Please note, Autumn Yard has now closed. Time Out Food editors, October 2018.
Amble down to Autumn Yard during the week and you’ll be met by dog walkers and health food buffs. Fast forward to the weekend and the brunchers descend, the soundtrack livens up, and this café-bar-store near Hackney Downs Studios slides into action.
The warehouse floor is decked out with clever, dark furnishings and a wildly distracting open-plan kitchen. Long tables covered in cocktails are complemented by cosy corner enclaves – perfect for couples or coffee. A bar and shop sit at the entrance and an outdoor terrace will be great for beers come summer. There’s something for everyone. In fact, you could come here and have any experience you wanted. Bring your mum, bring a date, bring your dog, bring them all.
While the space is all-encompassing, the dishes – many of which are veggie or vegan – are surprisingly detailed. Healthy weekend classics come with lovely twists, like beans on toast upgraded to a smoky cannellini stew piled high on garlic-smothered sourdough, or a sweet potato hash flaked with juicy ham hock and crisscrossed with an intense hollandaise sauce. Both were delicious and satisfying, just like brunch should be. Zingy juices hit the spot too and, although we didn’t venture down the drinks menu, the vegan wines looked tempting in the way that alcohol always does on Sunday.
So, yes, booze is an option, as are healthy veggie sandwiches, bottomless brunches, vegan cupboard essentials, cakes – there clearly isn’t a particular focus, but the all-in approach works. Give them a couple more months and Autumn Yard will no doubt be famed as a self-assured, all-day destination where you’re guaranteed a good time whatever you’re after.