Forge & Co.
There’s no better way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday than a leisurely brunch. Of course, inevitably there’s a celebratory bellini or bloody mary involved – you’re buoyed by not being at work when you should be and, if you’re lucky, it might even be sunny. Bank Holidays don’t happen very often, so they’re definitely worth celebrating.
Shoreditch is home to many a hipster brunch destination, and today my friends and I chose Forge & Co. However, firstly, on a Bank Holiday you may find you have to navigate myriad train and/or tube engineering works and reduced service on the buses. My journey was relatively easy – I picked up the Overground straight to Shoreditch High Street. The Overground is seriously underrated – it goes to so many useful and exciting places! If your definition of “useful and exciting” means mainly East London, that is…
Forge & Co is the combination of a restaurant (oh, forgive me, a “canteen”), lounge and workspace. It’s non-descript entranceway is difficult to spot – if you’re not paying attention, you might miss it. Inside, you’re greeted by the restaurant section with bare wood tables. To your right, you’ll find the lounge area with enormous slouching sofas, which in turn eventually gives way to shining chiming well stocked bar.
In situ were bloggers tap tap tapping away on their laptops, creatives sharing and discussing their portfolios and a group of late-20s girls in dungarees and stripy t-shirts. We were seated in a prime people-watching position with a full view of the lounge space. Forge & Co’s approach to brunch is to offer breakfast and lunch options – so it’s not pure brunch. And there’s some eclectic choices too, including a smoked mackerel potato salad and breakfast bubble & squeak.
We all opted for varying versions of the Full English (including a vegetarian one “with a sausage though”…) which had all the essentials. I passed on the black pudding, and our toast came out late meaning some of the eggs were a bit cold by the time I got round to eating them, but they were extremely tasty and very generous portions. The bubble & squeak was a particular highlight and a typically Shoreditch twist on an old English classic.
After we’d finished, we ended up staying for several more bellinis, and at no time were we rushed, before moving on to a bar further up Shoreditch High Street where I could reminisce about “how I just lived right round the corner from here; like literally just around this corner” and lamented my current wilderness status in Zone 6. Still, at least I’ve avoided the woes of the tube strike this week – thank you, Southeastern.