Sans Pere is a new-ish brunch place in Shoreditch, East London, just 5 minutes from Old Street station. Opened last summer, it has quickly gained popularity with its two branches (the other one is in Broadway Market) due to its very instagrammable decor and beautifully crafted pastries and brunch dishes.
The Broadway Market branch of Sans Pere is probably the more famous one: with its almost entirely pink and marble interior, it’s been featured in more Instagram posts than I can count and it’s what first caught my eye, too. However, the menu in the Broadway Market branch is a lot smaller, and there’s no separate brunch menu at all, which is why we went with the Shoreditch location in the end. I kind of still want to experience the pink Broadway Market one, too – maybe I’ll just head there for a pastry (or three…) one weekend!
The branch in Shoreditch differs from the Broadway Market one quite a lot – instead of light and millennial pink interior, here the main colours are dark green, white and black. I’ve only ever been to this branch, so I can’t fully compare the two, but the Shoreditch Sans Pere has the feel of an older and wiser big sister – it’s more refined, very minimalistic and toned down. It’s also a shop as well as a restaurant and a patisserie, and you can find crockery, ceramics and other types of homeware on sale around the restaurant.
I find that with these very trendy places the food usually comes with a similarly “trendy” price tag, but I actually didn’t think that Sans Pere was too expensive at all (with one exception – more on that later…) – most brunch dishes were under a tenner and the portion sizes weren’t too shabby either. I was also quite excited to see some different type of dishes on the menu such as eggs and soldiers which I’ve always thought is such a fun dish!
I ordered a Brie and truffle toastie with a side of avocado and smoked paprika as well the eggs and soldiers which me and Jim shared. For my drink, I ordered a spiced herbal tea which was really lovely, and a flavour that was quite different from anything else I’ve tried before. I really liked Sans Pere’s drink list in general, too. They had lots of different teas, with quite a few naturally caffeine free ones, which I’m always happy to see as I can’t really handle the stuff…
My Brie toastie (or toasties – there were two in the portion!) was really tasty and very cheese-y, which was a lovely surprise as sometimes these dishes can have so much of everything else but not the actual main ingredient (i.e. a halloumi burger with just a tiny bit of halloumi…).
The toastie is a great option for a cheese lover, but personally (even though I definitely am a cheese lover too!) I was left missing something fresh to balance the strong cheese-y taste – the toastie felt a little bit heavy after a few bites! The side of avocado was actually the perfect addition in that respect, but it was quite a small portion and cost a whopping £3.50 which I thought was slightly ridiculous. But, as the toastie itself was pretty cheap, altogether it didn’t come to too much.
Jim ordered a flat white to drink and a Croque Madame – a ham, cheese and bechamel sauce toastie with an egg on top – to eat, which he said was really lovely, and, again, a really decent portion considering the low price.
The eggs and soldiers were the most fun dish out of everything we tried – I loved the idea of dipping the crispy bread into the runny egg. One minus point comes from the fact that one of our two eggs was way too well done and wasn’t suitable for the dipping purposes – sniff!
Overall I liked Sans Pere – the food was really good and quite affordable (aside from the extortionate side of avocado…) and, if you like a streamlined and minimalistic decor, you’ll love the interior here as well. I’m personally more of a rustic interiors kind of gal, but it’s nice to try something a bit different every now and then! And I most definitely am still planning on visiting that pink Broadway Market branch, as well… Who’s with me?!
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