Slotting into your day somewhere between breakfast and lunch, brunch is often viewed as more of an event than a meal, requiring a few hours and some excellent company in order to do it properly. Brunch menus appeal to a desire for carbs, a longing for umami, and often invoke memories of weekends spent on holiday where someone else is doing the cooking and you feel like you have all the time in the world. Anyone who has never seen the appeal of a perfectly poached egg, freshly baked beans, a stack of thick fluffy pancakes or a crispy slice of bacon will probably never fully understand the joys of this wonderful meal, but my inner hobbit loves it.
My friend Eleanor is also a massive fan of brunch and, after having several conversations with friends over the merits of a meal that treats waffles as a staple, she decided to get a gang together for the purpose of exploring some of London’s many excellent weekend brunch eateries. Luckily for me, I was one of the chosen few and last year we formed our own Brunch Club. We have decided to start 2017 by documenting our meetings in the form of reviews, and over the next few weeks I will share our notes so far. For now, let me introduce you to the gang.
From left to right…
Lori is a lover of comfort food. Fried potatoes, slow cooked beans and succulent pig meats bring her much joy, plus she loves to break into the yolk of a perfectly poached egg. She is lactose intolerant (but has tablets to help with that) and is also avoiding eating wheat, so the perfect brunch venue needs to have a decent soya latte and at least one wheat-free option on the menu.
Lou loves international flavours and alternative takes on breakfast and brunch classics. As a tea lover, she will judge a venue harshly if they don’t get a basic ‘builder’s’ right. She prefers sausage to bacon, and will always ask for extra maple syrup.
Eleanor started Brunch Club as her boyfriend is ‘unbrunchable’ due to his dislike of coffee, eggs, bacon and eating before midday – she regularly considers why she’s in a relationship with such a man. She doesn’t like much but loves brunch. The only things she doesn’t eat are fish and seafood. Her taste leans to the classics done well – eggs benedict, waffles or coffee. She considers herself a unique blend of Samwise Gamgee and Leslie Knope.
Ed is the resident vegetarian of the group. Good quality eggs and artisan bread are his passions. He’s a fan of wilted spinach, grilled halloumi (and cheeses of all types) and things that are that generally not too spicy. Sweet dishes are usually his favourite, being an expert on cake and a voracious lover of waffles and pancakes. Ed is also a tea fanatic and will judge all venues by their tea options.
Our fantastic bespoke Brunch Club badges were custom made for us by the awesome Black Heart Creatives. If you also love brunch as much as we do, why not start your own Brunch Club? If you do, please tell us all about it in the comments!