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13 August 2018

brunch at | palm vaults, hackney

ever since i had that terrrrrible experience at that "instagram cafe" earlier in the year, i'm fairly dubious of any cafe or restaurant that gets its fame from how grammable the cute decor and pink drinks are, so when bex suggested we have brunch a few weekends ago at palm vaults in hackney, i was not expecting much. pink drinks and pretty food, yes, but edible and worth coming back for? i wasn't so sure.

i mean, of course i was swayed immediately by the pink interior, bursting with fresh plants and gold cutlery, but.. that's because i'm easily sold by pink and plants and gold cutlery. there were also two dogs present, which was like - the absolute dream cherry on top of an already pretty awesome sundae, but it was so damn hot that day that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with me which made me very sad, but i could relate. the cafe was hotter inside than it was out, and i'm surprised the plants within had survived the summer until that point. one of the workers there explained they all came down and were watered very regularly, which was good to hear, but good lord that's a lot of upkeep.

i wasn't sure what was going to be on the menu the day we went, because there isn't a set one on the site. the cafe's instagram eludes to a fresh rotation of vegetarian and vegan bakes goods and drinks, as well as some of those fad drinks you just know you'll never personally try, but are glad someone before you has tried it so you know you don't need to. like the charcoal latte, or the beetroot latte, or anything with matcha or turmeric in it. look, i'm sure they taste just fine, but i kind of just like my coffee the way i like it; slightly sweet and with a dairy alternative - iced is even better. so the rose syrup almond milk latte sounded perfect for me. especially because it's pink, without being made from fricken beetroot.

and for the meals, we both opted for a serve of the cafe's fresh baked vegan banana bread, toasted, with various vegan toppings. for me i chose the pink coconut yoghurt with fresh berries and maple syrup, and bex chose the peanut butter version, with berries and syrup. they came served on giant pink plates, to be eaten with heavy, gold cutlery, and the whole scene in front of us was perfectly pretty and ultra instagrammable, but.. did it taste any good, or was it all for show? well, i can hand on heart say that nothing about our visit to palm vaults was anything short of exceptional.

the serves of banana bread didn't seem very big, but the bread was so dense and filling that one serve was absolutely plenty. don't get me wrong - i could have easily eaten five serves of the stuff based on the taste alone - sweet, creamy and bursting with juicy berries, but i was full. and with the price of the dish and the iced coffee leaving me tip change from a tenner, i couldn't have been more pleased with our decision to check out this instagram hot spot. granted we are about a year late in getting around to it, but i rather prefer to let all the crowds disperse before i go anywhere these days.. and now that they have (we were there on a sunday, and there were a lot more take-aways than eat-ins, but that could have been due to the weather sitch), i will definitely be back for that bread (and the dogs).