My best friend had mentioned The Barge House’s specialty “Breakfast In Bread” to me a while ago and we gushed over the Instagram photos (lol). We were so eager to try it out that we even attempted to visit during the week but sadly it didn’t work out so this weekend we planned it properly to see what the fuss was all about.
The Barge House is easy to get to as it’s a short walk away from Haggerston station and if you take the car like we did then there’s lots of parking nearby. The address is 64a but you do have to go round the back from canal side and you guyssss, the setting is just perfect, both quaint and cute. The two storey restaurant overlooks Regent’s canal and they’ve even decorated the interior with falling fairy lights. I loved it!
We had booked our table for 10 and as we made our way to the restaurant, we realised that the queue was actually out the door.
As we neared the front of the queue the host showed us our table which was thankfully upstairs (downstairs seemed a little bit crowded for my liking).
The menu was simple and only had 5 options, all with the same premise – Breakfast in bread.
Side note: This is a separate menu for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, during the week they have a different menu.
So what exactly is it? Well Breakfast in Bread is a bespoke sourdough loaf hollowed out and packed with all your breakfast favourites.
Not only is it a cute pun on word, from a business perspective it’s genius and aethestically…well let’s be honest, it’s definitely worth going on the ‘gram! All they had to do now was pass the taste test.
The waitress came over quickly and both S and I opted for the vegetarian option. This is filled with slow roasted tomato, spinach, leeks, oyster mushrooms, avocado, asparagus, topped with a free range egg and sprinkled with cheese. Sounds good, right?
There was water on the table which was great but I noticed there were no condiments at all. Not even salt and pepper. I remember distinctly thinking, you’ve got to be really very confident in your food to not even have the salt and pepper out.
The wait for the food was…a while but considering just how busy it was, it really wasn’t that long.
Both our breakfasts arrived on a slate board and it was up to us to transfer it on to our plates. Since it all sits in the loaf, it’s really no bother.
I was really very impressed straight away. The food smelt amazing and looked so cute. I couldn’t wait to dig in.
Despite the lack of condiments I was really glad that they provided sharp knives because the sourdough bread is pretty tough to cut into, especially if, like me, you have really weak hands. As the food gets cooler, the bread gets more and more tough to cut so don’t take too long taking your snaps.
I quickly managed to figure out how best to dig into my dish (FYI working inside out helps)and honestly it tasted SO good. It was really really flavoursome, tbh more so than I had expected! Turns out that salt and pepper wasn’t needed after all!
The entire thing is cooked fresh and you can really tell. It’s good food but of course that comes at a price. The vegetarian Breakfast in Bread is £14 which initially sounds pretty steep however, it’s a concept (my new fave phrase lol). You’re paying for something you wouldn’t get elsewhere and I guess the location is pretty too.
It’s also worth noting that they also have a vegan option available!
My only slight complaint is the customer service. The waitress we had was just…well rude. She clearly didn’t want to be there. There was no smiles and no checking if we were ok. I noticed that other reviewers on Tripadvisor have said the same. I honestly think that a much more relaxed, happier vibe would take this place up a notch.
Would I visit again? Definitely. But probably in the summer when the weather is nicer and you can stroll down the canal.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Just be warned that the service is a bit hit and miss.