I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but at some point in my life, I began to love the idea of going out for breakfast. The urge for a late night bag of chips suddenly switched to a craving for coffee and breakfast, or at least brunch. However, finding new places to eat has become slightly trickier since the boyfriend has decided he no longer eats meat. Actually, that probably isn't the biggest issue. He's stopped eating eggs as well, which basically means you’re going to be ordering toast (in a lot of places anyway). Once you start looking, you'll be surprised at how many breakfast menus are comprised solely of meat and eggs. So, not to be deterred from a bit of breakfast luxury, I sought out the Ragged Canteen in Vauxhall, a vegetarian/vegan cafe housed in a wing of a former girls school which is also home to the Beaconsfield gallery.
It's an interesting and characterful building, incorporating rugged outside space and simple stark interiors; it feels full of stories and seems the perfect setting for an artists residence. The Ragged Canteen works from a small kitchen but produces large, pleasing plates that don't threaten to break the bank. With a regularly changing menu, it seems there is always an opportunity to try something new which hopefully entices people back again and again.
I plumped for the vegetarian breakfast and it couldn't be faulted, great ingredients, superb bubble and squeak and fabulous vegetarian sausages. I carried on eating even after I was full, which is a great recommendation for the food, whilst a shocking admittance of my lack of self restraint.
If you can grab a seat outside on a nice summers day, you could easily laze here for a while, drinking coffee and eating cake. Shaded by the high wall, with contrasting glass doors allowing a peek out on to the street, it evokes the feel of a creative hideaway. A place that you have been lucky enough to stumble across just a stone’s throw from the train line.
Once you've eaten or had your coffee you can then peruse what the gallery has to offer with its continually changing programme of exhibitions. Currently home to Meditations on the Anthropecene, Beaconsfield gallery has provided a creative space for artists to innovate, create and exhibit since 1995. It seems poised to challenge, provoke and explore both what art is and what it has to offer. A small donation of £2 is suggested for visitors to the exhibitions and you can become a friend or patron of Beaconsfield online, helping to secure it's future as an independent arts space and registered charity. Coffee and culture all in one hit.