A Bigger than Expected Brunch at Inn the Park:
Brunch menus are often egg-heavy. Although I don’t ‘not-eat’ eggs if they are served to me, I’d never choose a dish like eggs Benedict or coddled eggs. I like omelettes, souffle and I’m quite happy with quail eggs or even with boiled egg bits in a kedgeree. But eggs cooked so you can see the yolk and white don’t work for me.
I’m beginning to think I need to try again, because it is entirely psychological – despite the fact that I eat meat, the idea that I am eating a baby chicken when I eat egg yolk just doesn’t work. One glance at the Set Brunch Menu at Inn the Park though makes it quite clear that I’m not going to have a problem. It’s actually a full blown light lunch menu with a small ribeye steak, fish and chips and wild mushroom wellington as some of the options for mains and with starters including eggs benedict but also a good range of ‘could be brunch or might not be’ type of dishes.
And, there were some fabulous botanical cocktails, which needless to say were far too much of a temptation for us, despite the rather healthier smoothies and freshly squeezed juices. Yes we should have been drinking ‘Berries Smoothie made with blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants with organic Cornish yoghurt’, Plum Smash or sparkling Thyme Lemonade but, we didn’t.
I ordered the potted shrimps with sourdough toast before the Hedonist could express a preference, so he ended up with oak smoked salmon with caper berries and lemon. Actually there is a good choice of starters and if I hadn’t set my heart on the potted shrimps I would probably have gone for pancakes with maple cured bacon and maple syrup. The shrimps proved to be the best of the dishes I ate, beautifully buttery with a little paprika spice and served with a couple of slices of sour dough bread. The Hedonist’s smoked salmon was nicely presented, good quality fish.
While I chose the fish and chips for my main course, the Hedonist went for smoked haddock kedgeree.
The fish was beautifully cooked, but both fish and chips were served on a bed of mushy peas. To me, the peas seemed a little tired and sadly, the puree took the edge off both chips and fish batter. That apart, the portion size was generous and the fish was fresh. Next time I’ll ask them to hold the peas though;)
The Hedonist’s Kedgeree had a perfectly cooked poached egg on top and my taste of the rice and haddock mixture was good, nicely cooked and lightly spiced.
Dessert was Conference Pear and Stem Ginger Crumble. There were other options on the menu, but actually in the middle of winter we both craved the comfort of a good crumble. I loved the flavour combination but yearned for just a little more crumble topping. Maybe I’m just a bit greedy?
Inn the Park was not quite what I expected from Peyton & Byrne and initially I wasn’t convinced. The building is divided into an informal restaurant and a park cafe. And, during the Christmas break, both the cafe and the restaurant were packed to the seams, mostly with large family groups. That meant that some of the shared facilities were a little overwhelmed and service stretched during peak lunch service, though things quietened down quickly.
But, the pricing (for the adult menu in the restaurant) is very keen. Two courses are £19.50 and three £23.50 and that includes unlimited tea, coffee or orange juice. There’s a kid’s menu for £7.50 for one course or £9.50 for two. And it’s refreshingly informal. I’d like to go back in summer when the roof terrace is open because the location is wonderful, just off the Mall in the middle of what is one of London’s prettiest parks.
This is somewhere to go with your family. Take your mum, your dad, your nephews and nieces. Send the children out to play in the park while you sip on cocktails or mocktails. Enjoy the ambience, sit on the terrace and eat some good, straightforward food.
I was invited to review the brunch menu at Inn The Park.
Inn the Park
St James’s Park
London SW1A 2BJ