Brunch at L’Eto Caffee, Wardour Street
What: The 2011 original branch (there are 6 around London) deserves more attention than it gets, with a breakfast menu the size of a standard restaurant’s entire menu
Where: In the heart of Soho on Wardour Street, W1F, a road renowned for its impressive array of must-visit restaurants and cafes.
Why: I’d walked past this place numerous times, and promised myself I’d visit numerous times. So when the opportunity arose for breakfast on a weekday morning nearby Oxford Circus, it was the first place that came to mind.
You’d be forgiven for thinking L’Eto was of a similar ilk to many of the other chains dotted around, a place to reenergise until you were ready to return to the manic main road full of frantic shoppers. It neighbours the infamous Hummingbird Bakery, which is possibly why it’s been overshadowed over the years, but does it’s very best to tempt passers-by with delicious pastries and cakes. And I appreciate the effort.
But having stopped and perused the menu one of the many times I walked past, I knew L’Eto offered more than a flaky pastry and coffee combo (although if this was on offer, I certainly wouldn’t complain). What attracted me to the place was the breakfast-cum-brunch menu, which was extensive and well-considered.
I’m usually an eggs royale kind of girl – give me an English muffin and a bunch of yummy breakfast foods piled high with hollandaise sauce and I’m content. But sometimes I go the other way and crave something extremely sweet, which is how I felt that morning. However, whether you opt for something sweet or savoury, I can guarantee you’ll be spoilt for choice here.
Even the classics are given a sprinkle of L’Eto charm and made extra special. A nutella crepe is combined with berries, and eggs are given a kick with morrocan spices. And why have a vanilla latte when you can have a lavender vanilla latte? Obviously I opted for the latter, and yes, it was delicious.
To satisfy my sweet tooth further, I chose the apple pancakes with berries and vanilla cream for my main. I worried that the apple would make the batter soggy, but somehow, miraculously, it didn’t. The pancakes were light and fluffy, with a dusting of cinnamon to compliment the apple. Along with the vanilla cream and ever-so-slightly tart berries (to stop it veering on sickly), I never wanted the dish to end.
In order to offset the indulgence, I took advantage of the design-a-juice option, which is new to the Soho branch. You can pick as many ingredients as you like, and the staff will blend them together – although you’re solely responsible for the outcome! I played it safe with ginger, apple and spinach, and it was a refreshing end to an impressive meal.
The one thing I will say is that the service wasn’t incredible – we had to re-order our drinks 20 minutes after we’d placed our original order, and the food did take a long time to arrive. But all was forgiven after that first sip, and first bite. It’s worth the wait. And with a menu as extensive and delicious as theirs, I’ll be back, regardless.