Sunday: quite possibly North London’s most perfect brunch

Five minutes’ walk to the west of Highbury & Islington station you’ll find Sunday on Hemingford Road, which – misleadingly – is actually not only open on Sundays. And, regardless of its founders’ woeful grasp of basic SEO principles, it makes the best pancakes I have ever had, anywhere. Brace yourselves; I’ve got photos. 

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

The queue is always three-deep but moves swiftly, especially in the summer when they have the garden open, but it’s worth the wait. We must have tried to get in ten times before we actually made it (because we are permanently impatient and ravenous, and it’s easy to just try again next time when the countless other bruncheries of Upper Street are just around the corner). Its jam-jar ‘n blackboard aesthetic is a bit on the twee side for me, but the food is absolutely top-notch.

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

Now, I never, ever order sweet brunches. I am a savoury person through and through; at BBQs I’m the one who sacks off the trifle to make room for that spare sausage, and at picnics I’m the bastard who’s stratgegically sat themselves in between the Scotch eggs and the cheese straws. HOWEVER, the stack of blueberry pancakes I saw someone two tables across sucking down was so exquisite that I, for the first time in my life, ordered what was effectively a dessert for breakfast.

And, well, they were magnificent.

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

Dutty pancakes. £9.00.

And I’m not even a pudding person, so if you have a sweet tooth you’ll be all over this like a rash. A huge stack of thick, pillowy American-style buttermilk blueberry pancakes served with bacon, maple syrup and something called honeycomb butter, which came as a little pat of pure happiness (and type 2 diabetes, probably). My God, it was obscene, the perfect balance of sweet, savoury, sticky and salty. Also very filling; those pancakes are thick.

Lurpak doesn't quite hold the same appeal any more. From now on, I want my butter cut into perfect little slices and laced with delicious honeycomb.

Lurpak doesn’t quite hold the same appeal any more. From now on, I want my butter cut into perfect little slices and laced with delicious honeycomb.

Accompanying me was James 2, who ordered the Sunday full breakfast, and Merce who was feeling a bit delicate after a monstrous night out so opted for the poached eggs on sourdough toast.

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

Sunday full breakfast: eggs and sourdough toast, sausage, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans and sauteed potatoes.

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

£11.50.

Poached eggs with sourdough toast, £6.00. A little steep, but that's what you get for being boring and not getting the pancakes.

Poached eggs with sourdough toast, £6.00. A little steep, but that’s what you get for being boring and not getting the pancakes.

Nothing surprising on the drinks menu; there are lots of lovely bottled things to slurp on, and the coffee is pretty good too. It’s one of those places where they like to draw leaves and shit in the lattes though, so don’t expect it to come out quickly.

Sunday Islington Hemingford Road review

Delicious stuff, but the bottles are too little. :(

Delicious stuff, but the bottles are too little. Who the hell drinks 275ml of lemonade!?

The quality of the restaurants is pretty high around Upper Street, but Sunday really is in a league of its own. It’s a fraction more expensive than its competitors, but they also do the best food I’ve had in Islington. It’s the sort of place that’d be perfect to take a date the morning after the night before, if you get me. It’s 99% certain to get you a second round.

We went to Sunday at around 11:30am on a Saturday morning and waited around 15 minutes for a table. Service was a little on the slow side, but the restaurant is so pretty and the ambience so chilled it doesn’t really matter if you’ve got interesting people to talk to. You can find Sunday at 169 Hemingford Road, N1 1DA (look for the queue!) and their latest menus and opening hours on their Facebook page.

 

Author: Emily Gibson

Emily is an urban adventurer, blogger and glutton foodie on an epic quest to uncover the best things to eat, drink and do in London. She lives in Islington and loves ceviche, cycling and magic shows. Lifelong nemeses include beetroot, beards and wine served in tumblers.