Herne Hill's little secret - The Florence

Simply one of my favorite local places where I am always happy to come back. It’s a typical local gastro pub really but I love simplicity in its best form!

The pub is opposite Brockwell park, few minutes walk from Herne Hill station. It has a really decent outdoors area and spacious dining room with loads of space. They are dog friendly and kid friendly (until 7pm). There is nothing striking about the interiors of the pub… wait a minute, maybe apart from those two large copper pots used for making of the pub’s own brew! I was blown away in Canada by amount of pubs that brew and quite sad leaving the country thinking we don’t have enough of it. The Florence brews Dam Tasty Bever and Bonobo and the both ales are no worse than any other of my favourite London craft beers, which they also have quite a good choice of on the tap and bottled. They are opened for brunch and dinner. The menu is also something that makes me want to come back - the head chef is creative and changes the dishes often. It is simple yet very imaginative. Any time of the day is well planned for. The egg dishes meet all brunches expectations, the healthy options will please all tree huggers and boozy meat chunks will please all the tough guys. And what impresses me the most is the Head Chef's drive - and his small allotment hidden at the back of the pub's garden. And yes - he does cook with his own veggies!

This time we went for a selection of starters and some light options as we were only lunching. The tuna tostadas was truly an amazing and light dish. The crispy and light toasts with small dices of yellow fin tuna and fresh kick of the siracha. Great combination of exciting textures and contrasting tastes. Aubergine invoctinis looked very simple but the rolls were soft and juicy and the cheese filling mouthwatering and delicious. The next exciting thing was the scallop plate - simple tempura dish served on seaweed salad. What makes this so special was the quality of the scallop and tempura batter cooked to perfection. We have also tried the vegan noodles but that has not actually blowed us away - the flavours were not bold enough for me. We have also ordered the mac and cheese with crab meat and it was good, very good indeed. I like my m&c being super cheesy, but this time I understand that this style would only completely kill the delicate taste of sweet crab meet. The desserts are also a delight but that will be a separate story - you will read all about it after my next visit there!

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