I love brunch. It’s a celebration of breakfast food, and the only time it’s acceptable to have a drink before 12pm… what’s not to love?! I’m pretty sure New York is the king of brunch, although that assumption is based purely on Sex and the City, but London is really starting to catch up, and is fast becoming its own brunch royalty!
This ‘review’, if you want to call it that, is a list of my personal favourite brunch spots. In my opinion these three places are an absolute must-do for anybody spending any amount of time in The Big Smoke. All three are very different, they have different price ranges and are in this list for very different reasons. The last part of this list is a corroboration of bottomless boozey brunches in London (with links) because these are the things I think people just ought to know!
The Duck and Waffle
The place that needs no introduction. If you haven’t heard of The Duck and Waffle and you live in/ have spent any amount of time in London/ South East England then I can only assume you’ve been under a rock for the past 3 years. The D&W is London’s highest 24 hour restaurant, situated on the 40th flour of the Heron Tower, Bishopsgate. Their breakfast menu runs from 6am – 11am on weekdays and 6am-9am on weekends, and the weekend brunch menu from 9am – 4pm, with an ‘all day’ and a ‘late night’ menu covering all the hours in between. With some of the best cocktails in London, this place certainly isn’t just a brunch spot, but I think breakfast dining is where it really excels! Why? Firstly the menu. It’s got a perfect mixture of sweet and savoury. You can have eggs anyway you can think of (I recommend the duck egg en cocotte), and you best believe they do the ‘waffle’ in the name justice, whether you go for the classic ‘duck & waffle’ with mustard maple syrup, or the’full Elvis’ with pbj, cream and bananas brulée (the way ‘The King’ would have wanted). Their brunch menu boasts a total of 14 vegetarian mains… FOURTEEN! Do you know how rare that is in a top end restaurant? There really is something for absolutely everyone, and at a price which I think, all things considered (including the altitude) is actually very reasonable. If you want a stunning view over The City, incredible food with plenty of choice and an interesting cocktail, this is the place. The only downside is unless you’re looking for a quick cocktail, you’re going to have to book this place months in advance, and if you’re not comfortable with heights.. maybe shut your eyes in 40 second lift to the restaurant!
Two words… bacon naan. Now I know as a vegetarian, I can’t and probably shouldn’t appreciate that, but as a food enthusiast and person who lives with an omnivore, I can watch someone appreciate that, and can fully appreciate the novelty of a bacon naan, whilst choosing the fried egg naan. The bacon naan is just an example of what makes Dishoom the perfect choice for brunch, an interesting menu with plenty of variety! It’s breakfast food with an Indian twist done perfectly, and with four Bombay Cafes to choose from there really isn’t any excuse not to visit! If you enjoy a boozy brunch, you absolutely have to try one of their spiced-up cocktails, if not.. I recommend the breakfast lassi or the chocolate chai! Breakfast runs from 8am to 11:45am on weekdays, and 9am to 11:45am on weekends… and you’re definitely best to book!
I love this place for lots of reasons. It’s cute, it’s central and it has both a great atmosphere and menu! But the thing that puts it on this list is its vegetarian Full English! Now I gave up on Full English Breakfasts a long time ago… too many bad experiences with lukewarm beans and bad cardboard-textured veggie sausages, but the Riding House Café side-steps all of that and offers what I think is the best veggie breakfast in London. Why? Because this breakfast isn’t pretending to be the traditional meaty one we all know and love.. sausages have been replaced with grilled halloumi, and the boring beans by a well-paired quinoa and chilli. Spinach make a welcomed appearance, and you can have your eggs anyway you like them. It’s different, it’s original and it’s the perfect way to start the weekend! Saying that, I have it on good authority that their traditional ‘full & proper breakfasts’ are pretty darn good too! Their breakfast menu is available until noon on weekdays, and until 11:30am on weekends, and is definitely worth a try!
A Few of London’s Bottomless Brunches
One Canada Square Restaurant , Canary Wharf, E14 5AB
B&H buildings, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU
Bad Egg, City Point, EC2Y 9AW
Darwin Brasserie, The Sky Garden, EC3M 8AF
The Botanist, Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
Greenwich Tavern, Greenwich, SE10 9JH
Roux at The Landau, Regent Street, W1B 1JA
HIX Mayfair, Mayfair, W1S 4BP
Villandry, Great Portland St, W1W 5QB / St James’s, SW1Y 4AU