Monday 18 January 2016

Cafe on the lane - South Woodford

180 George Lane
South Woodford
E18 1AY

Breakfast served all day

Opening hours
Monday to Friday - 8am till 5pm
Saturday - 9am till 5pm
Sunday - 9am till 3pm

South Woodford is in North East London and can be easily reached on the central line.

Cafe on the lane is roughly 5 minutes walk from the tube station.

The outside seating area here looks great, with temperatures struggling to get above freezing though we head straight inside.

The kitchen is located at the back, a row of small tables line each side of the cafe.

A good selection of breakfasts are available all day.

Don't forget to check out the surprise guests, the bubble & squeak is the star of the show! 

Everything you need is already on the table.

A large Americano cost £1.80, a great mug of coffee and served piping hot.

The headliner with black pudding and bubble & squeak added as extras came to £10.60.

Here's a birds eye view of this impressive looking breakfast.

On the left side was a pair of Cumberland sausages, some toast and a nicely cooked fried egg that really didn't need to be garnished.

Taking centre stage was black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes and some nicely reduced beans.

Over on the right side was the bacon and some seriously impressive bubble & squeak.

The delicious Cumberland sausages were plump and juicy.

The bubble & squeak is served in two hefty slabs, the best I've ever tasted for sure!

My wife chose the vegetarian summer solstice breakfast costing £6.50, she swapped the egg for extra mushrooms.

Ever since I spotted Cafe on the lane's headliner breakfast over on The Fry Up Police facebook page I've been keen to head along there to try it for myself. My wife and I had a day in London planned so we caught the 6.30am train from Norwich to London to ensure we arrived in time for breakfast. Once at Liverpool Street station we simply jumped on the central line to South Woodford...

Upon entering - The outside decking area really caught my eye, it looked like a great place to sit on a nice warm day, today was freezing though so we headed inside. The kitchen is located at the rear with a row of tables on each side of the cafe. The tables were already set with menus, cutlery wrapped in serviettes and condiments, sauce is brought over later. Once seated somebody comes along and takes your order, there's full table service here, before leaving just head over to the counter to settle your bill. To start with we were the only customers here and there were issues with the heating so a pair of oil filled radiators had been brought in as a temporary measure. We sat beside one of the radiators which kept us warm enough, the other one didn't seem to be working but another customer arrived and seemed to get it working. Before long another customer arrived, a lady in her 70's that had just celebrated her birthday last Thursday and was off out to lunch later in the day, she'd lived in the area for 50 years. Something immediately became apparent here, everyone was so friendly and enjoyed chatting, this was clearly an important place for locals to meet up and chat. I really enjoyed the time we spent here, a real pleasure chatting to the locals over breakfast too! 9/10

Service -  We were made to feel welcome as soon as we got through the door, the staff explained the temporary heating problem so we choose a table next to the portable radiator and were told blankets were available too if we wanted any. We were offered drinks first and once they arrived our order was taken. I ordered the headliner with extra black pudding and bubble & squeak, my wife ordered the summer solstice and was able to swap the egg for extra tomatoes. Everything was going smoothly until a backstage pass (scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted sourdough) arrived at the table, an error had been made and my wife's veggie breakfast hadn't been started yet. The staff were really apologetic though and offered her a free cup of tea which was a nice gesture. Moments later my headliner breakfast arrived but there was no bubble & squeak on the plate, this had been forgotten but soon arrived on a side plate. I then went on to eat nearly half of my breakfast before my wife's finally arrived, these kind of mix ups usually really frustrate me as I like to be eating at the same time as my wife. On this occasion though it really wasn't the end of the world as the food was so good and the staff dealt with it the best they could getting the correct breakfasts to us as quickly as possible. We headed to the counter to pay before leaving and was asked if everything was ok. 8/10

Contents - 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 slices of black pudding, bubble & squeak, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, beans, half a tomato and a slice of buttered toast. 9/10

Presentation - The Headliner breakfast with both extras is certainly an amazing sight. It sits beautifully together on the large oval plate with elements that other breakfasts often lack, nice stodgy beans and impressive slabs of bubble and squeak. I really didn't think the green garnish on the egg was needed at all though, this breakfast is visually strong enough without it. 9/10

The food - The Cumberland sausages were evenly browned with a firm texture and great taste, an excellent choice of sausage for this breakfast. The bacon was nicely griddled and the black pudding crisp outside with a soft centre, just how I like it. The egg was beautifully cooked, It went on top of the toast and I cut into the yolk, it seeped out proudly. The tomato was nicely cooked and full of flavour and the beans were just how I like them, in a nicely reduced sauce. The highlight for me though was without a doubt the bubble and squeak, a delicious blend of potato and veg with a nice coarse texture and browned both sides. Without a doubt the best bubble & squeak I've ever had the pleasure of eating! It was all served piping hot and it really couldn't have been any better than it was so a well deserved 10/10

Value for money - The Headliner cost £6.95, black pudding £1.25 and bubble & squeak £2.40 making a total price of £10.60. Quite an expensive breakfast but so far from your average breakfast it's certainly worth the price! 8/10

Veggie option - Summer solstice breakfast - £6.50
Bubble & squeak, 1 fried egg, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and toasted sourdough. 

Overall - This place is certainly a breakfast hotspot that's well worth visiting, jump on the central line next time you're in London and head to South Woodford, you won't regret it! The mix up with the orders was no big deal as they dealt with it very efficiently. You'll feel right at home here as the staff and customers are really friendly and welcoming, this place has so much character and a really nice atmosphere. The main reason for visiting though is of course the breakfast, they're serving up a stunner here and it's home to the best bubble & squeak I've ever tried! 9/10



  1. Wow! Thank you so much for the comments, we are all passionate about our breakfasts. Well chuffed !
    Debs (cafe on the lane)

  2. No 'Fry Up Inspector Recommended' sticker?

    1. They are eligible and I've offered them a sticker. If they want one I will send it and happily add them to the recommended section!

  3. I am a regular customer of the cafe and I can say the food quality and service are amazing. You will never regret after visiting there.