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Brunswick House Café

Restaurants Vauxhall
3 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)
Tricia de Courcy Ling

Time Out says

This Georgian mansion, a tiny beacon of classic calm amid the high-rise apartments and noisy chaos of Vauxhall Cross, has no trouble packing in a young, high-spending, professional clientele. Some are simply stopping by for a cocktail while perusing the desirable bric-a-brac on offer from architectural salvage company Lassco, but most are here to meet, drink, eat and generally enjoy the place’s markedly non-corporate hospitality.

It’s an appealing combination of boho-chic comfort, fluctuating lighting (of an evening) and minimalist menu presentation, along with a brilliantly tended bar and extensive lounge. Cocktails are prepared with panache and are good value; the food perhaps less so – following a punchy Pimm’s, an appealing-sounding summery starter of ‘asparagus, peas and berkswell’ disappointed by occasioning a needle-in-a-haystack search beneath a mound of rocket.

A main course of grey mullet would have worked better as a starter: both the potato accompaniment and sea greens turned out to be cold salads, and explained why the waitress pressed us to order vegetable side dishes (at extra charge). Bread – chunky and pleasing sourdough – also costs extra after the first slice.

Puddings proved a curate’s egg: excellent, crunchy brown bread ice-cream and strawberry ‘tart’ with thin, soft pastry and a slippery cheesecake filling.




Address: 30 Wandsworth Road
Cross street: Vauxhall Cross
Transport: Tube: Vauxhall
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Users say (29)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:9
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You think it would be hard for these guys to get it wrong? A restaurant in an area that doesn’t offer much in terms of impressive dining or even just plain old dining. A lavish interior in an imposing old building. An interesting menu. You’re already on to a winner. Or as it turned out; not.

I don’t know about you but having to google everything on the menu to have any idea on what it is is not my idea of a good night out. And no, it wasn’t in French. The waiters (when we could actually catch one’s attention) shed even less light. The menu was like playing Russian roulette. The mains did not capture my attention (my imagination wasn’t working) so I settled for two starters. Which were in reality two incy wincy teeny weeny starters. At £8 a pop. It seemed like I’d need to swing by McDonald’s on the way home. Now to be fair, the food was good. What I had of it.

I don’t mind paying a premium when I get good food in a great environment with good service but this fell short in every way. The service was shoddy. Two people working in a restaurant which must have had about 60 covers. We waited at least 15 minutes to be brought a menu. We had to go to the bar to get a drink. It took 20 minutes to pay.

Pull your socks up Brunswick. You could have a gem. But right now, what’s that saying, ‘you can’t polish a…’


Brunswick House is an interesting one. Being a fierce fan of wine in a single measure - large - I am often disappointed that wine is only served in one measure here: not large. This aside, the bar is very well stocked, there are plenty of delicious cocktails to choose from and the service is very professional and slick. There is a small lounge bit, with some uncomfortable green garden furniture chairs. The eclectic antiques that fill the cafe are what sell it I think. Its a bit of a diamond in the Vauxhall rough. Its at the side of a Antiques reclamation yard, and the lighting, atmosphere is really something you need to see. Its incredible unique, it changes on a regular basis, and I do find myself looking admiringly up and around when I do there. I did eat here once, and it is on the side of expensive but I actually loved the food, and was genuinely surprised at how tasty it was. Its a decent date-place, relaxed and the right shade of intimacy mixed with impressive.

I love love love this place. The decor is quirky and ever-changing, the staff are fun and there is always a nice buzzy atmosphere. The drinks list is good and the food is delicious and seasonal. I've never eaten anything bad here. I've also been to a party here in the upstairs function area. It's a great space and the food, decorand friendly staff made for a great event.

