After another sleepless night, yesterday early morning and the school run was not the greatest. As we grabbed our bags and dashed out of the front door, I was determined that the sleep deprivation and hectic morning wasn’t going to spoil our entire day, I needed to grab it back and take control. So I decided that I would take my little baby out for a nice brunch and walk along the river.
Although I had managed to give both of the boys their breakfast, I had no time to make or eat anything for myself and having no breakfast can make me a very grizzly mummy indeed. Consequently, by the time we had arrived in the town center and hit a few shops my belly was beginning to rumble.
The weather yesterday was a bit indecisive too before we left for the school run the sky was heaving with big grey clouds looking like they might pop at any minute. However, as we started walking down to the river the clouds had almost entirely disappeared, and the sun was out and shining brightly. We picked a great morning for brunch, especially as it’s supposed to rain now for the rest of the week.
I love the river in Kingston and Richmond Upon Thames; it’s so peaceful and enlightening. No matter what my mood or day is like it always seems to find a positive way of inspiring me, and yesterday I sure needed it (that and food!)
It wasn’t long before we got on to the restaurant track, I thought it might take me a while to choose where we would be going to eat our brunch. Usually, I can walk up and down the river two or three times wondering which restaurant to go into just for a cup of tea, because I love them all so much. Albeit, I was hungry and knew I wanted something delicious and filling. One of the first restaurants you come to is a beautiful Lebanese place called, Comptoir Libanais. Now, this isn’t the first time that we have eaten here, but it is the first time that I have ever tried brunch and their breakfast menu. To be quite honest, I didn’t even think that they did breakfast so as soon as I saw that they were open and I read their breakfast menu I was rather excited and we just had to go in and try it for ourselves.
There was one couple in the restaurant as we arrived, they were also having brunch outdoors. We picked our seat outside a nice little table, plenty of room for my boy’s pram, and although I chose to sit further to the back, just in case the clouds came back, the view of the river was still fairly spectacular.
We sat outside for a little while, I didn’t see any waitresses about, nor did I see any of the breakfast menus on the tables. So little man and I decided to have a little wonder inside of the restaurant. I have eaten inside of the restaurant only once as it was late at night and cold outside, the rest of the times I have eaten outside and enjoyed the riverbank views. I was taken back with the restaurant’s décor, because although I had seen it before it was rather busy that night, and I hadn’t actually taken the time appreciate it. Now we were stood inside of the empty restaurant you could really see how beautiful the décor and ambiance is, you feel as though you have just stepped into a nice big warm and welcoming kitchen in another country. I love that contrast of cosy yet exotic welcoming that you get, and I wanted to take some proper pictures. Likewise, my boy loved and appreciated the music that was playing and he started dancing around as soon as we stepped through the doors.
We did find the waitress who was helping another customer. Once she had finished, she was more than happy to assist us and instructed us to take a seat outside, where she would bring us everything that we needed. She was really friendly and welcoming, which is very import I think. Whether you are eating or drinking out, I think the staff should be extra pleasant to you and make you feel at ease, even if it’s just a pot of tea and cream cake that your ordering or a five-course dinner. If I feel unwelcomed or at unease, I don’t care how lovely the food and drink are I won’t return, there again. So I was extremely pleased with the service we received immediately.
Baby and I sat outside and gazed at the beautiful scenery, watching the boats go up and down the river Thames. The waitress brought me the breakfast menu, and I ordered our food and drink straight away. For me, I ordered the ‘Comptoir Full Breakfast.’ I was starving by the time it came to ordering our food, I hadn’t eaten or drank anything all morning. I chose this option as it seemed like a great full English breakfast alternative, yet it was remarkably similar. For my baby, I picked a butter croissant, because he does love them right now. I also got him a glass of milk, even though this wasn’t on the menu the waitress was more than happy to provide us with one, and for me, it had to be a nice pot of breakfast tea. The waitress also went out of her way to see if we would like the milk warmed up because she knew it was for my infant son, which I thought was a really lovely thing to do. There is quite a nice variety of food to pick from on their breakfast menu too, from porridges and granolas to pastries and croissants and even a vegetarian cooked breakfast. I really want to go back and try the spiced hot chocolate as it sounds delicious and probably addictive.
