Village East, Bermondsey

Bermondsey Street is one of London’s most flourishing food destinations, and certainly a gem of the South London food scene. With Jose Pizarro boasting not just one, but two restaurants on the one street and Zucca doing well for the Italian side of things, it’s easy to see why.

One (slightly) lesser-known Bermondsey Street diamond-in-the-rough is Village East. When we decided upon a last minute trip for a bank holiday Monday brunch, many of the usual suspects were booked up but not taking reservations. Last time I visited Village East was for a wine-fuelled pre-Christmas catch up with the girls, but I remembered reading good things about their brunch menu and a couple of tweets later, we were all booked in.

Inside, Village East basically encompasses the phrase “shabby chic.” The chairs don’t match; the sofa upholstery is all ripped and coming away from the cushions; there is a vintage, 70s-style TV behind the bar. But it’s all so very charming. I perched myself on the sofa while Matthew went for an old school wooden armchair, and we perused the expansive brunch menu while waiting for his sister.

I only had to have a quick glance over the menu before deciding on the campfire breakfast: BBQ beans, pork shoulder, and fried eggs. Um, yes.

The others went a bit more upmarket with lobster eggs benedict (a novel idea if ever I’ve heard one), and steak & eggs.

And as the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed – yes, we had to order pancakes for the table. I’ve officially adopted this tactic from my dad and to be honest, it’s basically the best idea ever. Nobody gets pancake envy, and nobody gets that gross “oh-my-god-I-just-ate-my-weight-in-pancakes” feeling either.

These particular pancakes were delicious – lighter and thinner than the Breakfast Club’s offering, and with a v. satisfying amount of maple syrup. YUM and a solid decision. Also, I should add that although my portion size was great, both the others’ were definitely on the small side so this “little” side dish was actually needed.

We finished things off with another round of coffee for the others, and a tea for me – I loved the cute little milk bottles.

Although the service wasn’t quite as good this time as last time I visited (it was efficient, but not overly friendly), the vibe in VE was just as laidback, super relaxed and cool as it was last time. It’s only a ten minute walk from London Bridge (which, let’s be honest, is lacking in options other than Borough Market) and it’s well worth a visit, whatever time of day!