Tucked away in North London’s most notorious market, The Camden Grocer is a modern pantry where deli gems and UK products take centre stage on an array of shelves (literally, it’s an actual shop brought to you by three big names in the food stores game: Scott Winston, Matthew Bunch and Alec Paterson). My question? Can they also handle a kitchen running brunch on weekends?
Tucked at the end of the labyrinth that is the market, doors at The Camden Grocer are wide open to give outsiders a sneaky glance of some of the finest food and drink in the biz. The products, ranging from chocolate, honey and pasta to coffee, vinegar and wine all radiate luxury (which makes sense, most are endorsed by the Great Taste Awards). Dedicated to giving North London's epicureans quite the place to play, the space itself is a stylishly fashioned delicatessen with open counters, shelves and drink fridges all lined up as a showcase of further products; think cured beef, mutton, cheese and more.
Time to get down to the nitty gritty: coffee and brunch. Despite the menu only offering four brunch choices, alongside a couple of deli boards and sides, it wasn’t easy to pick, so I started with a coffee. Or at least what I thought was a coffee. Beauty in the shape of beans, Dark Woods, ladies and gentlemen, is a coffee brand that I now daren't leave behind. While you should taste it for yourselves, just know that my flat white was a gorgeous slurry of smooth arabica cutting through the velvet of oat milk.
Now gooey-eyed over glugs of caffeine, we ordered. I went for the Shakshuka of baked eggs with a rich and spicy tomato and pepper sauce (£7.95) (add feta and chorizo for only £1 extra); plentiful and thick, the rich tomato sauce came with a punchy kick at the end of every bite thanks to the perfect dose of spice. For my cheese loving pal? The Parmesan Rarebit with lemon courgette ribbons on sourdough toast (£8.95). A welcomed overload of cheese cut with a refreshing spin of courgette and lemon, it might be one of London’s sexiest takes on cheese on toast.
Not to be outdone by the four brunch options (no qualm, the minimal offering adds to the charm), we also added a charcuterie board to the table with three deli meats chosen by the chef on the day. Standing out was the juniper cured beef, thinly sliced, with bitter undernotes and just the right level of saltiness.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Foodie? Then I think that The Camden Grocer needs to be added to your list. While we loved dining in, and the rarebit will have us coming back for more, it’s the shopping aspect (and the products within) that make The Camden Grocer so unique. My one stipulation? YOU HAVE TO BUY THE COFFEE.