I tend to be a bit wary when it comes to big chains – it’s hard to maintain quality and personality on a big scale, which I remember reading was why Bone Daddies are looking to keep to just a few, something I can respect. But Drake & Morgan I’ve always found to be slightly different. Yes they are huge, and have recently become even bigger through buying tired City drinking group Corney & Barrow. But each venue has its own personality, the staff aren’t drones, the decor is fab and the food delicious (minus one very beige platter at the Folly once).
I love a bit of a wander, and on turning up in Canterbury town centre following a lovely wedding nearby we came across the lovely little Tiny Tim’s Tea Room on a quaint looking little street in the shadow of the huge cathedral.
When you ask John Tabatabai how he’d describe himself, he looks thoughtful for a moment – a trailblazer perhaps? A maverick? His response: “A lunatic probably.”
Tabatabai is 2 months into his first restaurant venture, a stressful time for any restaurateur but perhaps more so for the beginner. “I’ve never run a restaurant before,” he admits. “Working with operations, people, managing all the separate aspects and bringing it all together – it’s difficult. But I believe in it so strongly. It’s the opposite of what I was doing before.”
Brunch is fast becoming my favourite meal, and I love that there are so many options and that breakfast no longer needs to be based around sweet and sickly foods that are based around pastry, or huge greasy fry ups – although obviously they have their place. I’m not one of the avocado brigade but there’s definitely something to be said for a fresh, vibrant start to the day, and The Barn, Holloway excels at it.
Like most of the population I love a good brunch. On the one hand, I think it’s lovely at the weekend to wake up not hungover – the older I get the more I appreciate not having the pounding head, stuck-together mouth and vague sense of dread – the money spent, ridiculous things said, people offended, weekends gone – and the less fussed I am about missing huge drinking sessions.