Balance. Ying & Yang, fruit and vegetables, salt and pepper, knife and fork. Having recently scribed a list of my favourite 15 of the best London Brunches for under £15 it felt only right to redress the other side of the table, and relive a few of my favourite luxury brunches.
1. a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.
It seems to be a term bandied around with abandon these days, but luxury really is a personal thing. For some it’s half an hour without a baby crying, for others it is a state of being that very
much involves gorgeous handbags and opulent surroundings. One of my favourite luxuries is a good coffee first thing in the morning. I’m on my own, might have a book in my hand and when really lucky there is sun peeping through the clouds.
For me a luxury brunch is something special, a little out of the ordinary. Peaceful aside from me and good friends giggling, excellent coffee (not negotiable), an excellent menu, beautiful surroundings, a glass of something cheeky and that little something to make the meal feel special.
Served in carefully beautiful spaces, the Ivy (whether Kensington, Marylebone, Chelsea or Covent Garden) does beautiful, un-messed with British classics. My salmon and
smoked haddock fish cake, served with creamed spinach, soft poached
hen’s egg and hollandaise sauce fulfilled a deep brunch need, whilst
around the table we tested the a la carte menu including the succulent
slow roasted Lamb shoulder, the Ivy’s famous Shepherds pie, and
elevating grilled chicken salad with quinoa, avocado, kohlrabi,
pomegranate, toasted seeds, coriander, yoghurt, ginger and lime
The Delaunay, Covent Garden
Opulent furnishings, delicious modern European dishes, perfectly sized tables for bloggers to pass dishes around, sumptuous cake, excellent coffee, lack of judgement when you have 3 cups – what more could you need? Perfect for celebrating a special occasion or two, The Delaunay is one of my favorite haunts recently with that extra little sparkle of magic. (For proper reviews see Aftab and Angie‘s posts of our group brunch earlier in the year.)
We’ve managed to climb a fair few of the best viewpoints of London – we’ve nipped up the Shard a couple of times, we’ve feasted (and Skyped family in New Zealand) at the Gherkin which is still my favourite view by a whisker, spent a good couple of hours on the London Eye, conquered Big Ben on foot and discovered a free London vista or two. But the Sky Garden has to be the tastiest so far..
The German Gymnasium
Making both of the lists, The German Gymnasium we stumbled on one Sunday afternoon having unsuccessfully tried to break our fast in any of the other Kings Cross brunch bohemoths. I had heard mixed thoughts, but it is a gorgeous space with whip fast service. The central atrium is a thing of beauty, dressed with lovely almost architectural arrangements of floristry and even the bathrooms are a cool feature.
This was my only hesitation. Whilst the service was lovely, our group was properly squished into/between tables and the hash just wasn’t up to scratch. However the glorious restaurant is stunning and I feel worth a revisit to try their brunch offerings again – especially based on the sister restaurant the Delaunay.
Having visit the pretty terrace for a literary afternoon tea, all bets were off when a group of us were discussing somewhere to partake in a Sunday brunch recently. We founds ourselves, mimosas in hand, pre-coffee and perusing the menu as the sun began to peek through the overcast skies. A bloggers paradise of marble table tops and trellised foliage creeping along the walls, I feel that I’ll be back all too soon… (for proper reviews see Angie, Aftab or Binny‘s lightening fast thoughts.)
Recently visiting with a couple of the usual suspects, we fought dancing hangovers with coffee and delicious meals – is there any better way? After righting the world we also pottered through the beautiful interior, an interior designers arrangement of fascinating curios and beautiful artworks that make you lean in.
Crab churros. Crab churros, Crab churros, Crab churros. Sometimes us antipodeans ladies do want to break the brunch 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 my lovely brunch date 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.
Duck and Waffle
Having been AND blogged twice, Duck and waffle has to be the second worst-kept, best secret in London.
(The first is obviously MI6 – even I knew the game was up as soon as the
head office of British intelligence was announced over automated bus
tannoys…). Glorious views, never ending flat whites and oozy brunch
eggs whilst hanging out in the clouds – and if you manage to arrange brunch at sunrise, it is utterly magical.
I think Roka Aldwych more applies to a drunch type label, but put in a quieter corner (a genius move on Roka’s part because
bloggers giggling can get LOUD), plyed with prosecco (the sheer joy of
the latest bottomless brunch fashion) and generally left to celebrate
recent birthdays, engagements, end of study years, recent overseas trips
and the fact that it was Sunday. The restaurant is a beautiful example of Japanese style. Kitted out in
leather, polished timber and porphyry stone, the restaurant is
understated luxury and offering delectable Japanese cuisine.
So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself (oh and ALL of these are bookable – none of this queuing malarkey!)
Have you any recommendations for the next place we try?