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20 Love It
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner
© Jael Marschner

It might not look like much on the outside but Fields is the common’s best café by a jogger’s mile.

This park café is one of three on Clapham Common, and is perhaps the least attractive – a bleak-looking concrete box sited between a busy road and skateboard park, with sneakers dangling from the connecting power lines. But it’s the common’s best café by a jogger’s mile.

After changing tenants more often than the Long Pond’s ducks have eaten crusts for dinner, this café finally has some proper culinary credentials. It’s been taken over by the people behind the uber-trendy M1lk café in Balham – a joint so achingly fashionable it can’t even spell its own name properly.

Fields’s modestly furnished room belies a menu of great invention. Braised oxtail is served on sourdough toast with pickled shiitake mushrooms and basil leaves – powerfully flavoured and rich, with a strong star anise note to the slow-cooked meat. Burnt plum is served with Cornish cream, wet walnut and muscat grapes. More conventional dishes such as poached eggs on sourdough toast are jazzed up with a smear of espresso-infused thick ‘hollandaise’ and smoked salmon.

If you’re just popping in for a snack, or to sit outside on the large decked area, light bites include a yeasty, peat-smoked lardy cake, cooked in a tiny bundt tin, or big Anzac biscuits.

The drinks list isn’t too shabby either. Great coffee is made with either Workshop espresso or Koppi filter, plus there’s Kernel table beer and even ‘natural’ wines by the glass.

This may be the park café graduating from the playground, but kids are still welcome; one tot was tucking into her eggs on toast with glee on our visit. For the well-bred moppets of SW4, Fields is quite Elysian.

By Guy Dimond

Venue name: Fields
Address: 2 Rookery Road
Clapham Common
Opening hours: Daily 9am-5pm
Transport: Tube: Clapham Common

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
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Katie F

I don't really want to write this review as I don't want anyone to discover this little Clapham not-so-well-kept secret. Located on Clapham Common next to the skatepark, Fields is one of my favourite places for brunch, especially on a sunny summer's day. The vibe is relaxed. Picnic benches, self serve water and you have to go inside to order your sustenance. My favourite time to go is after my Saturday morning run when the patio is bathed in sunshine. Essentially, they serve great coffee and orange juice. Brunch-wise, If you gravitate to a typical choice, the poached eggs with smoked salmon on sourdough will not let you down and equally you can instagram the hell out of the smashed avo and feta cheese on toast with a #yum. If you want something more complex, the peach granola is an exciting early morning culinary adventure. As you can see, you definitely shouldn't go. It's terrible.

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