Monday 7 December 2009

Vintage Pretty, North Cross Road, East Dulwich, south London

A cramped and popular cafe owned by the green grocers next door, Vintage Pretty's food is ultra-fresh and generally excellent. If it is early enough, you might be tempted by one of the hot breakfasts, such as the salty, but succulent, kippers (£7.25), served with two professionally poached eggs on chunky slices of tasty toast with lemon, slices of cucumber and wild rocket. The lunch options, include a couple of specials, such as moussaka, deep-filled paninis and thick, flavoursome soups, such as roquefort and broccoli. There is also a children's menu with inexpensive comfort grub, such as beans on toast or fish finger sandwiches. To drink, you can get some exotic freshly-squeezed fruit juices for £3, a carton of Ribena for £1.25, coffees for about £2 and tap water for nothing. The country-cottage style decor features pine tables, benches and chairs, plus flowery cushions and framed adages. Service by the young, polite staff can be very slow during busy periods, such as a Saturday lunchtime, when your fellow punters will be mostly well-heeled locals taking a break from browsing the local boutiques and food-stalls. 7/10