The London Particular, New Cross

Named by The Guardian as South London's Best Budget Eats, this small but memorable café has become known amongst the New Cross locals as the place to go for great, fresh food served by welcoming smiles. Located at 399 New Cross Road, The London Particular is a stone's throw away from the station. An excellent location and yet, there were no queues of hungry mouths on a Sunday lunch time for brunch. This isn't always a bad thing though as it meant my friend and I had no problems getting a seat. It is indeed very small but not cramped. The venue seats a total of around 15 people.

We started off with a hot drink which was offered to us as soon as we walked in, a great idea I thought as this gave us time to look at the menu, have a bit of a natter and then order the food with our drink. The cappuccino was remarkably good. It was very smooth, not bitter and was served with chocolate on top, just how I like it.

The London Particular offers a brunch and lunch menu on the weekends which combine all of your guilty pleasures like halloumi cheese, bacon, sourdough bread (ugh, yes my favourite things) with really fresh, seasonal produce so that you're not left feeling stuffed. I couldn't resist ordering the biggest option on the menu, the 'Particular Brunch Bowl' priced at a very reasonable £8.00. This consisted of Merguez sausages, house baked beans, garlic roast mushrooms, spinach. It was really satisfying with lots of taste, flavour, the right temperature and was also very comforting on a chilly day late November. I also loved the way the café offered alternative options for vegetarians and vegans. Almost every item gave this alternative. My friend ordered the 'Bad Vegetarian Sandwich' which I almost ordered. This naughty sandwich contained Bacon, halloumi, tomatoes, mayo & rocket with house salad for £5.50. What a super name too.

The 'Particular Brunch Bowl' & The 'Bad Vegetarian Sandwich' at The London Particular, New Cross

One aspect that really stood out to me about The London Particular was the friendliness of the staff. They were really down to earth, welcoming and very attentive. This was my first visit to New Cross and coming from the usual North East and Central cafés that are constantly featured on social media this was a really nice breath of fresh air. 

The interior of the café resembled old school furniture such as rickety stools and etched into work tables. I loved the relaxed feel of the place; it's not trying to imitate all of the other small, trendy independent cafés that are going strong in the North East. The staff also make an effort to chat to the guests and get to know the locals. The atmosphere was relaxed and the music upbeat, lively, old-school classics to complement the old-school feel of the furniture.

In addition, all of the food is made on site at the front of the cafe in a mini, open kitchen. They also point out on the menu that it may take a bit longer for the food to arrive because they make everything from scratch. We didn't have to wait very long though and I prefer waiting a bit longer for something that is fresh. It's an intimate experience seeing someone preparing the food in front of you and makes you feel as though you are included in the process from the preparation to the execution. This is a café that is powerful in its modest size. It was voted as one of the best restaurants in the Time Out London Awards 2015 in New Cross and I hope they continue to receive more recognition and praise. 

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