Located in the row new buildings near the south bank of the Thames in Southwark, K and I stumbled upon The Refinery while looking for brunch on Sunday (and the place we were originally going to eat had a 40-minute wait). I was immediately taken in by the decor, which played to the strengths of the area's many converted warehouses.
It was brunch, so coffee and cocktails were obviously in order. The coffee was good and came with a little chunk of gooey brownie on the side, which is a really good way to win me over at the start of a meal.
I ordered a Breakfast Club 1985, with Little Bird gin, Campari, fresh raspberries, lemon, sugar and egg white, and it was pretty good - both bitter and sweet.
For brunch, I ordered the Californian kick start - poached eggs on rye with hummus, guacamole, tomato, mushroom and sweet chilli sauce. I'm not going to lie, I was definitely expecting my plate to be a little more full and a little less stylised, but it was the perfect amount of food to sate my hunger but not make me feel stuffed. The dish would have been really good if my poached eggs were cooked correctly, but both of the yokes were well done and hard, making the whole thing just too dry.
K ordered the proper London fully loaded breakfast, which was comprised of grilled sausage, sweet cured streaky bacon, roasted tomato, field mushrooms, baked beans, black pudding, two eggs cooked to order and unlimited toast - except that the waitress didn't know that it was unlimited toast and we were unable to argue when she said she'd be billing for extra toast once our menus had been taken away. K said the breakfast was good, but an English breakfast should be something you can mix all together - particularly the beans, as they add a lot of the moist, and the separate compartments made this awkward.
Overall, The Refinery was perfectly pleasant, but somewhat victim to style over substance. We were told by our waitress that the brunch menu was new and that they were still working out the kinks, so I can forgive that somewhat.
Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Overall experience: 7