle.

While classic sides include Sweet Potato Fries, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites and Banging Buffalo Loaded Fries.

Wing Shack Co Brixton, 7 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8PC


Pictures: Audrey’s – Picture: Paloma Lacy




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