The view from outside the Design Museum
For those who think that London is a horrendously expensive city, you're right. But there are some great meals to be had at a reasonable price here too. Case in point is the Blue Print cafe at London's Design Museum. Something that you'd assume that because of the view and the fact that it's in a Design Museum, would cost you an arm and a leg but gladly not. If you just show up prices are higher but if you book through a site like www.london-eating.com you can take advantage of their special offers that get you 3 courses for £20 and 2 courses for £15, something you wouldn't even find in Sydney.
The Blue Print Cafe, upstairs at the Design Museum
This booking system also lets them know that my sister is a repeat customer so snagging a window table with a view is not a problem. Of course being London, the sunshine is replaced shortly by rain but it's still a lovely view nevertheless. The service from our waitress doesn't quite match up to the lovely view and the surroundings. The offer allows us to order anything from the menu below £7 for the starter and £17 from the mains and anything higher is a supplement of £2.50 for the entrees or £4 for the mains.
Binoculars, should you feel like seeing what everyone else is up to
We order our entrees and mains, but no dessert for us as we're stuffed from an overload of food today. While we wait, there are blue binoculars on the table so that we can make the most of the view.
Beetroot salad, a soft boiled egg, mustard & horseradish £6.00
Our entrees arrive, the Beetroot salad, a soft boiled egg, mustard & horseradish with sweet beetroot and with a strong horseradish flavour which rules this out for me but my husband likes this dish very much indeed.
Chicken liver pâté pickles & toast £6.50
My Chicken liver pâté, pickles & toast looks large and impressive with an ice cream scoop size of chicken liver pâté, lovely and mild. The long slice of toasted Poilâne miche is deliciously crunchy with the pâté and I enjoy every bite.
Sardines on toast & a fried egg £6.50
My sister opts not to share the sardines but says that the bread is nice and oily but finds that the sardines are too dry.
The mains arrive shortly later along with a side serve of wilted, buttered spinach and lightly roasted potatoes.
Lamb's sweetbreads, capers & black butter £14.00
My lamb sweetbreads, yes pancreas, are the definite winner, lightly dredged in flour and then fried crisply they are lovely and soft inside with a light crunch on the outside with just the right amount of capers and browned butter (or black butter as they call it although I believe this is different to brown butter) to add flavour.
Whole grilled bream £15.00
The whole grilled bream is certainly impressive looking, my husband's eyes light up at the sight of a whole fish. There's something about the sight of a whole grilled fish that makes me think of being stranded on a deserted island and catching a whole fish. It's good although perhaps in need of some seasoning.
The lamb is an interesting dish, deliciously soft and fall apart lamb, it's intensely flavoured and seasoned with herbs like coriander and rosemary as well as salty olives. It's heady and reminiscent of the food that we ate in Paris.
Funnily enough we ask for our bill and they bring us a bill for £3.50 for one drink. We could skip out and pay for this but my sister knows, and we understand, that she'll be back for this scenic, valuable gem.
Blue Print Cafe at the Design Museum
London SE1 2YD
Vegetarian options: 1 entree and 1 main option plus desserts
Tel: 020 7378 7031
Tower Hill (District, Circle)
London Bridge (Jubliee, Northern)
Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12noon-3pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-11pm