By Christina Pickworth
After nearly four weeks of family confinement to the house whilst the small people had chicken pox we were all a bit stir-crazy. So when Saturday morning dawned, the sun was out and we were spot-free, it seemed like the perfect time to venture out for an early morning adventure.
Now there are lots of lovely breakfast options in Brixton but most of them open a little too late to cater to the starving toddler who has been awake since, well, earlier than I consider to be morning. That is why Stir Coffee is a particularly happy addition to the Brixton breakfast scene for us weary parents who like to eat breakfast too.
Opening at 7am on weekdays, and 8am at the weekend, it’s somewhere you can go and feed your hungry little ones early enough for them to not have turned into gremlins yet. Weekend breakfasting can be a thing again!
Of course our jaunty stroll got turned up a notch because the newly potty-trained Little Man announced that he needed a wee on the way there. After quick distance to destination calculations had seemed favourable, we of course rushed in in a swirl of baby/buggy/toddler mayhem and headed straight for the toilet. We know how to make an entrance. So my first proper look at the place was the loo, which was pretty pleasant as loos go, and had good baby changing facilities. Every parent who has had to kneel on the floor of a dirty WC will appreciate the importance of this.
Ablutions completed and we were back in business. Mr Husband already had coffees on the way and had made his selection of a toasted brie and bacon sandwich. Me and the Little Man turned our attention to the counter laden with bagels, cakes, pastries and some of the biggest sausage rolls I’ve seen anywhere. A pain au chocolat and a chocolate milk for him, a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for me.
There was a slight mix up with our coffees when a flat white arrived for me instead of a latte but it was quickly corrected and the service overall was excellent, which when you come with loud small people is so especially helpful. I think the flat white (which was left for us anyway, free of charge) may also have won me over for the future. We drink a lot of coffee, and these were great.
The food arrived quickly, Mr Husband’s brie and bacon came on brioche for a sweet and smoky combination of loveliness. My smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel was elevated by some dill and capers, and lemons on the side. I think it was probably the best smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel I’ve ever had, and it’s a bit of a favourite of mine so that is saying something. The Little Man sat quietly devouring his pain au chocolat and his chocolate milk, which is a first. But then who doesn’t like a pastry as big as their head?
One tiny note from Mr Husband was the lack of napkins. An essential it seems for the bearded man. Given its location (and clientele) that is something it may be worth them redressing!
The coffee shop is split into two distinct areas, tables at the front washed in light from the big windows, and an exposed-brick room at the back, which although lacking in natural light felt cosy and is a perfect option if you have little Houdinis on your hands as it’s set back from the road. The décor is simple but stylish and would nicely suit the evening opening they are considering (they shut at 7pm currently), though there are some beers on offer already.
Our breakfast and drinks came in at c.£17, which felt cheap given the quality. An excellent little place, with or without kids, for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, coffee, beers, or all of the above. If you need an excuse to go, please take me. I’m dying to go back for cake and sausage rolls.
A spring in our steps, and the whole sunny day stretched out before us we had managed breakfast out, minus any toddler meltdowns. Thank you Stir Coffee, we are now Stir-crazy in a good way!
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