For the most part lads in England socialise in the pub over a couple ofIn contrast, us ladies often adore to meet in slightly finer surroundings - the tinkle of afternoon teacups, a crisp glass of wine with a summer view or over an artistically distressed brunch table on a weekend morning. (I will admit to a particular joy in a pub visit though - even Princess Kate was known for a rowdy evening or two). We will discuss everything; family, work, international politics, hemlines, html coding, gossip, travel tips, other favourite bruncheries and well, everything.
frosty pints, debating the merits of their favourite Football teams,
the price of beer and a side of friendly banter (ribbing, p*sstaking,
derision - whatever you fancy calling it). I often wondered if they use
it as an allegory, but after years of operating the beer handles, I can
definitely confirm it isn't. It is just pure escapism from the dreary
day to day.
Then, add to this a well-documented Kiwi brunch fixation - nay, a stereotype - both here and abroad and it I was genetically predetermined for a brunch addiction. See, look.
Sometimes us antipodeans ladies do want to break the mold though, and branch out of the egg benedict laden gatherings we delight in. I don't meant by opting for another meal (though we do that too, sometimes) but by trying something a little new in the name of brunch. Peruvian. When the lovely Miss Globetrotter Postcards and I were tee-ing up a last-minute brunchy morning a while ago, she discovered rave reviews and recommendations of Pachamama and before we knew it, it was all systems go.
After walking past the restaurant at the end of Marylebone High Street three times (seriously, 'unobtrusive' should be the name not Pachamama) we wandered into into the fashionably dishevelled basement to be met with huge smiles and shown to our seats. Small plates are the name of their brunch game (though I hear the burgers are renowned in burger loving circles) and with a large bottle of sparkling water we peru-sed the menu. (Sorry).
Around half the short menu was gluten free and luckily the infamous crab churros were included in the selection and the chia seed & tapioca bircher with rhubarb and almond also made it into my shortlist. My lovely blate opted for the sea bass cerviche and her favourite vegetable, fried aubergine served with smoked yoghurt and pecans. Each of our choices were lovely, but the front runners were the crab churros (served with a riduculously moreish flavoured salt) and the fried aubergine. The light and crispy churros simply melted in our mouths and the aubergine hit us with a complex spice profile we weren't expecting.
We loved the array of more unusual flavours (especially the edible flowers and rhubarb tapioca) as we gossiped the morning away in our private corner. Eventually ordering a round of coffee to properly continue our catch up (once an antipodean, always an antipodean) we agreed that portions are gourmet sized but full of flavour and perfect for a mid-morning graze - one of the joys of flexible brunches.
Pachamama is full of quirky details; a full-size horse lamp (left over from previous owners), tucked away china cabinets and beautifully placed mirrors but we loved the nook nature of the restaurant - on a quiet weekend morning each party had been placed for privacy and kept an unobtrusive eye on. Perfect. Our waitress suggested brunch or Monday-Wednesday night dinners are the best time to visit - later weeknights are packed (by people with better directional sense, clearly).
Upon writing our visit up, I learned that the name Pachamama is derived from Incan mythology, the earth mother goddess. She is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting, embodies the mountains, and causes earthquakes. Often prayed to with sacrificial dishes of food, she is also an ever-present and independent deity who has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth. Without becoming too blasphemous, I hope they aren't traditionally sacrificing too many bowls of Pachamama's crab churros to her because they are utterly divine.
Long may brunches of lady bloggers continue (in their rambly, discuss every subject under the sun manner).