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FOOD


Best of the bunch Four top tables tried & tested by T&L


BEST BRUNCH OF THE MONTH: BREW Kate Miranda enjoys a Bedouin brunch with Brew founder, Jason Wells


A new Brew has arrived in Putney and I am thrilled. In its first week of opening, I went three times – to the launch party, for brunch and for Friday night pizza with the kids. The founder of Brew, Australian Jason Wells, has completely transformed the site, which was formerly Cantenetta. ‘We call this Brew Central. It’s our fourth and largest restaurant with a butchery, a patisserie and even a shower for exercise buffs to freshen up before they dine. It has all come together under one roof and what is particularly special is that we have not used an architect; it is all our own design,’ Jason told me.


It is an amazing space. The front of the restaurant is a large covered wooden terrace area with a stone pizza oven, fire pits and Bedouin inspired daybeds draped in sheep skin and intimately screened. It’s a warm and inviting space to dine – day or night. It was on one of these daybeds that I was the first to try Brew’s new ‘Breakfast in Bed’ with Jason Wells and T&L’s interiors writer, Debbie Blott. ‘Breakfast in Bed’ begins with


a bottle of Bollinger Champagne poured by our private waiter, followed by coffees and anything we want to order from the menu. Debbie decides on Turkish eggs - poached eggs, hung yoghurt and hot chilli butter with toasted pide (£8.90) and I select the Brew melt with ham, gruyere, vine tomato, poached eggs and pesto served on Turkish pide (£9.90). The coffee is great (four star) as is the service. It is the perfect brunch. Brew is known for its innovative all-day breakfast and brunch with ingredients such as chorizo folded eggs and delicious toppings on toasted pide.


Book Breakfast in Bed for four for 1.5 hrs, with private waiter, a bottle of Bollinger Champagne, tea and coffee, any dish from the menu plus a side, and a pudding for £200.


Brew, 162-164 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1LY; open 7 days 7am-11pm, 020 8789 8287. Also in Wimbledon Village, Clapham and Wandsworth.


BEST GASTRO PUB OF THE MONTH: THE CROOKED BILLET


Old Spot pork belly is the dish of the day in the newly renovated Crooked Billet


The Crooked Billet, just off Wimbledon Common, is the ideal pub to enjoy a looooong, cosy lunch with the family or a large group. From the exterior, it looks like a quaint English pub. Not so. Upon entering, it is a deceptively large gastro pub with several different rooms. The pub dates back to the 16th century and has recently been refurbished with the dominant feature being wood – the floor, the walls and exposed beams, which add such warmth to the pub. We are seated by the open fire, which is enormous.


The variety of dishes on the menu is impressive with a dozen mains to choose from. My husband and I have selected seafood and white meat, so we opt for a full-flavoured Australian white from the Rutherglen Estate.


The salt and pepper squid is from the Atlantic and lightly dusted and tender.


It’s delicious. My husband’s sea bass is perfectly cooked – and generous with two large fillets. The Old Spot pork belly is as tasty as it is tender and resting on a bed of lentils. My husband very graciously finished my pork so I could try my favourite dessert – sticky toffee pudding. It was wonderfully moist in a delectable toffee sauce.


The Crooked Billet is perfect for a weekend winter lunch as you can end the day with a long walk around Wimbledon Common. It is a firm favourite with Wimbledon locals and well-informed visitors, with a history spanning five centuries. Go online to view more photos of the newly renovated Crooked Billet and to find out the pub’s connection with Thomas Cromwell www.timeandleisure.co.uk/ thecrookedbillet


By Kate Miranda


The Crooked Billet 14-15 Crooked Billet Wimbledon, 020 8946 4942. www.thecrookedbilletwimbledon.com Open 7 days 10am-11pm (open until midnight on Fri &Sat),


timeandleisure.co.uk . January 2015 . 79


PUTNEY


WIMBLEDON VILLAGE


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