It's a shame the staff obviously got their wires mixed and messed you round but to be fair, despite the laid back atmos, they are a restaurant that takes reservations, it's not the sort of place you just wander in and plonk yourself down.
Caravan Restaurant Bar & Roastery
11-13 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QD
- Farringdon Station (0.7 km)
- Angel Tube Station (0.8 km)
- Contact us:
020 7833 8115
50 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbrige, London SW3 1NY
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22 reviews of Caravan Restaurant Bar & Roastery in English
nice place for breakfast. rather good coffee (own roastery). we were 8 people and could make a reservation on the big table downstairs. normally this is walk in only. staff was very friendly & attentative. nice latte art…
good presentation of the sandwiches.
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Caravan in Clerkenwell is a new brasserie with food inspired by Australia and New Zealand.
Opened in late 2010, Caravan has already had a big impact in the local area and has had some great reviews including 4 stars from Timeout Magazine.
My first impression was of a relaxed but fun atmosphere with subtle lighting and even though it was fairly busy, it managed to feel quite cosy.
It seems to be ‘new thing’ to do Big and Small plates on a menu these days. Small plates are more like tapas that you share, where as Big Plates are more like a normal size main meal. As someone who likes to try many different types of food, small plates seem to suit me fine.
We started with some unusual but yummy Blue Cheese and Peanut Butter Wontons and had Fried Chicken with Watermelon and Crispy Seabass with Thai Noodles for main, both of which were very tasty.
Along with a lovely bottle of red wine and a scrummy Blueberry cocktail to finish, I left Caravan not only feeling satisfied but excited at the thought that I will return in the future to enjoy the treats they have in store for me.
I really love the atmosphere at Caravan. It’s casual and cool but still buzzing with life and the murmurs of other diners. I actually work at another establishment on Exmouth Market, but I have to admit I’m a fan of Caravan. The chili squid and scallops are great. Of course, no review of Caravan would be complete without a mention of the fabulous, rich coffee that’s roasted downstairs. The staff are lovely and always friendly. Only issue I had last time was the beef cheek. It was a bit lacking in flavor and didn’t love the polenta. Nevertheless, I will be back soon.
What can I say? Antipodeans know how to do brunch!
The first thing they got right was the Bloody Mary, followed closely by a top-notch Flat White.
The brunch menu was perfect; not too out there but much more interesting than the standard full English vs Eggs Bene you find just about everywhere else.
Food was well presented and beautifully cooked and the service was quite charming.
Exmouth Market is a lovely spot to sit out on a sunny day, slightly buffered from traffic sounds.
We went for brunch and left around 3pm. Enough said really.
I was really excited to go there, so on a Sunday noon I walked down all the way from Camden to Caravan through sunny beautiful London.
When I arrived there, it was pretty busy, I went in, looked for a place, and took a seat at one of several free tables. Soon one of the staff came around and I asked her if I need to order at the counter or if she would bring me a menu.
Not long after that another service staff came along to tell me, that I should stand up and wait at the bar for about ten minutes, because this table was already taken. A few seconds later the other service woman came back with a water and the menu - how nice! But I had to tell her, that her colleague just told me to leave (or to wait ...).
Sorry Caravan, but that really ruined my Sunday! This is definitely not the experience you want to have on a lazy sunny Sunday noon. Pretty much it is one of the worst possible experiences you could have on a nice and sunny Sunday when you're hungry and excited. The table I chose was completely empty, no left overs or anything, nothing that indicated that you need to register somewhere to get a table. Quite annoying. And actually, yes, unprofessional - if one waitress gives you the menu and the other kicks you out.
So I cannot assess the food or the coffee, but anyway I think that ruining my Sunday noon deserves a bad rating! Instead of waiting for ten minutes, I made my way to Scandinavian Kitchen in Fitzrovia, thus my Sunday was saved. But Caravan, sorry, you've messed it up for now.
Comment 1 comment on this review
McGintyMcGee, 3 June 2011:
Time Out lists this place in the top places to Brunch, but I struggle to see how it isn't the number one. It gets very busy, but well worth the wait. The coffee is roasted on sure and is stunningly tasty, surpassed only by the food. You should definitely go.
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Absolutely stunning. To combine an exciting atmosphere, lots of noise and bustle with such breathtaking food is a serious accomplishment and chef Miles Kirby deserves massive kudos. The staff are helpful and attentive, the service, exemplary. Taste the Sichuan Salt & Pepper Pork Belly, the classic Schnitzel, seared onglet, the squid pancake, the lamb chump with pepper and mint, the amazing rabbit confit with black pudding terrine and you'll be transported to somewhere twice the price and impossible to book a table. But not Caravan. Put your name on the list and wait with some first class cocktails or really clever choices that make up the affordable wine list. And then when you sit down you'll be ready. Afterwards, linger to enjoy one of the variety of coffees roasted downstairs. Caravan is an important addition to the street where Moro used to stand all by itself. Caravan is a restaurant that's here to stay.
This place is nice you know, it really is... I like the outdoor seating in summer and i like the coffee roaster down below... but i don't like the temperature of the coffee... or the temperature of the food.
I have been to this place on 3 occasions, twice for coffee and once for the whole hog.
1st coffee experience: delicious fw, but tepid.
2nd coffee experience: again delicious fw, but again tepid.
3rd coffee experience: cold. It was so cold that i sent it back. I hate doing that, but i can't stand being served cold coffee. I make the stuff myself you know, and at the risk of sounding like a coffee wanker (which perhaps i am), there is just no excuse for serving cold coffee.
Food exprience: a ha! COLD! A real let down as the food looks amazing, and you can tell they are using top quality ingredients (prices to match naturally). It's a crying shame!