My wife and I spent a week in London on holiday from California. Our flat was in Vauxhall where there isn't much happening. What a delight, then, to discover the Brunswick House. The decor has the feeling of a salvage house owned by someone with a fondness for nice junk and a flair for presentation. The menu was quite interesting, with not many things but some unusual choices. The cooking was creative and quite good, with one spotty exception that the manager quickly took care of with grace. We loved the service which was informal and charming. while remaining helpful and efficient. Lamb sweetbreads are typical of rare delicacies on the menu and the Raspberry-chocolate bread pudding is to-die-for. We were happy with the smallish wine list which had good choices and was well priced, and the excellent Bloody Mary a welcome respite from the terrible Margarita I was served the night before at a crowded nearby terrace on the Thames. I definitely feel comfortable in recommending the Brunswick House to my friends -- indeed I have already done so.

I went here (as a group of 10) for my birthday last weekend and I was absolutely blown away! great place, great service and the food was fantastic. Most of us ate different dishes (and I tried a fair few). I thought they were all delicious. The mackarel starter was extraordinary (as were the artichokes, which my wife had and i ate half of!)... and the skate & the hake were the standout mains for me. I would highly recommend this place

This is a cool little place. It has a more Australasian feel to it than anything. Laid back, eclectic furniture, cocktails in tumblers. My food was delicious BUT it was served cold. Both my starter and my main. Not good. Especially when our group wasn't huge (we were 9) and the restaurant wasn't full. Service was a bit too cool from school - not a single smile served all night.

Amazing space, but pricey food and drinks! This should not be a '£' but '£££'- get it right Time Out! Agree with some of the other comments that the service was far too relaxed for a pricey restaurant- it seemed they were more interested in socialising than serving people.

We were a table of six, the food ranged from awful to underwhelming to good, but the service was the worst any of us had ever experienced, to the point where we all wondered whether some unfortunate event had befallen out waitor Paul; had he just been dumped?had his cat died? Or was he just an obnoxious grump who thought that smiling at paying customers was akin to punching them in the face. Failures from Paul: painfully slow service, didn't remember our orders, didn't bring water despite being asked multiple times, didn't bring our beers, didn't ask how the food was despite some virtually untouched plates being cleared away, and couldn't even get a simple item like the bill correct, double counting all our desserts. So all in all we felt Paul hadn't quite deserved the 12.5 percent service charge he saw fit to suggest, tipping him ten percent instead. And this was when Paul really came into his own, this was his crowning glory, first he tells us that we hadn't paid enough,to which we replied that we just hadn't paid the full optional service charge as neither the food nor service were up to it, he then replies "well that's your problem" and storms off!! Given the location, this place must rely on recommendations, and the apalling service may explain why it was virtually empty.

We booke a work lunch do 3 weeks in advance and pre ordered our food. The decor is lovely, but the customer service was extremely poor. We mentioned our pre order which had been lost. They messed up my drink order which took 15 minutes to rectify. We then waited 1 HOUR before receiving our starter and when we complained the waitress seemed to care very little and didn't apologise. We then had to wait a further 30 mins for our main course. The food was average, overly priced and when we asked for the bill the waitress had given us the wrong one. I would not recommend this place to anyone, such a shame the bad staff and disorganised kitchen a potentially lovely venue.

Visited the Cafe on Sunday, Macchiato was delicious. Atmosphere and ambience vibrant and interesting, then they started playing Enya. Not just once but a few times, I asked a few friends if it's okay to play Enya in an ironic sense, they said NO, it's never okay to play Enya ever.

Nice décor and interesting initiative by the owner but have to agree with one or more reviews about staff. More particularly the boy who made my "cappuccino" was rude and didn't really know what he was doing and the girls just sat around emailing their friends or shouting in-jokes to one another. It was all a bit annoying really. There's 'chilled out' and then there's just down right truculence. Sadly it was leaning towards the latter.

Went for breakfast on a Saturday morning - they were busy but the service was good, the breakfast was a really generous size and delicious. They were also really happy to make subsitutions for breakfast items and happy for us to take our time. First time I've been so I can't speak for other times of the day, but this was exactly what we wanted for a lazy breakfast.

A few of the comments below seem far from fair. We found the menu delightfully eccentric, and the food interesting and well-presented. The service too was friendly and personalized. But if you are in a rush, or just wound up with stress and demand speedy and fauning (rather than leisurely) service, then this is not the place for you. After trying it out a few days ago we're now planning birthday party there.

