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25 February 2019

brunch at | barber & parlour, shoreditch

*wearing this gifted sunburst ring from the estee lalonde x daisy london collection of rings for women*

i met bex in town on saturday, and we wandered the backstreets of shoreditch, doing what we do best: street art spot. we stopped in at the first spot we landed on that didn't look like it was overcrowded, or that had a mega line, and sat down. i'd walked past barber & parlour a hundred times previously, yet never been inside. i was excited to see what was going on inside the old warehouse i'd never paid much mind to before...

first impression of the space, was that it was light and bright, and full of foliage - it already ticked all my boxes. it was busy, but not crowded, despite the fact it was almost 2pm. there were young families, couples, and friends catching up - a real mish mash of the usual shoreditch vibe, and maybe that has something to do with the fact the building not only houses the dining room, but also the electric cinema below deck, and - as the name suggests, a hair salon at the top of the building. smack bang in the middle is the "parlour" part of "barber & parlour", and that's where we grabbed a table by the giant warehouse windows, and ordered some coffees.

 fresh spring nails and new spring bling - i love it when a plan comes together!

ordering coffee seems like a simple task, but when the staff are preoccupied with big tables getting their orders in together, sometimes mistakes happen. so the almond milk latte and oat milk americano arrived as an oat milk latte and an americano with dairy milk on the side, much to our bemusement, though replacements seemed to arrive fairly quickly, along with rapid-fire apologies. the same waiter who got our drinks wrong was entrusted with our food order, too, so we weren't feeling very confident that our request to have "cheese" (either feta or halloumi - didn't matter which, but both were on the menu in various forms) added to our breakfast baps, especially when we were told this "wouldn't be possible" as neither were listed as 'sides' and only were available in the dishes listed on the menu. not wanting to seem rude, but sort of suggesting that "if you have the product available, what's the problem" to him, he said he'd ask... he never came back, so it was going to be a surprise, whatever we were served.

eventually, after what seemed like an eternity (but more like forty minutes or so) waiting for two breakfast baps and another coffee each, it all finally turned up. and in a fabulous turn of events, we were basically served an entire block of feta to share between us - which was ultra exciting, as i'm sure you can imagine. the bap itself was otherwise non-eventful; fried egg, spicy mayo, grilled bacon, slices of tomato and kale inside a brioche bun, a winning combo in anyone meat-eater's book - no? granted, i don't eat so much meat myself these days, but when the feeling moves me i allow myself to indulge. this was one of those very occasions, and i can confirm it was delicious - and not too hot. the spicy mayo, made in house, was tangy and warming and the highlight of the brunch (which, while a very full bap, i managed to devour in about three mouthfuls).

the food was good, the coffee (when right) was good, the atmosphere was good, but the service.. wasn't the best. we had to wait a rather long time to be served anything, and were served after some of the bigger tables too - despite ordering before them. i understand wanting to make sure the tables receive their orders together, but.. breakfast baps seem like an easy order to get out before a table of ten's order (i'm allowed to have an opinion on that as i used to waitress, and that's how we would have done it). so, the whole event took much longer than it neede to, which meant we missed out on enjoying much of the sunny afternoon. still, with pink neon signs, green potted plants and bright white interiors, i was still living my best life. notttttt sure i'll be going back anytime soon though.

find it here: barber & parlour 64-66 redchurch street, shoreditch e2 7dp

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