Good thing to say:
The service was absolutely excellent! Really really good.
Despite despite I will go back to Caravan, and i will just make sure i ask for my coffee to be at a temperature that i linger longer than 2 sips on, you know? A temperature that warms the soul for longer than a second.
We had to wait nearly 40 minutes at the bar for a table to become available, but it was definitely worth the wait.
The food was delicious. But my favourite dish was the foie gras on gingerbread - they're definitely classic dishes with a twist.
The service was impeccible and I would love to go there again.
This place is awful - do not go here if you hate pretentious stuck up people with no education but think somehow that because they 'majored' in coffee, they rule the world!
There is a reason why the likes of Starbucks do well - because they don't have stuck-up attitudes about something as menial as coffee - don't get me wrong, I love coffee but thinking about the wider problems in the world, is worrying about coffee as much as these guys do with heads up in a cloud really the way forward?! There are many things that changed the world and will continue to do so, but coffee ain't one of them. The guys that run this place simply screw what they can from poor coffee growers in third world countries and live in posh houses in gentrified parts of London and then say they are doing something worthwhile - I don't think so!
Service was very poor and prices were ridiculous!
Went for Sunday brunch to try out their food. I wish I hadn't... or at least that I had ordered something different. Most important stuff first: the coffee. You can tell that they use good coffee but unfortunately it wasn't really that well made. It wasn't bad but it wasn't as good as it could have been either, it was a bit bland.
The interior is spacious and the place gets packed on weekends it seems. The wait was only 15 min and they let you sit inside to have some coffee or drinks while waiting. Overall the service was excellent, the waitress constantly refilled my water glass and everyone was well friendly.
Too bad the food was such a letdown. I ordered the grilled ham with bubble and squeak and poached eggs with hollandaise. Unfortunately I couldn't find any redeeming feature. The ham was way too thick, was dry but still not really grilled. The bubble and squeak was a big lump of really sweet deep fried potato mash, reminding me of my school days. The eggs were overcooked and the sauce had no lemon, only butter in it. The fry up on the other hand didn't look too bad so if I ever happen to be in Caravan again I'll try that instead. Who knows, maybe I had some bad luck with my food?
Comment 1 comment on this review
sarahdrinkwater, 21 December 2010:
That's what I thought. I was really keen to go after so much hype and friends had raved about it, but my boyfriend and I chose a scrambled egg dish and a full breakfast. My scrambled eggs didn't come with bread and, when I asked for some, they said I would have to be charged for it. It was extremely expensive (£30 for breakfast with two meals and one coffee - my one piece of bread was £2) and service was quite bad tempered. I keep meaning to go back but we had such a bad experience..
It was Saturday (late) morning and I'm craving a good brunch (oh yessum eggs.). After a meandering scooter through Clerkenwell I happen across Caravan in Exmouth Market. An absolute gem, seated outside in the sun with the friendliest staff and great coffee I could not have been happier. I went for eggs and the avocado & chilli, oh and a breakfast Bellini. Absolute magic. I feel a little guilty however with such a varied menu I really must go back for an evening meal.
Continuing the relentless takeover of the London coffee scene by Antipodeans, Caravan makes its battle cry heard not only with its delicious coffee (roasted on premises), but also with delicious food. Run by Kiwis, including Miles Kirby, who was chef at The Providores & Tapa Room in Marylebone for the past six years. So, these guys are the real deal.
We had brunch there recently and were happy with our food. We sampled a scrumptious cheese muffin, light and fluffy scrambled eggs on thick sourdough, savoury and not greasy salt beef fritters, spicy chorizo, delectable coconut bread with lemon curd and tamarillo and cornbread french toast with bacon, avocado and rocket. All for about £12 each, including service (all tips go to the staff).
Caravan is one of the newest additions to the Exmouth Market scene. It's located where the old and dingy Al's Bar was. The restaurant is bright, airy and welcoming. If you like architectural details, then check out their light fixtures - superb - and notice that they serve water out of Piquot coffee pots (they bought on eBay, of course) - niiice touch!
Caravan's certainly better than this Exmouth Market location's previous occupant. Whereas it was the scruffy and apatheticly so-so Al's Bar, it's now a light and accommodating dining space with prompt and friendly service.
The menu is a perfect balance of intrigue and satisfaction - keep it in mind for weekend brunching when gluttons, gourmands and health nuts will all find suitable choices. The wine list, beers and booze are no fuss but well assembled. Coffee drinks live up to Kiwi standards. Most mains cost around £10 (portions are reasonable) with prices for starters, drinks etc falling inline accordingly.
I'm not in love with Caravan, but the one time I dined here, I really liked it. One more yummy option for Clerkenwell - hooray!
I reguallally eat brunch in London and 'Caravan' has, so far, given me the best fry-up in London. If I can call it a fry-up that is as that seems to make it sound tacky - which it certainly isn't.
Everything is brilliant about it, from the way that consistently come and re-fill your glass of water to the exceptional food.
I had a fry-up with scrambled eggs which were certainly the best scrambled eggs I've had so far, the rest of the plate was also amazing which makes it the best fry-up I've had in London, the coffee tasted 'fresh' and lovely (it is roasted downstairs which you can check out if you pop to the loo), the service was polite, helpful and 'smiley' and the décor is modern and airy with little add-ons like the lights and the bar thus making 'Caravan' the best brunch and my favourite cafe in London.
It is easy to get to with a short walk up from Farringdon and along from Angel. For those, like me, who weren't up for walking at that early hour (laaaazy) get the 38 bus from Angel which stops right outside.
I recommend the full breakfast and the filter coffee and flat whites are great.
I will be back soon to sample the other delights on the menu.
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