"Ambitious restaurant/gallery/therapy room, but food doesn't impress"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Forest Hill is one of those leafy south London suburbs beloved of young families, if the clientele at Canvas & Cream is anything to go by. The highly praised Havelock Walk is a stone’s throw away, a street lined with artist live-in studios where visitors can walk in and watch the creators at work, which explains the venue’s restaurant/art space/therapy room concept.
The pretty dining room is full of curios; there are shelves filled with china, quirky light fittings like a chandelier with glass bottles containing the lightbulbs, and mismatched furniture and wooden floorboards add a homely feel.
It’s Saturday afternoon, so the brunch menu is on offer till 4 pm, and consists of various egg concoctions, fry-ups, pancakes, or healthy options like granola and porridge. The eggs Benedict are perfectly pleasant save for the Hollandaise, which has taken on some sort of lumpy, clotted form in places. The American pancakes are thick and doughy, with a rasher of salty bacon; all good, but the serving of maple syrup is the size of a teaspoon. “Would you like any sauces with that?” the waitress asks, but when we ask for more maple syrup we’re told this incurs a charge of £1.30, as “it’s expensive”. We agree, and stick with what’s there.
Gin martinis are too vermouth-heavy, but we should have known better as the wine list has descriptions like “a pale yellow wine with greenish reflections”. But despite their flawed perception of what makes a good wine, the owners are highly ambitious: a flyer advertises a Christmas meal, which will take place within an upcycled art installation where the tables move around for each course. If this is your idea of a fun event you might find Canvas & Cream endearing.
Leila reviewed Canvas & Cream on Mon 10 Dec 2012