No gentrified vision of the future is overarching or ambitious enough to imagine a London in which some fellers from Scotts in Mayfair decide to set up shop in Lower Clapton. But this is happening. Indeed, it. Has. Happened.

Clarence Road, off Lower Clapton Road (or ‘Murder Mile’ as some of you may still fondly remember it) is now the scene of ex-Scotts notables Ed Wyand and Tom Fraser’s restaurant and wine bar, Verden.

The interior is a minimal arrangement of clean lines, light and space, the service is friendly but discreet and the food is brilliant.

Brunch is my favourite meal of the day and I’m thrilled by Verden’s brunch menu. It spans the entire breakfast-lunch spectrum. There’s also a recommended ‘breakfast wine’ if you’re that way inclined (I wasn’t on this occasion, but I appreciate the sentiment).

One tiny irritant were the over-stylised male and female signs on the toilet door. This is a development of modern life that infuriates me beyond all sense of proportion. I can’t stand to be intentionally confused about which door to choose when looking for the loo (#mystruggle).

Verden is tasteful and every detail is considered. The food is well-executed and thoughtful. It may appear slightly incongruous amid the chicken shops and Percy Ingles of Clapton, but welcome to E5, Verden. We’re so happy to have you, despite your over-abstracted toilets signs.

Verden, 181 Clarence Road, E5 8EE (020 8986 4723,

2 freshly squeezed orange £6

1 chicken schnitzel w/ fries and coleslaw £13

1 chorizo, poached egg and potato £8

1 buttermilk pancakes w/ berries and mascarpone £7.50

2 coffees £6

TOTAL £40.50

Verden, restaurant and wine bar, Hackney, Lower Clapton Verden, restaurant and wine bar, Hackney, Lower Clapton Verden, restaurant and wine bar, Hackney, Lower Clapton  image