A great brunch for me is almost unbeatable and something I look forward to every weekend, a ritual of being able to get up in your own time, have a leisurely cup of coffee, great food and a catch up with your nearest and dearest that I value more than ever now that I work full time and do, or at least attempt to do, that whole adult thing. Even better for me with my ridiculously sweet tooth and inability to face savoury dishes first thing ( even if first thing can mean 3pm on a sunday) is if it's an excellent sweet brunch, something that is not that easy to find if you want something a little more adventurous than some kind of carb drenched in maple syrup. Since sampling the fantastic pancakes at the Modern Pantry a couple of weeks back I had been on the look out for other brunch venues that specialised in this classic Americana breakfast staple. This is how I stumbled across Bea's diner, south of the river (about 10 minute walk away from London Bridge station) and located in an old grain storage space under a railway bridge, bang in the middle of the bustling Maltby Street food market and next door to St John's bakery, infamous for their cream filled donuts that on this occasion I was sadly too late to try before they sold out. I had been to the original Bea's of Bloomsbury before which specializes in baked goods like meringues and cakes and thus had a bit of an inkling that these guys know a thing or two about sweet things.
Fancy dining this is not, the menu is short, it's only available until they sell out of ingredients and the coffee is bottomless filter rather than fancy Lattes but what they do do at Bea's they do pretty darn well. Be it their blueberry pancakes with grilled strawberries, whipped cream and as much maple syrup as you reckon your heart can take, and in my case that means a lot, the french toast with caramel bananas and walnuts or for the people that can't quite be without a little bit of heartiness, a half n' half special comprised of a muffin with poached egg and hollandaise AND buttermilk pancakes, everything served in their rather generous portions is absolutely delicious. You can tell great care is taken in sourcing ingredients and though that means that I only got a little dollop of cream as that was indeed all that was left, and that service can be a little haphazard at times with dishes taking quite some time to come out and often at different times for diners at the same table, you can't but forgive Bea's little faults for the charming and incredibly good value for money brunch it serves in an atmosphere where you can just relax and enjoy the for me no doubt best mealtime of the whole week.