The Elk in the Woods

37-39 Camden Passage, Islington, London

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Blackberry waffles with all the trimmings

Camden passage offers up a great strip of foodie delights amongst the famous antique stalls and vintage shops, from the sublime Pistachio & Pickle Dairy to Austrian restaurant Kipferl (although I must admit that I’m not sold on the popular Coffee Works Project).

I’ve often hungrily scanned the menu at The Elk in the Woods but never taken the plunge. When my boyfriend’s parents announced that they’d be visiting us for the weekend and staying in Angel, it seemed like the ideal location for Sunday brunch.

With its wooden floors, quirky décor and dusky interior, you could mistake this place for a pub, bistro or coffee shop depending on your mood or when you visit. I quite like that about it; it has a cozy ambience and is what you make of it.

The brunch menu consists of the obligatory full English (and boy, was it ‘full’ – the portion sizes are very generous here!) followed by their own twists on standard offerings, including an elk sausage skillet, bacon tortano with poached egg and poached plums with homemade granola.

I went for the blackberry waffles with roasted apples, smoked bacon, maple syrup and mascarpone. Perhaps the waffles could have been a little lighter and fluffier, but this is a small niggle. The smoked bacon was cooked to perfection, the roasted apples were a revelation and the mesh of flavours – sweet, smoky and salt – could not have worked any better together.

I’ll be back for dinner soon, I hope – the duck, home-smoked in cherry wood and orange peel, is calling me and the cocktail menu looks divine.

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