hopscotch | honor oak park

with the biggest black sabbath and no-sleep hangover last saturday morning, and hunger pangs to remind me i hadn't eaten solid food since thursday night, my good friend hobbs coerced me out of my bed and up the high street to brunch. although technically i think it must have been 'lunch' as it was definitely after 1pm by the time we'd assembled at the train station to scour the local cafes for sustenance. having only lived in the area for just on a month, i still hadn't really delved too far into the foodie options available to me (outside of the local chinese and sainsbury's, naturally), so i was clearly of no help to poor hobbs.

thank fully we didn't have to wander too far - just opposite the sainsbury's local, a short stroll from the station, we found hopscotch bar and cafe. with a few diners sitting outside, and a sandwich board that indicated a beer garden out the back, this unassuming and slightly eclectic cafe appeared to cater for a lot of people; a really good sign. we had a quick peep of the menu to ensure they catered for our greasy desires, saw their eggs bene were about a fiver, and then headed in without a second thought.

we took a seat inside the main dining room, not sure what the weather was planning to do (and quite rightly wanting to avoid the bright day anyway), and looked over the varied menu. with a full brunch selection available all weekend, as well as a secondary burger menu and a wide variety of mezze and soup options - we were spoiled for choice. and that's forgetting the freshly baked pastries and cakes, and specialty tea menu available over the counter. yup. there's a lot going on. oh, and a fully stocked bar too - mostly specialising in craft and local beers, but we did note spirits and wines too. far too early for that though.
after a quick perusal of the menu and a slight miscommunication about how we'd like the coffees made, our orders were placed, and we waited... but not for long! in about ten minutes we had our meals (albeit not all of our drinks!), and we were feeding like wild animals (maybe just me actually). i'd ordered the full english (eggs, bacon, sausages, tomarto, mushroom and beans with toast - no hash browns?) and swapped out my sausages (bleurgh) for extra bacon (nom) so that hobbs could have some bacon too. she'd gone for the eggs benedict, but there was no option for her to add bacon to her meal. i suppose we could have asked? but we didn't.

the food was delicious. the coffee was made well. my only gripe was the service was a little slow - despite being super friendly and apologetic, we sort of had to ask for things rather than them be offered, etc. i mean, for a local cafe, this isn't a massive concern. but there were more staff in there than customer, so it just seems silly to me that they weren't more attentive to us... yeah. and the real bonus? incredibly affordable. we're talking almost wetherspoons prices for a greasy feed; the eggs bene were about a fiver, and the full english was not much more. so, in conclusion, i will definitely be back here for brunch. maybe i'll even try something off the other menu too.

their website tells me that every saturday night in july they're having live music in the bar from 8pm...
perhaps i will have to head on over to enjoy some of the local talents too.