Hoxton has been my new neighbourhood for a few months now and I have grown to love the area more than ever. Whether it is the dangerously close proximity to Dalston ( causing a few hangovers along the way) or Broadway and Columbia road flower market being just around the corner and offering the perfect walks for weekend afternoons, I have rarely left the area on my weekends off. I have also been exploring the culinary options near me and have made some great local discoveries. Though I am only slowly persuading my inner fussy foodie to trial the famous Vietnamese establishments literally outside my front door ( Viet Grill and Song Que are known to do some of the best Vietnamese in the capital) and have enjoyed the occasional and very good takeaway pizza from hole in the wall Sicilian pizzeria Due Sardi, my favourite food discovery so far has been Beagle bang next to Hoxton overground station.
I had passed it a felt hundreds of times on my daily walk ( or more often than not run) to the station and had been increasingly intrigued by its location in the converted arches of the overground bridge and always bustling atmosphere inside . While the dinner menu is a little pricey their brunch not only offered great sounding options but was also very reasonably priced ( mains hovering around the £10 mark) and being two minutes from my house was too enticing to not try after managing to crawl out of bed on a Sunday morning. The interior is simple, slightly industrial with exposed bricks and open kitchen and light flooded and gives Beagle an instantly welcoming feel. Service is also friendly and informative. I always value menu advice on a first visit and prompted by my waitress's words of recommendation went for a savoury rather than my usual sweet option, a wise move as what was served up not only looked cookbook worthy but also tasted exceptionally good.
That is the thing at Beagle their mains may sound simple on paper, think cinnamon French toast with berries and creme fraiche or in my case mushrooms on brioche with poached eggs and hollandaise but what is served up is far from it and highlights the skills of the kitchen that can easily justify the higher dinner prices. Flavours are on point, the brioche generously spread with an onion jam flavoured with a punchy yet subtle hint of wine, topped with juicy mushroom, a hollandaise to challenge the best and finished off with that illusive perfect poached egg. I was oohing and ahhing the whole way through, something that with my long career in brunching doesn't happen all that often. Everything that passed our table looked equally enticing and as I am a stones throw away has seen me already plan return trips to sample the French toast ( thickly crusted with cinnamon and sugar) or granola with honey poached figs and pistachios if in a more healthy mood. Not that Beagle is simply a choice of convenience- it's confident, flavourful food in a grown up yet laid back environment and worth a journey. It's a real gem that I am lucky enough to call my local brunch place.