Laid back vibes. Aussie-style fry-ups. The scrummiest banana bread I’ve had in a while and the best flat white by a long mile too…
Is it safe to say that I’ve found myself a new weekend haunt at Lantana Cafe?
Not that the cheerful hideaway in Fitzrovia is new to you or to me, as Lantana was actually one of the first cafes to bring over the relaxed Antipodean coffee culture to London!
In addition to all its regulars stopping by for their caffeine fix, the cafe has amassed quite a loyal following for its vibrant weekend brunch menu as well…
It was only noon when the girls and I turned up on a sunny Sunday and the place was already packed to the rafters. Uncomfortably so actually with the small tables squeezed in quite tight together – so we were pleased to score a table outside and right before the queues started forming too!
We started off with bright and breezy brunch classics, with both Anika and Anisha opting for avocado-on-toast.
Although at the risk of sounding like an M&S ad, at Lantana, this was not just avocado-on-toast.
This was smashed-avocado and a perfectly poached egg and on sourdough toast, layered with beetroot cured salmon and fresh rocket leaves, with a speckling of crunchy hazelnut crumbs adding to the versatile mix of flavours…
While it was the ever-popular corn fritters for me, stacked with a poached egg (in lieu of streaky bacon), fresh spinach, roast tomatoes and smashed avocado, with a dollop of lemon crème fraiche for good measure!
Although a perky dish, to be honest, I was a tad underwhelmed by the fritters which were lacking a moreish crispness to them… but a generous smear of Lantana’s signature chilli jam definitely went a long way in adding a sweetly tangy dimension to make them more palatable.
Coffees were very much the order of the day too, as the silky-smooth flat-white here is reason alone why Lantana is one of my favourite cafes in London…
And now I have another.
Toasted banana bread with honey ricotta and chocolate crumbs.
Deliciously moist and with a subtle well-balanced sweetness, it hit all the right notes while the chocolate specks added a rich, almost bittersweet texture.
Other top temptations included the light and fluffy French toast served with maple syrup, candied pecans (although they seemed to be plain-sugared rather than candied to me) and grilled bananas.
The happy afternoon was only marred by the sluggish and slightly indifferent service… but luckily it wasn’t enough to detract from our content states as we ambled away into the sunshine, to enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend!
Which are your favourite weekend brunch spots in London?
Lantana Cafe, 13 Charlotte Place,Fitzrovia, London W1T 1SN