It’s not breakfast and it’s not lunch, and yet it’s better than the pair of them put together. This liminal feast is all the rage in the country’s capital, so that’s why we’ve penned this ultimate guide to bagging a beezer brunch.
Allegedly, the word brunch was first coined by Guy Beringer when he wrote an article on the subject for Hunter’s Weekly magazine. He pitched his idea as a lighter alternative to the heavy Sunday lunch, perfect for ‘Saturday-night carousers’.
That was way back in 1895, but it was a long while before the idea really took off and became a favourite for Londoners. Bloody Marys, bacon and eggs, French toast, granola, kedgeree… you name it and it can be subsumed into this all-encompassing term. Make it fun and make it sociable – brunch is to be lingered over. It’s there to nurse you through the weekend like a warm embrace made of things you’d normally put in your mouth.
Bobby Fitzpatrick, West Hampstead
This retro gaff, with its floral tiles, faux coal fire, tiki chairs and grandma-patterned brown and yellow wallpaper, knows how to do a proper bottomless brunch! Book a spot for you and your pals on a Saturday and dig into plates of savoury and sweet triple-stacked pancakes while knocking back glasses of boozy punch that tastes just like yesteryear.
Brother Marcus, Balham
This little gem of a place cleverly disguises itself as an unassuming, friendly neighbourhood café while serving up some of the most scrumptious brunch dishes in London. We’re not just talking about whizzy smashed up avocado – Brother Marcus goes the whole hog. One of our favourite dishes is ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’ – pork belly, fried egg, cucumber, spring onion, and Sriracha and tomato relish in a Cretan pitta – phoaw.
Bistrotheque, Victoria Park
For brunch served swanky, tap up Bistrotheque on the weekend. Their delicious brunch menu is available between 11am and 4pm and is accompanied by a pianist between 12pm & 3pm. The alcoholic drinks are epic: a pomegranate cosmo – yes please – and the food is top-notch, though the prices are typically London – erring on the pricey side. For a brunch dish with a twist, give the soft-shell crab benedict, poached eggs and spiced hollandaise a whirl.
Megan’s, Parsons Green
Fancy eating brunch under the stars? The ceiling in Megan’s by the Green is covered with twinkly fairy lights, which, alone, enough of a reason to eat here. Better still, the food is cracking. Brunch is served all day; meat, vegan and vegetarian options are available. There’s even half-baked cookie dough on the menu for those with a sweet tooth. It does get very busy here and our only pet peeve is that there’s no indoor waiting area so if it’s packed to the max, you’ll need to wait outside on the street, even if it’s chucking it down. Our advice? Pack an umbrella. Or book ahead.