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Five Restaurants to Try This Weekend

Stay warm and settle in for quality coffee (and much more) at three of this week’s recommendations

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Mousetail Coffee

Mousetail Coffee in Deptford Market Yard was lovable this week. It’s in a railway arch just a short walk out of the station. Transport links now also mean it is possible to get there in about 10 mins from Bank Station. Coffee beans are roasted by Mission Coffee Works, who provide Mousetail with a bespoke house blend (which blew my face off). To eat: an amazing quinoa and shaved fennel salad. Their rocky road is fantastic. The menu changes daily but mainly imaginative salads and sandwiches. —Grace Dent
Arch 3, Deptford Railway Station, Deptford High Street, SE8 4NS

The Dusty Knuckle

This social enterprise bakery in an industrial unit a short walk from Dalston Junction has become one of London’s most admired. Not least among restaurants that don’t have the ability to bake bread on site. (The poppy seed and potato white sourdough comes in high on the list of London’s best loaves.) This is a reason to visit. Another is the spectacular sandwich offering: Huge slices of house-baked focaccia are stuffed with homemade sausage; lamb shoulder; or first-class cheddar. A special weekend brunch might offer porchetta with mojo verde and pickled onion or celeriac ravioli with parmesan and sage. It is also perfectly sensible to visit just for fika and have a coffee alongside one of London’s simplest, most satisfying morning buns, an apple turnover, or a well done (in more ways than one) pain au chocolat. Truly, something for the weekend. (Open 9am – 4pm.) —Adam Coghlan
Abbot St, E8 3DP

Hill & Szrok

Every so often, a restaurant opens that appears sprinkled with fairy dust. There was Gymkhana, there was P Franco, there is current critical darling Parsons. Hill & Szrok unquestionably belongs on a list alongside names like these. It has the setting (a butcher’s shop by day whose marble-topped counters and central table remain beautifully unadorned at night); it has the wine (a clever list that blends hip natural stuff with ballsy old-world classics); it definitely has the food (unsurprisingly, the menu is heavy on meat, though it’s all executed with a real lightness of touch). The only confounding thing about the place, really, is how little attention it seems to have garnered from people who should know better. —George Reynolds
60 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ

Esters

A vanguard in reinvigorating dull standards of food and coffee, this tiny neighbourhood café on an unhurried Stoke Newington side street will be a happy place this weekend. Behind the steamed up windows, owners Nia and Jack produce plates guided by seasonality, fermentation, global research, and perfect eggs. Paired with a coffee offering that is by turns adventurous and familiar, recent dishes include a blood orange and carrot salad with smoked almonds, graceburn cheese and raspberry-rosehip vinegar. There’s also a delicious line in weekly riffs: french toast and slow-cooked meats the willing participants. —James Hansen
55 Kynaston Road, N16 0EB

Ceremony

There’s not much to be done come grim midwinter but self-medicate with fine liquor and food rich enough to overcome January’s relentlessness. Ceremony, the vaunted vegetarian nestled up by Hampstead Heath, is the ideal spot for this; what with its sterling cocktail craft, and menu of unctuous offerings such as signature crispy duck egg, wet polenta and wild mushrooms—worth the trek to NW5 alone; newcomer: pappardelle with Jerusalem artichoke, cream, watercress and (deep-fried) salsify crisps; or for the vegans (temporary or otherwise), Romanesco, butternut squash and cauliflower puree followed by black rice pudding. Those rainbow carrots are also preternaturally good, trust. (And it’s probably not a bad idea to have a hop about the Heath en route.) —Suze Olbrich
131 Fortess Road, NW5 2HR

Ceremony

131 Fortess Road, , England NW5 2HR 020 3302 4242 Visit Website

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, , England W1S 4JH 020 3011 5900 Visit Website

P Franco

107 Lower Clapton Road, , England E5 0NP 020 8533 4660 Visit Website

Esters

55 Kynaston Road, , England N16 0EB Visit Website

Parsons

39 Endell Street, , England WC2H 9BA 020 3422 0221 Visit Website

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