Being an adult usually means that I don’t get to see my best friend as often as I’d like to – yay for responsibilities! Luckily this week our diaries aligned perfectly and it just so happened we could have brunch together unexpectedly. Since we were shopping in Shoreditch we decided to try out the insta-worthy restaurant based in Old Spitalfields market – Blixen.
The newest family member to the Clive Watson group of Riding House Cafe, Village East & Garrison fame- Blixen has a similar feel but with a unique Spitalfields makeover.
The brasserie has a stunning interior reminiscent of grand European cafes (think cosy leather seats, terrazzo-tiled floor and a long cocktail bar) leading on to a gorgeous conservatory, filled with plants and cosy seating. If you’re worried about seating outdoors in winter you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s heaters and blankets.
I loved that the conservatory is an unexpected escape from the buzz of the city, overlooking the interior of the market. We walked in pretty much upon them opening only to be told we could only have a table for 45 minutes. Fine by us really, we only wanted to very quickly eat. Obviously we wanted to sit out in the conservatory and we’re told we probably wouldn’t get a seat because it’s fully booked – it was empty. After about 15 minutes of the hostess avoiding us she reluctantly came over and said we could eat in the conservatory but it’s extremely cold and we’d be rushed. I was beginning to feel like she didn’t want us to be in there!
Still we remained polite and said we’d put up with the cold. Since the heaters were on and blankets provided it was surprisingly warm.
The menu is very small and having quickly scanned over the it, I must admit I was slightly disappointed to see that there wasn’t much on the menu for available for vegetarians.
We opted for a grilled triple cheese sandwich with duxelles and piccalilli
Potato roost with spinach, poached egg & parmesan
Hummus and harissa served with toasted cracker bread.
For drinks we both ordered a ‘good time’ (lol) which is pear, pineapple and ginger. It was pleasant but nothing to rave about.
The food arrived promptly and looked pretty good. The hummus was lovely and the toasted cracker bread was a different touch. The rest of the food….well if I’m 100% honest, I liked the food but I didn’t love it. I wanted so much to love it and rave about it to you all but two things weren’t for me. Firstly the food lacked seasoning. I asked for chilli sauce (for the fries) and the waiter looked confused and slightly horrified.
Secondly the service. The actual waitress was lovely but the hostess who was reluctant to let us sit in the garden area irked me. Not so much at the beginning But more so as more people started to come in (who also hadn’t booked), she offered them a choice as to where they wanted to sit. In the whole time we were there, no one else actually came to sit in the terrace area, so I’m still perplexed as to where all these bookings were.
All in all, the interior and attention to detail is just beautiful. I do love a simple menu, however with so many top notch brasseries opening up, the food has to be a little bit more adventurous for my tastebuds.
Would I recommend Blixen? Perhaps for a coffee or drinks, for the food? Not so much.