As a person suffering from hayfever, I welcome Spring/Summer with mixed feelings. On the one hand I love the longer days, the warmth (sometimes.. not seen much evidence of this recently!) and the ability to wear floaty floral dresses with no tights on. On the other hand, no antihistamine can prevent the months long sneeze fest, the painful itchy eyes-nose-face-throat, the blocked nose… it’s not a pretty picture and it sucks. Last year it was so bad I couldn’t breathe properly and had to go to an NHS Walk-in centre where I was given an inhaler. (This worked a miracle, I was pretty much fine afterwards, though I’ve not used it once since the nurse showed me how)
As a result of this I don’t get to spend as much time in the park as I would have ideally liked to and I welcome rain for its short term pollen reduction qualities, but last month before the full on bloom had taken over I had a wonderful day in and around Victoria Park.
Breakfast at the Pavilion
I have written about The Pavilion Cafe here before, in the heart of Victoria Park, this offers plenty of picnic tables overlooking the lake, ideal for these warmer days and a great, if pricey, breakfast menu.
I am going to talk about it again, because this time I tried their wonderful veggie breakfast and it was awesome and I want to share that awesomeness. As a vegetarian (well, pescatarian, but not much fish tends to be included in brunch dishes..) I often get resigned to exactly the same sad looking veggie sausages in my version of the regular ‘full English’, so when a superior alternative is provided I am going to sit up and pay attention.
No soggie sausage in sight! Instead excellent grilled haloumi, portobello mushrooms, fried egg on a thick slice of sourdough bread, avocado and their version of baked beans, butter beans in tomato sauce. Still undeniably a full english breakfast, the proof is in the tomato, but one with a twist that I wholly approve of.
I also tried my friends’ excellent poached eggs and avocado toast, elevated by the coconut chilli dip and a posh version of nutella on toast, absolutely wonderful (just thinking about it right now is making my mouth water!) hazelnut chocolate spread and pomegranate. Planning to go back as soon as I can sit outside without sneezing continuously.
Tea and Cake at Lofting
After a very nice walk through the park we thought we’d walked off our breakfast so it was time for some tea and cake, I had not been to Lofting before, it came from a friend’s recommendation, but I liked it and will be sure to return again when I am back. It is small, but unlike the Pavilion the advantage of indoor seating means that I could even go during the height of all things hayfever. The decor is of the ever prevalent shabby vintage chic aesthetic, all mismatched furniture and chipped crockery, but the cakes are delicious and the it’s makes for a very pleasant surrounding to sit down for a nice cup of tea after a long walk in the park.