They’re lucky the food’s good.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, exactly, when I went to Rose Bakery for brunch a few Sundays ago. Other than visions of sticky toffee puddings and Neal’s Yard cheeses, neither of which featured on the brunch menu, I guess I thought it would be an English tea room of the cozy, quaint sort. I was wrong.
The front of the shop features a bakery case, a small refrigerated case with cheeses (no Stichelton, though, sniff) and English beers, a few English pantry items, and crates of organic vegetables piled up around the perimeter. There’s a rather disorganized line of people, some waiting to make purchases, some paying for their meals, and some (like us) waiting for a table. Fortunately, as a party of two, Nick and I didn’t have to wait long.
We were seated in the back dining room, a room whose decor left me puzzled. Concrete floors, a bright orange Smeg refrigerator, flourescent lights hanging vertically on the walls… it was certainly more post-modern/poor man’s Dan Flavin than I had imagined. The menu was equally minimal. Bacon and eggs, salmon and eggs, savory tart of the day, coffee, tea. And on the expensive side. I have a hard time justifying paying 15 euros for simple, easy-for-me-to-make-at-home breakfast dishes like these, or 4.50 for a cup of tea, even if it is really good tea. Nick and I both ended up ordering the cheese scone with scrambled eggs and braised endives, because they were out of the savory tart, and I wanted something I couldn’t whip up myself in five minutes. Nick also ordered a coffee, and I splurged on a tea.
The coffee was served in a homey-yet-modern ceramic mug, and came with a cute little shortbread cookie. I eyed it hungrily and a bit jealously, as my tea had yet to arrive. Nick said that the coffee was good.