Thursday 10 January 2019

Edith's House - Crouch End

59 The Broadway
Crouch End
N8 8DT

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday - 9am till 5pm
Saturday - 10am till 6pm
Sunday - 10am till 5pm

Breakfast served until 4pm
Dogs welcome

A dog friendly cafe which looks like your Nan's house, serving breakfast and brunch until 4pm. I'd even heard it was possible to dine on the toilet, I just had to find out more!

We walked from Archway station and 30 minutes later we found Edith's House on The Broadway in Crouch End.

Beside the counter is the sitting room complete with family photos, kitsch ceramics and a knitting basket.

If you choose to dine in the bedroom there's a sewing table to eat at.

If sitting at a more traditional table is your thing then head to the dining room.

I had my heart set on dining on the toilet though and couldn't believe my luck when I discovered it was vacant! My wife wasn't so keen but I talked her into it eventually.

On the wall of the toilet was a fruit pastel light fitting and in the corner a delightful toilet roll doll and even authentic M&S toiletries!

We were feeling quite parched from walking the streets of London since dawn so we ordered some cordial. It's served in small bottles with sparkling or spring water to dilute it with and a glass filled with ice. I can highly recommend the sour cherry cordial, delicious!

The menu features a varied selection of breakfast options including build your own with the option to add extras. Strangely sausages don't feature anywhere on the menu though, this was a first.

The glass covered sink beside the toilet provided just enough space for our food and drink. If you're feeling brave after eating you can weigh yourself on the set of scales underneath the sink.

At first glance the breakfasts looked quite impressive, time to take a closer look.

The fried eggs had nice runny yolks but also very runny whites.

The bacon was well cooked and slightly dry. Sauces are served in small pots, I highly recommend the chilli jam.

The beans were served in a glass pot with a wooden spoon. I simply poured the beans out and put the spoon to the side wondering what its purpose was.

The potato cake made a nice change and the fried bread was light and delicious, the perfect base for the fried eggs.

The large flat mushroom was exceptional.

Although hard to identify, the slow roasted tomatoes were packed full of flavour. I was missing the presence of a sausage on this breakfast but the excellent black pudding briefly distracted me from this.

I was slightly envious of my wife's vegan breakfast.

A few weeks ago my wife showed me the Edith's House Instagram page and I knew I just had to visit, preferably to eat a breakfast on the bog! I loved the concept of a cafe which had recreated a nostalgic space which feels liked you've stepped into your Nan's house. As luck would have it my wife had booked a day in London visiting The Shard for a Christmas present. She'd also reserved a table at Edith's House so I would be experiencing this quirky cafe much sooner than I'd expected. Having stuffed my face at Borough Market and admired the views from The Shard we headed North to Crouch End. The nearest tube station was Archway, from there it was about a 30 minute walk until Edith's House was finally in sight...

Upon entering - You step from 2019 back to the 1970's as soon as you walk through the door. To your right is the counter with a very tempting display of homemade cakes, these didn't hold my attention for very long though as there was so much more to see around me. On the left was Edith's living room complete with family photo's, some knitting, a sofa and a coffee table, definitely the ideal spot to enjoy tea and cake. Next was the kitchen and dining room, the tables and chairs in this area made it the perfect spot to eat a meal. As you make your way towards the rear of the cafe you'll also find the toilet area where I insisted on sitting, my wife wasn't sharing my enthusiasm though! Sitting on the toilet whilst eating your food off the glass topped sink was actually quite comfortable, my wife sat opposite on a towel covered washing basket. Behind us was a corridor leading to a bedroom with sewing table and the actual toilets. The attention to detail is impressive, there's no end of things to discover as you look around you. There's full table service here so once seated you can make yourself at home and everything including menus will be brought over to you. Sauces are served in small pots and you can settle the bill on your way out. It's not often I say this but I was more excited about experiencing the environment than the food here and it definitely impressed me! 9/10

Service - My wife had made a reservation online but when we arrived we sensed that perhaps the reservation hadn't been noted as there was no specific table reserved for us. As it turned out though this ended up being a bonus as we got to dine in the toilet themed area which I'd been hoping to sit in.  We were given menus and enough time to decide what we wanted before somebody returned to take our order. Sauce options were given and moments later the drinks arrived, not long after this the food arrived too. On the way out we settled our bill at the counter. The service was warm and welcoming which is what you'd hope for in such a homely looking establishment. 8/10

Contents - Black pudding, 3 rashers of bacon, 2 fried eggs, flat mushroom, potato cake, fried bread, slow roasted tomato and spicy coriander beans. Sauces available are ketchup, brown sauce and chilli jam. 7/10

Presentation - The presentation was quite good but what immediately stood out was the uncooked egg white lurking around the yolks. My wife suggested returning the eggs but knowing it would most likely result in us eating separately I decided to brave the dreaded egg snot. The beans were served in a ramekin with a long wooden spoon perched on top. The wooden spoon seemed slightly pointless as I simply poured the beans out, despite not using it I did quite like the wooden spoon though as it somehow matched the retro setting.  The tomatoes were barely recognisable but all the other items were arranged on the plate quite neatly. 6/10

The food - The thick slices of black pudding were excellent, good quality with a great flavour and texture. The smoked bacon was overcooked though and as a result of this it was pretty dry and a tad chewy. The eggs had definitely been cooked on a high heat too quickly, this resulted in crispy bottoms and uncooked egg white surrounding the yolks. It made a nice change to have a potato cake on a breakfast and I thoroughly enjoyed it by dipping it into the delicious chilli jam. The beans were listed on the menu as spicy coriander beans but to be honest I'd have never guessed that, they tasted like standard beans to me. I loved how the fried bread was cooked here, crispy but not dripping in oil. I also loved the flat mushroom, really juicy with heaps of flavour. The slow roasted tomatoes although quite shrivelled up did taste amazing. The tomato is something I'm not usually fussed about on a breakfast but here it was one of the highlights. So a good breakfast but let down a bit by the cooking times of the bacon and eggs. 7/10

Value for money - Edith's cooked breakfast cost £11.50, this seemed quite a high price for a breakfast that doesn't contain my favourite item, the sausage. Also I don't recall getting 3 slices of bacon as it stated on the menu. It's difficult to tell how filling this breakfast was as I'd been eating all morning at Borough Market before arriving here. I did manage to finish it quite easily though. It certainly seemed like a decent sized breakfast and you do have the option of adding extras, you'd need quite deep pockets to do so though. 5/10

Veggie/vegan option - Chickpea and cashew nut patty, half a roasted red pepper, garlic infused kale, hummus, fried bread, grilled flat mushroom, spicy coriander beans and slow roasted tomatoes. Cost £11.50.

Overall - Edith's House is definitely worth visiting for the novelty value alone, the interior is incredible and the option to eat breakfast whilst sitting on the toilet is quite an experience! The breakfast was certainly nice enough in places but the lack of a sausage made it feel a bit incomplete to me. With it being so off the beaten track I'd probably not return here again, but if I did I would definitely choose the vegan breakfast next time as it looked far more impressive to me. 7/10