[London] Breakfast at the Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch

Rochelle Canteen is currently my favourite place for a quiet breakfast, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Co-owned by Margot Henderson (wife of St John owner & nose-to-tail-eating evangelist, Fergus) together with long-time collaborator (27 years and counting), Melanie Arnold, it’s a bright little eatery housed in a re-purposed bicycle shed, looking out to a pretty little garden with a small green lawn. The mature trees of Arnold Circus loomed in the background.

Getting to the Rochelle Canteen can be quite a challenge. Firstly, because it’s so inconspicuous, located over a high red brick wall that encloses Rochelle School on Arnold Circus. Look out for the small board on the pavement.

You push on the electric buzzer to gain entry. Once inside, you’re in what seemed to me like a secret garden, away from Shoreditch. Brick Lane, just 6 minutes’ walk to the east , seemed worlds away.

The indoors seating portion is just about as sunny as being outdoors.

The lunch and dinner menus, which change daily, are very inventive. Breakfast, which I had here, is more predictable: cold pressed juices, eggs on toast, granola, yoghurt, porridge.

I chose fried eggs with bacon on sourdough toast.

I need to come back for the “real stuff” served at lunch. But simply for the atmosphere, there’s no beating this place.

Address
Rochelle Canteen
Rochelle School, Arnold Circus
London E2 7ES
Tel: +44 20 7729 5677
Opening hours:
Mon-Wed, Sun 9am-11am, 12noon-3pm
Thu-Sat 9am-11am, 12noon-3pm, 6pm-9m

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I’ve heard of it of course, but never seen photos. What an intriguing little place.

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Must do lunch there, John. I’m back in London this September, and this place will be my first stop.

As you know, I’m out of action in September, otherwise I’d have wanted to join you.

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I’m so pleased you went here. I’ve been incredibly curious about it. Arnold Circus is my hidden gem. I’ve surprised lots of visitors by taking them off the main road to explore Boundary Estate. The menus look great but there are no prices - can you fill us in? As well, I’d like an idea of how busy it gets so I can beat the crowd. I won’t be in London during September but I too will be seeking lunch, maybe in August!

The prices are pretty close to what St John charges. At Rochelle, I ordered fried eggs which came with sourdough toast (£7) plus bacon (£2.50). A long black coffee was £2.20, and a cold pressed juice was £4.50.

Over at St John, a fried egg with blood pudding on toast would be £9.10, whereas an orange, grapefruit or apple juice is £3.50.

I had a quick peek at their lunch menu but didn’t pay close attention to the prices.

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