If I’ve learnt anything over the years (besides when to use learned and learnt) is that life is too short to wait for a special occasion to catch up with good friends. And, when there is reason *cough* a birthday *cough* to celebrate, what more perfect excuse for a leisurely weekday brunch do you need? Especially when Kettner’s Townhouse – a luxury boutique hotel in Soho – has reopened as a sister to the Dean Street Townhouse and was languishing, unvisited by us.
Kettner’s has always reminded me of beautiful classical paintings – a homily to the Rococo style of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, “a style that lauded the charm and beauty of the private moments of the French aristocracy” that embraced lightness and frivolity of the subject matter, with soft, carefree lighting and rosy cheeks abounding freely.
And, on the morning that we visited, our cheeks were indeed rosy from the snow-promising weather and we nestled into our scarves and coats, before walking into the warm, cosy hotel where we were divested of our accoutrements. Is that tone a touch heavy for breakfast? Oh well, my blog and all that…
Our soft-footed waitress patiently helped our indecision and dietary questions, before swiftly dispatching our request to the kitchen, alongside a call for the second round of beverages; a flat white, a matcha smoothie and a sunny orange juice (long-time readers will be able to easily work out who enjoyed what.)
Across the table, Shikha ordered an epic granola; berries, buckwheat granola, coconut yoghurt and all kinds of fruit and nut jewels. Breakfast nirvana – you could practically see the putti doing cartwheels.
Aftab enjoyed a dish with echoes of my childhood and has influenced a week of my breakfasts since. His toasted gluten-free bread, topped with almond butter, banana and flax seed is something that we used to enjoy as a family (usually substituting crunchy peanut butter for the almond) and definitely keeps your mind fuelled for a gruelling day ahead.
I, stereotypically, chose eggs royale for my brekkie. It’s my brunch “single point of consistency in an ever-changing world” and not only do I love it, but find that you can tell a lot about a restaurant by how good their eggs are, and these were perfection.
Glossy rich orange yolks that spilled from a perfectly cooked white, just the right ratio of Hollandaise to muffin, and flavoursome salmon. So simple, so well-executed, such nourriture délicieuse.
We also ordered a treat for the table – a fruit platter full of freshly sliced fruit, arrayed with a cheeky wee birthday message for Shikha. As we chatted, the snow fell for a little while, other groups of people came and went, and time ticked along.
(Credit: Nicked with permission from Aftab @ Fresh and Fearless)
In fact, we were so comfortable and sated, that we lingered in Kettners Townhouse for nearly 3 hours – and would have probably settled in for longer had other obligations not called. I know we’ll be back – to chill out in the Champagne bar, see if the roasts live up to their predecessors and perhaps try a few other brunch dishes. Or maybe not, we may have hit the jackpot…
Kettner’s is where Oscar Wilde went for assignations, where Edward VII allegedly courted Lillie Langtry and where a curious Robert De Niro invited girl band Bananarama for a drink after they wrote a song about him. Oh, the tales these walls could tell…
The historic Georgian hotel is a lot lighter and yet plusher in real life (the problem when you leave your good lens at home, thus relying on your phone) and definitely well worth popping in. We loved that you didn’t feel like you had to whisper in hushed tones like visiting a great aunt, but we could enjoy ourselves somewhere rather lovely.
Do you always keep to one brunch dish or are you more adventurous?
Pin for later