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17 May 2018

brunch at | bumpkin, south kensington

since my run in with the dry scones in the pretty cafe, i've been nervous about where i decide to book for brunch now. if somewhere has even the slightest reputation for being "pretty", i'm instantly dubious that the food being produced there isn't going to be up to scratch. so, when the discussion of a bank holiday brunch booking came up, and bumpkin in south kensington was suggested because of how charming it is, i had my reservations.

for a start: it is pretty, but it's not over-done like some of west london's other restaurants - as in, it's decorated in a way that doesn't have the general population flocking for the entry way to get the shot, but rather, it's tasteful and seasonal, and screams "great british food" from the minute you walk in the door. and secondly: it's super easy to find; it's a few minute's walk up old brompton road from south kensington tube station, which - on the hottest day of the year, was just the amount of time i could do with spending walking outside.

being that it was a bank holiday, and technically a monday, we were able to take advantage of the weekday offer of two courses for £15.95, which is a bargain in anyone's language - ain't it? i obviously went for starter and a main, cursing the hot weather (and the amount of soleros i'd eaten that week, anyway) for my lack of interest in the sweets department. i chose the starter of mussels, though when they came out, they'd brought me the main size - which i was definitely not mad at! the garlicky broth was creamy and salty, and so delicious, and the portion was giant (and in fact, perfect for a main), but there was no crusty bread to sop up the soup once the mussels were all gone! other than that minor set back, i was pleased as punch with dish number one.

and, though there be a selection of fish and veggie dishes, i wanted something different. something hearty; something to fill the gap in my stomach that eleventeen nights of salad in a row had left in me; i wanted a burger. as i continue to cook with only vegan ingredients at home, i have found that i am wanting more and more to try a variety of things when i'm eating out. i was starting to really make myself annoyed if there was something i wanted to eat that "i wasn't allowed", so that's where i'm at now. also because i'm really struggling to find vegan or veggie food that isn't beans or soya or tofu, because try as i might, i just cannot get on board of that particular train.

and i have to say, the cheeseburger was absolutely delicious, and i am confident i made the right choice. want to know how i know? because my stomach didn't cramp up and i didn't feel sick after, which is all the evidence i need that a little bit of meat every now and then is a happy compromise my body is prepared to make (even if my brain still struggles with it). especially if it comes with a side of double cooked fries and chipotle mayo. for £15.95 and a glass of wine, i can confirm that bumpkin does in fact both look and taste good, and is a bargain to boot.

you can find the two branches here, and see for yourself.

*flatlay photo by katy.