Any establishment that plays the Glee / Warblers version of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream is a winner in my book, but it’s not the wonderfully chosen playlist that keeps us going back to The Luxe at Spitalfields. Neither is it the rather inconsistent service if I’m honest, but I’ll come back to that.
Right on the corner of one of Spitalfields Market’s busy entrances, John Torrode’s florist, come cafe, come bar, come restaurant, come brasserie, takes cues from its sister restaurant Smith’s of Smithfield’s format, with a new style and atmosphere for every floor. The ground floor offers a cosy and laid back cafe / bar, with comfort-food favourites like Mac & Cheese (theirs is served with smoked haddock and poached egg!), as well as a buzzing terrace right in the market. Upstairs to the first floor and you’re met by an open kitchen for the more fine dining option. And up on the top floor, there is a charming, lofty private dining room. There’s a bonus here too of the almost clubby basement, where booths and LED lighting, teamed with guest DJs set the scene.
After we moved to the area last year, The Luxe has become our naughty-treat-breakfast destination of choice, and hasn’t let us down yet, whether just a visit for Adam and I, with a group of half a dozen friends, or with a Mummy coming along with us. Despite my disappointment that my dish of choice from our first visit was soon after taken off the menu (black pudding, poached duck egg, bacon and soda bread), the only struggle we have had is finding an excuse to go for one of the naughty options over one of the incredible looking healthier ones (Porridge with Fruit Compote ….. Fresh Fruit Salad, Yoghurt, Muesli & Honey….. The Luxe Nut Granola, Roasted Plums, Greek Yoghurt). We may one day manage a breakfast pudding of fruit salad (as we saw one couple do!) but I can’t imagine anything will take Adam away from his Lumber Jack Stack (Pancake, Waffle & French Toast, Bacon, £7.00) nor me from The Luxe Big Breakfast (Egg on Toast, Grilled Tomato, Mushroom, Hash Brown & Baked Beans, Bacon, Sausage & Black Pudding, £9.00). Still, all the naughtiness is certainly cancelled out by one of the super wholesome juices….the ‘Veggie’ (Carrot, Tomato, Celery, Ginger & Coriander, £4.50) is an indispensable morning-after pick-me-up! The ‘Bottomless Cup of Joe’ (£2.25) is a perfect breakfast accompaniment too, but be prepared to wait a good while for a refill, and/or have to flap about to gain someone’s attention!
Last Sunday must have marked at least a half dozen visits for us, but only our first lunch at The Luxe. After a lazy morning’s lie in, and a few household chores, we wandered along the road to find a big queue outside the entrance though and soon wondered if we’d been silly to expect just to pitch straight up as usual. We soon managed to fit just inside though as the line of people condensed and a couple were shown to a table, and when the hostess came over to ask how many we needed a table for, it looked as though we may not need to wait at all. In fact, after the hostess had asked the couple behind us too, she asked us all to follow her through to some available tables….only the couple behind us somehow managed to get the lovely corner banquette that we’d have preferred whilst we ended up with a middley table! We mentioned this to the hostess, and reminded her that we’d been in front of the couple that she’d just shown to the superior table, and she made excuses, but I think perhaps they just knew each other. Still, that’s just not cricket.
Anyway, that aside….. we both plumbed for The Luxe Burger (£11.50) and milkshakes (me the coconut, which tasted like holidays….and Adam the vanilla, which was wonderfully thick….each £4.50). As our lunch arrived to the table, I realised quite how greedy I had been, and yet I wasn’t phased by the heavily laden plate full of chips, gherkins, fried onions, and a huge (wonderfully rare) burger loaded with tomato, bacon, fried egg and cheese. Oh and there was a little leafy salad underneath it all, presumably to make me feel better for the sin I was about to commit. Every bite I managed was delicious, although perhaps for the first time EVER I found myself beaten by both the burger AND the chips. And this girl has a separate stomach for chips.
Nevertheless, as we rolled out to work it all off with some vintage shopping off Brick Lane, we were more than content in our yummy burger induced stupor. It’s only a shame there was no room for pud.