“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.)
We met for lunch on a snow-filled day, one of those winter ones where your cheeks are rosy and you nestle as far into your scarf as you can.
“Brunch you say? Well, there are several places on my (neverending) list that I fancy, can I tempt you to Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental? It looks lovely for a weekend lunch? Ok, cool, all booked. Yep, already! See you there!”
If only all life decisions were that easy. It was a grey old January Saturday, so with our scarves snugged tightly in around our earlobes, we met at our corner table in Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. At the edge of Hyde Park and Knightsbridge, Bar Boulud is a delectable, cosy bistro by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud and sister restaurant to Bar Boulud in New York. Perfect for a leisurely lunch catch up.
Like the brunch queen I am, I couldn’t help myself and put together a list of the best hotel breakfasts we have enjoyed so far around the world – they say “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” and I can’t help but agree. These are all favourites for a myriad of reasons – and every single hotel that we stayed in and listed, has excellent coffee and was part of an adventure.
The locations vary from Texas to Cornwall, from Budapest to Gibraltar but all have beautiful food, something special about them, and I would love to revisit every single one of them for retesting purposes.
We tumbled out of our cab like thirsty gazelles, doe-eyed and excited to be leaving London for the day. We were having lunch at Coworth Park with one of our favourite people in the world – that fabulous Sophia, accompanied by her Mum, Polly, the English rose who has transplanted herself to the desert sands of Doha.
We get to see them whenever we sneak over to their corner of the Middle East, or more often when they comes home to see their family. They kindly makestime to see us, her internet family, and each time we seem to visit somewhere even more beautiful (our cosy day at Calcot Manor in Gloucestershire, sipping wine overlooking the river bend in Windsor, brunch at the Ivy, or our first lunch at Kettners).
It is well-documented that Kiwis are a little obsessed with a crazy little thing called brunch. Some might almost accuse us of an almost cultish obsession with the in-between meal worshipped mainly on the weekends at home and here in London. I get teased for a seemingly never-ending string of weekend blates, but as a nation we simply revel in the meal where eggs, cocktails, burgers, dessert and well poured Flat Whites share the same altar table.
So, with the flourish of a waiter presenting a freshly balanced dish of Eggs Benedict, may I present to you 15 of the best brunches in London for less than £15. Luxury for a little less. To clarify, when I say £15, I’m usually thinking my classic favourite combination of a plate of eggs benedict or a cracking granola and a good coffee – usually more than just a pastry and a caffeine hit.