Brunch at Caravan

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The more I go to London, the less I like it. It's expensive, crowded and it takes forever to get from one place to the other. Like, I swear that it takes longer to get from the platform on Kings Cross all the way down to the Victoria line than it does to get across the whole of Leeds. However, I can forgive London its sins when it comes to food, because whilst we have all sorts of deliciousness here in Leeds, there is just so much more choice in London. So when I went down last weekend to do some bridesmaid shopping with some of my favourite ladies, the first order of the day was brunch. Which, given that I had got up at 5.45 on a Saturday, was very much needed by the time I arrived at 9.30am. This woman cannot live on peppermint tea alone, that is for sure. Fear not, however, for I had done my research and promptly marched my friends down the road to Caravan.

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I'm always a bit nervous when I suggest somewhere new for us to go - I worry that it won't live up to expectations and it will be my fault that we had a bad meal. However, the queue outside the door (it doesn't open until 10am on a Saturday) reassured me on my choice, and as soon as I got inside and saw the menu, my fears were quelled. By 10.15 it was absolutely packed to the rafters with achingly cool brunchers - and for a large restaurant, that's no mean feat. Caravan has that industrial chic thing going on; it's situated in an old grain store with exposed brick and high ceilings. I want to call it hipster but is it hipster when it's everywhere nowadays? I feel like I don't know the meaning of that word anymore. Either way, I like it.

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The brunch menu is pretty exciting, and I wish we'd had longer to really enjoy a leisurely meal with maybe a couple of courses and a cocktail or two (breakfast cocktails are the bomb) but sadly we were on a mission so decisions had to be made and options eliminated. It was a slow process with a lot of agonising between waffles and toast, sweet and savoury. Although I was happy with my choice - there was plenty of menu envy that went around when everyone else's plates arrived.

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Caravan are very proud of their coffee - their website declares it as 'mighty fine' - and it's roasted on site. I wish I could tell you more about it, but I'm still not sure if I like coffee all that much and I certainly don't know anything about it - novice is too kind a word for my knowledge of coffee. For what it's worth, my latte was smooth and pretty tasty - and it looked beautiful. I was also charmed by the tiny milk bottles they brought to the table for Jess and Beth's tea. I'm twee and easily pleased, it's true.

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Food, however, I do know about and I can assure you that it was delicious. I went for the baked eggs with a tomato pepper ragout, served with Greek yoghurt and sourdough toast. The sauce eggs were well cooked with delicious runny yolks, the ragout was flavoursome and the Greek yoghurt a surprising but pleasing accompaniment (although it was a little difficult to eat out of the bowl - is that a bit awkward for me to admit?). The murmurs of approval and clean plates from my beautiful friends tells me that the other dishes were delicious, too - but I didn't get a chance to snaffle any of them! I was particularly jealous of the balsamic berry waffles with mascarpone - it's top of my list if I ever visit again!

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Whilst our shopping trip was an unmitigated disaster - we didn't get any dresses at all and we abandoned the endeavour for lunch at Wahaca instead - brunch was most definitely a success. It was also so lovely to catch up with three of my best friends - we definitely don't see each other enough and it was kind of fun to chat weddings (I don't feel like I'm becoming a wedding bore if they're actually going to be in the wedding party!). Brunch is most definitely my new favourite thing.