After pigging out at Broadway market, we decided to walk home along the canal, and stumbled upon the newly-opened Waterhouse restaurant. Brother to the ultra-eco-friendly Acorn House. The house water is filtered from the canal outside, there are solar panels and even a wormery to recycle the kitchen waste!
There was fresh produce lined up against a wall, and the chef came along to pick out some authentically muddy carrots out of a basket. (Though I was less sure that the pineapple displayed on the shelf above came from a near-by allotment.) Otherwise, the room looked a bit like a modern cafe – wooden tables with metal legs, neatly adorned with Heinz ketchup and HP sauce and bordered by air-dynamic plastic chairs, and a long bar on one side. Though admittedly this was brunch time, and it a few candles could easily give it a more sophisticated air in the evening. The brunch menu offers various healthy options along the lines of granola (I guess most eco warriors are also health freaks). The less healthy selection is limited to variations on fry ups, omitting my own personal favourites like eggs benedict or cheese on toast. Either way, we were too full for any more food, but stopped for a drink.
We chose the two English options from the short list of wines by the glass – the Chapel Down Bacchus, one of our favourites (6.25), and the Primrose Hill rose (4.50), which apparently actually comes from Kent rather from Kate Moss's corner of London. The service was friendly, and it's a pleasant location for watching the world amble/cycle past along the canal through floor-to-ceiling windows (decorated with cute little pictures of water droplets). Plus there is a terrace, so in the summer they might let you sit outside. We'll have to come back for dinner once the nights get longer/lighter and find out (in the dark, the canal is a less friendly, unlit kind of place where it's not unknown for local kids to push cyclists into the murky water).
The Waterhouse, 10 Orsman Road, N1 5QJ; Tel. 0207 033 0123; www.waterhouserestaurant.co.uk;; Tube: Old Street (then about 15-20 min walk).