How To Master The French Braid
Andina, Shoreditch. Sea bass for breakfast? No, really. Not one to stomach after a hangover but a perfect option for a leisurely Sunday when you're fighting fit, Andina, the sister restaurant to Martin Morales' Ceviche is the ultimate spot for those of you seeking something a little bit different. The menu is Peruvian through and through, and created with sharing in mind (though sharing the delectable pulled pork butty is a challenge we're yet to beat). Full of the good stuff, start with a kale, spinach, apple and hemp protein smoothie, or a hot mug of fuerza — a Peruvian delicacy packed full of superfoods. Move on to some zingy ceviche (it goes down better than you'd ever think it could for breakfast), before sharing the likes of quinoa croquettes, corn bread and avocado, salmon tartare, and that pulled pork brioche sandwich. (No bacon sandwich even comes close). And don't worry. If you're looking for something a little less adventurous, this place does a mean avocado on toast too. Like the weekend brunch? Make this your Monday morning meeting spot. Its weekday brekkie is just as good, trust.
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf. Okay so you've never ventured to Canary Wharf for a social outing before but now you've got reason to. And whether you're with your Mum, your friends, your man or your housemate, cancel the rest of Saturday's plans, because you're going to be brunching at One Canada Square for some time. We're talking multiple hours. Two words: bottomless brunch. Yup, for just £15, add unlimited drinks to your two or three course brunch (okay, it's definitely more like lunch). Bellinis, Bloody Marys, straight up prosecco, you name it. With high ceilings, marble decor, white tables and a live pianist, this place is seriously fancy. (Warning: maybe don't wear your sneakers.) Obviously, you'll already be sipping away whilst you peruse the menu, which, for starters, comprises the likes of salmon tartare, a kale and broccoli omelette, mixed meat terrine, and avocado on toast. (That's right, we said 'starters'.) Take a digestive pause and order another Bellini before moving onto an equally delectable main course. You'll struggle to pick between the crab linguini, salmon and haddock fishcake, and the burger and chips. Once you've made your decision, reward yourself with…another Bellini.
Duck and Waffle, Liverpool Street. Waffles with a view? It's totally doable. Duck & Waffle, the restaurant occupying the 40th floor of the Heron Tower does a mean brunch, with an even better view. Maybe not one for those of you with vertigo, you can sit by the window, gazing out at the bustle of London life, while you devour your brunch starter. Be it the bacon wrapped dates, the foie gras, or the BBQ-ed crispy pig ears, before moving on to the main event. For those of you with an early morning sweet tooth, let us recommend the waffle served with homemade Nutella, creamy vanilla ice cream, grilled banana brûleé and crushed peanuts. It's. Heaven. For savoury-toothed folk, go with the namesake speciality: the duck and waffle. It's just as it says on the tin but far, far more delicious.
Caravan, Kings Cross. When you've got kids, you know some places are go-gos and others are total no-nos. Screaming children running around The Wolsely = years of tortured nightmares reliving the whole ordeal. So when it comes to weekend brunch you need to plan accordingly. Caravan at Kings Cross is just the ticket. On a nice enough day, sit outside so you can appreciate a spot of weekend respite, with one eye on your plate, the other on your child who's in their element running tirelessly around Granary Square. For coffee-lovers, this place is a no brainer. Their lattes should come with medals. And the food certainly isn't far behind. The brunch menu includes mouthwatering treats such as coconut bread with rhubarb and lemon curd cream cheese, salt beef bubble 'n' squeak, Jalapeno corn bread, and Raclette french toast. Drool. And even if you're in the market for just some modest morning toast, you've got options. Top it with avocado and chilli, tomato compote, cheese and onion jam, or our personal favourite, the creamed corn.
Christopher's, Covent Garden. Celebrating a special occasion with your beau but over the whole cringey candlelit dinner thing? Us too. Getting our men to put a shirt on, sit among other sickeningly smoochy couples all night and not dip his fingers in the candle wax is a serious challenge, so why bother? Instead, make the most of a weekend and start the day with a spot of romance. Chase a lie-in and a spot of 'us time' with a trip to the glamorous Christopher's in Covent Garden. With its gilded decor, Rococo covings, white table cloths and velvet drapes, just the dining room's beauty will have you weak at the knees. As for the menu, there's plenty of interesting American-inspired options so you can be sure to satisfy both yours and his wildest desires. Highlights include the chocolate brioche french toast, Eggs Maryland, buttermilk pancakes with bacon and syrup, and the unbeatable lobster club with chilli mayo. Oh, and if you go late enough, you can justify washing your pancakes down with a stiff drink from the Martini Bar downstairs.