While we waited for the breakfast to be cooked, we sat and played at the table and simply enjoyed the sunshine, which had really come out at this point, it was radiant. I guess the sun had also enticed others out to the river bank as the restaurant soon started to fill up. If I had have known that the sun was going to be getting stronger, I would have chosen a table for us to sit at closer to the front. Just before the waitress came out with our food I asked her if they had any high chairs for my baby, and she said ‘Yes sure’ and immediately she went to get us one.
I think we probably waited for about ten minutes or so for the food and drink to come out; it wasn’t a long wait I would say it was just about right. If it had have been any earlier than this I would have had to question when was the food cooked, so I was defiantly happy with the waiting time because it wasn’t too long or short it was just right.
The food and drink all arrived at the same time, which again I can’t complain as it’s nice to have them all together. It can be utterly disastrous when you order food, and somebody gets theirs much earlier than you get yours or vice versa, and same goes for the drinks. If the drinks arrive too early, you tend to fill up on them, and then have nothing to drink while you’re eating your food. So for me, this was all perfect timing.
Presentation wise for the food, to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed. The appearance really did not do the food justice, it could have been spruced up with some extra garnish and maybe served on some better looking plates. My baby’s food didn’t look that spectacular either, it was just a simple croissant on a yellow glass plate, nothing fancy, but to be fair, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. My Comptoir Full Breakfast consisted of 3 small spicy Armenian lamb sausages, fool moudamas, za’atar roasted mushroom, sumac fried egg, chargrilled tomato, Lebanese potatoes, served with some flatbread. I think the whole combination was perfect; all the tastes complimented one and other. Again it’s a nice change from the traditional full English breakfast, yet it’s still very similar. I can’t fault my food at all, I loved it and ate it all up! It was just the right proportion size too, especially for one very hungry mummy! The tea was beautiful and served in a nice little teapot with a glass teacup and saucer. It tasted delicious with my food.
My son’s croissant wasn’t of the same high standard; it was incredibly flaky and dry. I don’t think I have ever seen a croissant so flaky in all of my life and I love croissants I always have! It was extremely hard for me to cut the croissant open so I could add a light layer of butter, and unfortunately, the butter was also very hard. Nonetheless, my son seemed to enjoy it, and he scoffed it all with pleasure. I even let him try some of my food and each time he tried something different from my plate he gave it back to me and then reached out for his croissant! Therefore, it must have tasted a lot nicer than it looked and felt. He also drank all of his milk so he was one very happy little boy.
Once we had finished eating and drinking, the whole atmosphere, weather, and the scenery were so nice I really wanted to order another pot of tea. However, by this time the restaurant had started to get busy outside, and there was still only one waitress dealing with the customers. Consequently, by the time I managed to get the waitresses attention, my little boo was getting cranky and he wanted us to go for our stroll along the rather, therefore I decided to just get the bill instead.
I would have loved to have had my Mr there with us too so that he could have enjoyed eating brunch with us in the sun. So next time the sun is out that is my plan, to take him back with us, I know he will appreciate it. I enjoyed our morning there so much I didn’t want to get the bill and leave, I wanted to sit out in the sun a little while longer, have another pot of tea, tell my son stories about the boats on the river and enjoy the rest of the morning.
In the end, it turns out my decision to go for brunch really did change the course of the day; the sun stayed out, baby and I were in a nice good mood, we had a lovely walk along the riverbank, a short shopping trip and quite a productive day. It was far nicer than staying at home.
Overall, I really enjoyed our visit to Comptoir Libanais, my man might have had to work that morning, but I had a wonderful little date to take his place, and he got to spend some quality one on one time with his mummy. The food was delicious as was the tea, the scenery was stunning the ambiance was relaxing yet inspiring, and the waitress was a delight.
I would like to give Comptoir Libanais 4/5 stars, and for sure we will be returning for brunch anytime soon, well once the sun comes back out anyway.