One of the most ridiculous customer service experiences in a restaurant. I’ve been twice (breakfast and dinner) and the food hasn’t been up to scratch, the service slow and the staff unfriendly. Saturday night was so hilariously bad that we caught another table having the same nightmare with the manager as us. I gave them the thumbs up and they also burst out laughing in front of him - not that it deterred him. He'd actually spent over 10 minutes detailing each dish on the menu (substituting English words as printed on the menu, for French words – impressive). It was awkward, lengthy and unnecessary. Then when we mentioned the food was tepid, he spent another 5 minutes patronizing us: that it should be served at body temperature for optimal nutritional value and taste; that they never serve any food hot; that if they were to serve the beans hot they would “disintegrate”. We’ve eaten in Michelin starred restaurants before, and they cook hot food! He ranted for so long that I’d lost the will to argue back. Really terrible example of London pretension to the expense of good service and decent food. Would have given it another chance had we not seen him do the same to the other table – it must be like that every night...

I wouldn't recommend this place for a party. We were told we could only have the fixed menu at £30 per head. But there was probably enough food to feed a third of the party. Really inadequate sharing plates, the main course had to be eaten on tiny plates.  Pudding was a complete joke- a tiny piece of two cakes for about 4 or 5 people to share. To add insult to injury every time we asked the staff for something (eg a glass of water) this received a very surly response. They were just rude.  We were left at 11 o'clock with nothing to drink (we were told the bar had stopped serving, but they will still serving lots of drinks to their friends), so the night came to an abrupt end.  Birthday ruined.  Never again. 

AWFUL saucer plates of food, tiny salads - a tablespoon to accompany a slither of tart, my friends £5 sandwich was burnt, staff seemed to have no idea what they were doing, over priced (£5.20 for the one tablespoon of salad and slither of tart.) Shocking. worst place i have ever spent my lunch hour. left still hungry and feeling cheated. dont waste your time. only good thing is the decor is great.

A rather disappointing experience. 3/4 of the menu unavailable. 30/40 minute wait for drinks only to be told that they had run out. Burnt food. No napkins. Disgusting coffee. Had to go find our own cutlery. Disorganised, untrained and incompetent staff. The bill was completely incorrect. The food and drink that did arrive and wasn't burnt was quite delicious, but overall not worth the time or money.

food was pretty good, quite rich, but as others have commented- the portions were tiny, so i never felt full. service was very slow and disorganised, and the clientele seemed to be mainly late 20 somethings public schoolers which by their nature irritate me. but that's not the restaurants fault... cocktails were inventive, but expensive. the best thing about this place is undoubtedly the space- all the weird and wonderful antiques hanging up across the wall or dangling form the ceiling- there is always something to look at if the pretentious conversation gets you bored...

There just isn't anywhere else quite like this place. Keeps getting better and better.

well done boys - great space, great place. Good food, interesting flavours and good wines. Enjoyable evening all round.

The food that arrived was tasty, but I agree with the comments that it was slow and some of the staff were curt. The chef seemed like a nice chap though. In a city like London that is overrun by boring, glass fronted chain restaurants I actually appreciated going somewhere with real character. Good for patient foodies - I'd recommend it. £75 for 3 people, 3 courses and a bottle of vino. I've paid a lot more for a lot worse.

Spectacularly good food. Erratic but endearing service. Well worth a visit for a chilled out evening of great food.

I really like this place. The service is laid back and the vibe is chilled. The food is bang on - earthy, seasonal and tasty. It's maybe too slow for some zoomy London types but i like to take the speedometer down now and again. And then zoom off witha belly full of goodness.

Terrible service, really slow and tiny portions....Grumpy staff and overpriced. Dont waste your time and money, they have no charm and no organisation. A mess of an evening.

A completely unique venue with a laid back vibe. The food and coffee are great and a cocktail in the evening is really atmospheric with all the chandeliers lighting the main room. With this, The Canton Arms and Hot Stuff Vauxhall has a couple of gems worth visiting. Superb!

The servings are tiny, the staff slow and incapable of printing off a menu that is so short they could have remembered it easily. the chef is rude and will get upset if you question him.

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