Cost- well under £5 for pastries/£10 for hot breakfast plus coffee.
Highlight- a perfectly poached egg
Lowlight- not really
You may remember Cafe a Vin, a pleasantly pokey bar and brasserie at the back of the Galvin brothers’ triumph that is La Chapelle in Spitalfields. You may not remember any such thing if you aren’t a city of London type, and that’s ok.
The days of Cafe a Vin came to an end last year to make way for the posh-beer-trendy, shimmery copper pipe boasting ‘Galvin Hop’- a pub. A very nice pub, serving proper and unpasteurised beers with a suitably meat-and-fried-stuff menu accompaniment which is less far removed from the usual Galvin signature than you might think. It is city casual and reasonably priced with a blokey slant and mild sprinkling of Americanisms around the edges- not least of all in the concept of serving breakfast (and later in the day hotdogs) from a To-Go window.
We took breakfast at Hop to warm up for a day watching the London Marathon in April. It was cold and it was early and it was a blessing that their coffee was excellent, as we arrived unfashionably too early to meet the rest of our party. Also excellent is the warmth of their front of house team but this is what I have now come to expect from projects ala Galvin-fresh and well executed food and drink with shining but unobtrusive service. Yes the menus and themes differ across their growing locations but the core is the same: Simple Quality.
The breakfast menu at Hop is brief but ample at the same time, ideal for their core target customer nipping past on the way to the office. It is also beyond acceptable if you are in the area and feel like sitting in from 9ish on a weekend to break your fast slowly with the papers. You can expect builder and hangover friendly classics in their maplecured bacon roll (get a fried egg on that too, trust me) and also foodier options involving poached eggs and spinach, smoked salmon or crushed avocado.
I’m going to take a moment here to offer my intense thanks for those poached eggs with their warm flowing yolks, spilling forth in rich loveliness. So many, many places that offer breakfast totally toss up a poached egg, by which I mostly mean overcook it. A solid egg yolk is something of a sadness in almost all manifestations but none moreso than when poached. These were utterly perfect.
I don’t really feel a need to go on, or indeed to have much more to say on this. To rattle off further praise seems both obvious and unnecessary- if you’ve had the Galvin pleasure before you know what to expect. If you haven’t then I’ll wager that a visit to Hop at any time won’t dissapoint you. It’s a good breakfast at what is a very reasonable price given the geography. Give them a go.