The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Pavilion Café, Victoria Park, Hackney

The Pavilion Café
Lakeside Pavilion
Victoria Park
E9 5DU (Map)

by Moose Lee

One moment Elliot’s café was there – close to my flat, cheap, charmingly unpopular – and the next, like Kaiser Soze, it was gone.

There was no “We Have Moved To Victoria Park” sign. No “You Will Find Us If Only You Open Your Heart.” Nothing.

This is my fault, I thought.

I should have written a more passionate review. I should have pleaded: “Residents of London, tell everyone to stop frying: Elliot’s have won breakfast.”

But no, I didn’t say that. I said that it was good but they’d cooked the sausages the wrong way – butterfly’d – and that I would have liked two instead of one.

Typical. I destroy everything I love.

But I underestimated the LRB’s subtle network of fry-up sensitive noses. It was soon discovered that Elliot’s had not disappeared but had, in fact, moved to the pavilion in Vicky park. Cathy Latte was quickly on the case but, I’m pleased to report, got distracted by a chip shop. You snooze you lose.

Me and Ms Lee got on our bikes – we actually did exercise to reach our hallowed breakfast.

Nervously, I asked them why Elliot’s moved from the old location, expecting the answer: “Well, there was this damning review of our sausages…”

But no, apparently the previous location was just the wrong size, it was empty during the weekdays and then when it was busy, there wasn’t enough room.

Guilt alleviated, I ordered my old favourite: a veggie breakfast with extra sausage and bacon. By God, my faith in the power of journalism was restored because, all the stuff that used to be perfect remained perfect – thick dark bacon, lovely bread, crushed avocado, home-made beans – and the sausages, they were stunning, uncut, full of juicy goodness. And two of them!

But. One thing. I can’t help myself…





The prices have gone up and, although the view of the lake is lovely, the venue’s a bit… well… paviliony.

I’m sorry!


Blogger London Review of Breakfasts said...

Does anyone out there know the official name of this cafe? I have been trying in vain to track down some kind of contact detail that works. They are that most admirable of things - a cafe with no web presence.


2:22 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Blake Pudding said...

I admire a man who orders a vegetarian breakfast with bacon. It shows a thrilling insouciance.
Like Steve McQueen or David Niven, you live by your own rules.

4:07 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Stefanie said...

This is great info. Thank you! I am moving to this area in near future. It is good to know.
Breakfast At stefanies

7:14 AM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parklife eastside just got fantastically better!

As a long-term dogwalkindude in Vicky Park, I've just got to say how much better the experience has got thanks to Rob, Gregg, Victoria and the rest of the lovely crew at the Pavilion Cafe.

Fantastic coffee - perfectly made (with cool leaf-like detail lovingly etched out by some miracle in the milk-froth), great original teas, hearty home-made soups, eggs with an organic golden-glow (blindingly akin to wotever was in that briefcase in Pulp-fiction), great muesli, incredible traditional english breakfasts (the veggie one has a dollop of avocado served up with it and it works a treat!)

I think its good value for a menu stacked full of organic produce....two quid for a super cup of organic/fairtrade coffee is good, three quid for two delicious organic eggs and two big toasts....totally fair.....superly served-up.....go there and enjoy the food and soak up the lakeside view....tell yourself for a while that, surely, this can't be some part of bustling London town I'm relaxing in....go late and catch the setting sun over the backdrop of distant Victorian spires and cormorants fanning their wings in that sculpted tree.....go early and wake up in style....go anytime - go local - eat local -

2:29 PM, March 13, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
T: 020 8980 0030

4:04 PM, March 29, 2008  
Anonymous Thea Potts said...

A pricey Full English, so it seemed (though one of the best Ive ever had (how can one portobello mushroom be so deeply rosemary-merry!), but other items of the menu are reasonably priced (6 quid for a burger is about right), so they must be justified. And builders tea is a pound; tea should never be more than a pound and so often is. This for me is ultimate proof of breakfast integrity.

5:53 PM, November 15, 2008  
Blogger Katherine Tyrrell said...

They do a very nice lunch too.

Incidentally that website address doesn't work.

8:00 PM, January 08, 2009  
Anonymous Blake Pudding said...

It's a good breakfast.
My quibbles are:
- The mushroom tasted overpoweringly of rosemary. A full english should not taste of fresh herbs.
- £9 for breakfast and tea is too much.
- The waitress in the short shorts didn't laugh at my jokes.

2:05 PM, June 06, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to absolutely love this place. Nothing like a big old full english breakfast and a healthy-sized mug of caffeine to kick-start a Saturday. Used to go there rain or shine and pick from an excellent variety of menu choices. Service was always with a smile, no matter how busy they were. And if there was something you wanted (or didn't) from the the choices available, the owner would always try to accomodate your wishes.

However, I went there a couple of weekends ago on a very sunny, busy Saturday and was shocked to discover that they had put the prices up (they were already quite high, but fair for the level of service and quality of food).

Worse than that though, the service was extremely slow and we had finished our coffees by the time our food arrived. The guy that brought us our food was very surly and didn't seem to offer the same spark and passion the place once had in abundance.

Shame. I am hopeful that this was just a case of bad timing. The size of the coffee cup has halved, while the prices have doubled, which is never a great sign...

It was still buzzing with customers though, so despite everything, they are still doing something right...and the pancakes were to die for, even if they did take about 40 minutes to arrive.

It is missing that same spark though. I only hope it gets it back as this used to be a lovely place in an ideal setting.

2:08 PM, September 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im a regular coffee for £2 isnt steep I just hope the get a bigger kitchen as the regulars are growing by the week , the staff are pretty consistent warm friendly and local . shame the summer is so short still the best place in london to get my Sunday early [get there before the crowds ] fry up from and a walk round the park . Tried a few places just to see whats out there keep the faith because the rest is pretty poor

7:42 PM, September 25, 2009  
Anonymous VJ said...

I went today having heard about the legendary all day breakfast.

Legendary it most definitely is - legendarily expensive! At £20:50 for food and drink I expect a meal that surpasses all expectations. What I and my girlfriend had was good but most definitely not worth what we paid. I have no doubt that the exorbitant prices are the reason the tip box on the counter is so obviously empty.

Shall give it a miss in future.

6:38 PM, February 14, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comically expensive.

11:36 PM, August 03, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe once they did large cups of coffee. No more. They only do small glass coffees for £2.10. They taste good but are not good value. In fact the whole place is over-priced.

The Victoria Park Village website says they close at 5 pm. Not true. They are closed by 4 pm.

If you are hoping for afternoon tea to pleasant mood music be prepared for the booming crass pop.

When I asked them at 3.30 pm if they could put on some quieter more relaxing music they said they put on the loud crap to get rid of their customers.

Also you would think a cafe worth the name might be open for the busiest part of the day - tea-time - especially in summer.

Either Tower Hamlets Council has imposed absurd conditions or they are making so much money they can't be bothered about the punters.

They need competion.

10:53 PM, March 06, 2013  

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