Coin Laundry, nestled away at the end of Clerkenwell's charming Exmouth Market, is firmly on the trendy hipster end of the scale of restaurants.
With its wooden floorboards, teal and wood wipe-clean tables, vintage worn leather sofas and big leafy plants dotted around, the restaurant has an undoubtedly unique feel with plenty of retro, 70s touches – and those old-style milk bottles used as water jugs seal the deal.
On Saturdays, the (optional) bottomless brunch is served between 10am-4pm. It's £22 if you go for the bottomless cocktails (or £7.50 each) which you can mix and match between the three on offer.
With an array of flutes and three large jugs of different cocktails on the bar counter, they are certainly taking it seriously.
My favourite is the pink apple fizz. It's sweet, spiced, delicious and very pretty, and a close second is the summer cup, which is basically an orangey version of Pimm’s.
The friendly staff refills before our glasses are empty, and offer the opportunity to move onto prosecco, too.
From the menu that's made up of eight rather classic dishes, I go for the sweet potato and kale rostis served with hung Dorset yoghurt, spring onions and Sussex tomato salsa (£10), along with a side of avocado (£3.50) because this is brunch after all.
It's a pleasingly decent-sized portion and the rosti were sensational – crumbly in texture with a gentle curry spice. The creamy, thick yoghurt is delicious and ensures the dish isn't dry, and the avocado – smashed with spring onion – is a welcome addition to the dish.
My guest chooses the Chalk Farm smoked salmon served with soda bread, cream cheese and dill (£10.50). It has a generous amount of salmon, but according to my companion – who is of Irish heritage – the soda bread is sliced too thinly and doesn't have enough crust, so while tasty, it's not entirely authentic.
My guest also has rather specific dietary requirements (resulting in a huge array of foods she can't eat), but with both drinks and food, the restaurant are more than happy to cater for her.
If you’re after free-flowing booze, interesting twists on your usual dishes and a unique setting, Coin Laundry is a good choice.
70 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QP; 020 7833 9000; coinlaundry.co.uk; open daily
Hearty buckwheat waffles with strawberries
I love this breakfast, especially on a lazy weekend morning. It ticks all my boxes in terms of comfort, indulgence and appeasing that insatiable sweet tooth that we all have.
Makes 4 waffles, serves 2
60ml melted coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the waffle iron
375ml Almond Milk, shop-bought or home-made
200g buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons cacao powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ vanilla pod (bean), scraped, or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla pod
pinch of salt
230g Coconut Yoghurt, shop-bought or home-made
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
½ vanilla pod (bean), scraped, or ½ teaspoon ground vanilla pod
handful of fresh fruit
micro herbs and edible flowers (optional)
Start by heating the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat with the almond milk. Place all the remaining waffle ingredients, including the melted coconut oil and almond milk, into a bowl and mix well.
Heat up the waffle iron and dab or brush with coconut oil. I use the small waffle iron where the waffles come out looking like a four-leaf clover. Ladle some of the batter mixture into the iron and cook until super crispy.
While the waffles are cooking, pimp up the coconut yoghurt with lemon zest, maple syrup and the vanilla, stirring to combine.
Once the waffles have been cooked, serve with a dollop of the coconut yoghurt, fruits, micro herbs and edible flowers, if using, and drizzle with maple syrup.
'Happy Food: Fast, Fresh, Simple Vegan' by Bettina Campolucci Bordi (Hardie Grant, £20) photography © Nassima Rothacker
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