The National Cafe: Review

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School holidays seem to come round more often than I ever anticipated and as soon as H returns to school, she seems to break up again!

I’m fortunate enough to say that work is flexible so when H is off, I can fill our days with activities.  On the most part, we are creatures of habit so the first half of the week tends to be repetitive and routine.  But yesterday, we did something completely different and packed ourselves onto a bus into to Central London.

Art galleries and museums are something I used to take for granted as a child.  I fondly remember the trips I used to take with my mum – the efforts she took to try and spark my interest were exceptionally impressive; always engaging with me, telling me the history of the artist and paintings.  She really knows her stuff!

So when I was invited to review The National Cafe at the National Gallery, I was a little bit hesitant to bring H as I certainly had some big shoes to fill and assumed that she was too young for the experience.  How wrong I was.

The National Cafe has recently relaunched a new brunch menu by Oliver Peyton (you may be familiar with Peyton and Byrne) and has focused on offering a healthy take on all the brunch classics.  Think of shashouka, eggs, açai bowls, poke, granola, avocado toast etc.

They have also created an kid’s menu which features an array of pastries, eggs, pancakes and of course something more substantial for lunch – think, fish and chips, chicken, burgers.

We arrived just before the lunch buzz and I loved the simplistic but tasteful decor of the cafe – the pastel colours filled the room with warmth and brought on an instant feeling of calm after finding our way through the crowds just outside.

It didn’t take me long to choose my meal:

Avocado on sourdough toast with organic feta, chilli, tomato topped off with a poached egg.  And of course my signature drink on the side, an almond milk mocha.

H went for fish fingers and chips along with a fresh watermelon and mint juice.

Whilst waiting for the food to arrive we discussed the artists that were exhibiting and made an origami bird which was provided to us along with step by step instructions.

Our food did not disappoint.  I’ll talk about the fish and chips first because they reminded us of our favourite hotel in Greece.  The fish fingers were packed full of fresh fish and came in quantity.  More than enough for a hungry little.  H devoured them.

   

My food was equally delicious and I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to avocado toast.  The drinks were equally impressive and I have to say the mocha I was served was one of the best I’ve had in London.

I was somewhat tempted by the desert menu but held off (I won’t make that mistake again) as H didn’t share her ice cream with me!!

We stayed seated for well over an hour because we were so relaxed.  The staff were brilliant and exceptionally accommodating to our needs.

We then headed upstairs to walk around the gallery and a sudden burst of nostalgia kicked in when I saw artwork that I visited with my mum all those years ago.  H asked me to take photos of her favourite masterpieces and she was then invited to create her own.  An abstract workshop was running and H designed a robot.  This kept her somewhat occupied and made the experience even more enjoyable.  I love the efforts that The National Gallery have taken to make sure that visiting is a fun and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Until next time 🙂