Over the summer, while working at Street Feast events, I met a lovely girl called Victoria "Plum" and discovered her website Plumdiddlyumcious, a pretty lifestyle blog about fashion, food and London. After talking about photography a few times, Plum asked me to share a few photographic tips with her, which I was very happy to do.
We arranged a meet-up in her stomping ground, Hackney, and obviously coffee and food were involved in the plan! After much pondering over where to have brunch, we decided to try a fairly new restaurant and bar in Hoxton called Beagle.
Beagle opened last Spring and it's been on my to-do list ever since. They offer a seasonal and hearty British menu prepared by Yorkshire-born Head Chef James Ferguson (formerly at Rochelle Canteen) and some of my friends had already tried and liked it.
I walked past it a few times on summer evenings (on my way to catch the Overground train) and there was always a buzzy atmosphere, with chatters coming from the outdoor tables. It's the kind of place you walk past and wish you could stop for a drink.
We chose Beagle for our photographic meet-up because it's a bright space with abundant day light, thanks to the high windows underneath the three railway arches. I loved the lofty style and combination of exposed brick walls with reclaimed furniture, such as old railway sleepers used for the wooden floor (Beagle is the name of the first steam train to cross the arches where the restaurant is located - quote Square Meal).
On the inside, Beagle is formed by three wide and airy rooms, one which features a long cocktail bar. In front of the restaurant, on the pedestrian side of Geffrye Street, there is a courtyard cordoned by low plants, creating a lovely outdoor eating space.
The other thing that attracted us about Beagle was of course the brunch menu. While dinner and drinks at Beagle may leave you with a hefty bill, the brunch menu is well priced and affordable with average costs of £8-10, which are fairly standard in London.
I don't drink alcohol for brunch, so I ordered a cappuccino instead. The coffee beans used at Beagle come from local Hackney roasters Climpson & Sons.
Our food choices were: Home Cured Salmon & Scrambled Eggs for Plum and Cinnamon French Toast with Summer Berries & Creme Fraiche for me.
I would usually eat French Toasts covered in syrup, but in this case a dollop of cream and the fresh juicy berries provided the perfect pairing for the sugary toasts.
I cleaned up my plate and ate every last crumble and bit of cream! :)
The service was friendly and attentive throughout our stay. We spent a long time taking photos of the food and styling our table and I am glad we didn't get any annoyed looks from the waitresses. On the contrary, they were very curious about what we were doing and they were happy to chat with us about cameras and photography. It was great being able to take as much time we needed, without feeling like we had to hurry up and leave our table.
I would definitely recommend trying Beagle for brunch, it's such a beautiful restaurant with lovely food in a fantastic location.