The Breakfast Club, locations across the city. Too many wines, mojitos, proseccos and tequilas? We've all been there and no, the last slice of bread on your kitchen counter is not going to cut it — no matter how much butter, peanut butter and jam. Eggs are needed. And not just eggs. Bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and half a loaf of bread are all obligatory too. If you can keep your eyes open and stomach settled enough to brave transport, do it and head straight to one of the numerous outposts of The Breakfast Club. (There are plenty across the city so you'll never have to travel too far and wide.) And anyway, it's worth it, we promise. Served all day, what does it matter if you wake up at 2pm?
Verdi, Royal Albert Hall. On the hunt for the ultimate 'impress the parents' spot? Here it is: Verdi, at the Royal Albert Hall no less. A sight in itself, first they'll be wowed by the venue, then they'll be in awe of the menu, before they're praising the dishes. (If you go on a Saturday lunchtime, there's live music too.) And just like that, you're the favourite child. Don't make the mistake of going too early, for here it's definitely more brunch-lunch than breakfast-brunch. Italian-derived cuisine, options include an aubergine bubble 'n' squeak, haddock fishcakes, and rigatoni all'arrabbiata. There's even pizza if you're that way inclined. If you're treating them (or better yet if they're treating you), make the most of the cocktails. An espresso martini is a better pick me up than even the strongest of lattes (and will numb the pain of their 10392098+ questions about your love life). If you haven't booked to see a show, work off your eggs and Bellinis with a leisurely meander around the Serpentine.
Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell. A brunch date, how nouveau chic? Okay, it sounded great when you pitched it but now you're thinking where the hell do you go. Answer: Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell. It's easy enough to find, not too intimately small nor soullessly huge, it's busy enough for communal chatter to fill the awkward silence but not too rowdy that you're asking, 'What?' all the time. Plus, there's no real surprises on the menu so you won't have to guess two thirds of your order and then pretend that you totally love it. There's all your classic brunch options, the two eggs any way, ricotta and raspberry pancakes, porridge and Eggs Royale, along with some more eclectic dishes thrown in for good measure. Rendang mince on toast for example. And the sweetcorn and feta waffle served with bacon deserves a shout out. Avocado on the side and you're winning. Plus an ambitious selection of fresh juices and brunch cocktails to match. If the date goes well, stroll the block afterwards. If it ends badly, you're well connected with public transport to make your excuses and shoot.
Nopi, Oxford Circus. This scenario: you've got an occasion that you _need_ a new outfit for (we're talking shoes, dress, accessories, the works) and you've left the whole of Saturday open for 'the task'. But first of all you need sustenance, right? Nopi's your place. Located all too conveniently behind Liberty just off of Regent Street, Ottolenghi's restaurant will transport you out of Oxford Circus and into the serenity of the Mediterranean by way of fresh and healthy dishes, authentic cuisine and an airy, laissez-faire atmosphere. Wake up with a latte and quench your thirst with a carrot and ginger juice. Then for the food. Usually we'd argue anything with 'fruit salad' in the title was a brunch cop out but here, it's anything but, and the granola alone we could write a book about. Think extra crunchy clusters and whole almonds tossed over a generous serve of thick greek yoghurt, alongside a fresh and exotic medley of melon, mango, strawberries and papaya. Alternatively, satisfy your appetite for eggs whilst soaking up Ottolenghi's famous cuisine by ordering the Shakshuka. A wholesome dish of baked eggs in a tomato sauce with peppers and onions and served with toasted sourdough, one that vows to keep even the hungriest of eaters full until afternoon tea. Oh, and don't leave without taking a trip to the bathroom. It sounds weird but those mirrors will impress and boggle your mind forever more.
It's not hard to find a good avocado on toast in London but what is harder is finding and deciding on the right place to have it. What might be the perfect spot for chilling and boozing away your Sunday with friends is totally wrong for taking (read: impressing) your parents.
Likewise, when you can barely lift your head off the pillow thanks to the previous night's antics, that bowl of Bircher muesli at your usual haunt just isn't going to hit the spot. No, when we need a fry up, we need a full-blown, all-the-trimmings, challenge-to-finish fry up. And fortunately, we know just the place.
So you don't have to trial and error your way around the city, we're here to help you out. Ahead, the best brunch spots for every eventuality. Take notes, make plans, invite guests respectively...
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