Saturday, 21 March 2009

Sunday Brunch

I am a big fan of the tradition that is Sunday Brunch. There is nothing better than to wake up late, and then go for a good, lingering meal that pushes the boundaries between breakfast and lunch. The Americans do brunch significantly better than we Brits do. In New York the majority of restaurants are open for brunch on the weekend and this is the way it should be in London. My best brunch memories have to be from Silvermine Tavern in Norwalk, CT. I just looked at the website and was shocked to have discovered that they have closed down! They had the most amazing, over-sized cinnamon rolls, truly a loss to humanity.

Anyway, back to the real world, I thought I would share a few of my favourite brunch spots in London...

18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden.
Tel. 020 7240 4222

I like this place a lot, you enter and go up a grand old staircase. It is elegant in a simple sort of way and the service is always friendly and attentive. As an added bonus, you also get some great views out over the river. They always ask if you have a reservation and then give disapproving looks when you say you haven't, but I've never been turned away. Booking recommended(?)

As mentioned earlier the Yanks know how to brunch and this American joint serves up a great weekend feast. You can get all sorts from real American pancakes with bacon (This sounds odd unless you've tried it) to grilled swordfish. The menu is somewhat confusing given that it is 2 or 3 courses (£17.50 & £21 respectively) but no real differentiation is made between types of courses so you can go for a standard starter & main combo, or go wild (as I do) and get two breakfast things (pancakes AND eggs benedict). In summary, this place is even better if you are hungry!

5 Burlington Gardens, Mayfair.
020 7434 1500

Cecconi's is tucked away in between Regent Street and Bond Street (next door to the Abercrombie store) and has become one of my favourite brunch spots of late. If you arrive before noon then you get the breakfast menu and if you arrive after then you get the brunch menu. The brunch menu has most of the breakfast items on it plus some more 'lunchy' things on it like a great crab ravioli. Good orange juice too.

It is also a great place for people watching, you have the Abercrombie store opposite which provides amusement in terms of the sheer number of people in the queue before it opens. In addition you have the clientele of Cecconi's itself which is a curious mix of European high society and people who just wandered in off Regent Street.

Smiths of Smithfield
67-77 Charterhouse Street, Farringdon.
Tel. 0871 332 7688

If you are looking for a good, sturdy fashioned British breakfast or brunch then this is the place to go. A very relaxed feeling, this former meatpacking warehouse has a number of restaurants in it but I always go for the ground floor as if you are lucky you can bag a leather sofa and read the papers for hours either side of your brunch.

As for the food, Smiths is great if you like meat as they get all the best cuts from Smithfield market. You can get everything from porridge to a fry-up and it is all very reasonably prices (most things are in the £5-7 region) and the coffee isn't too shoddy either.


  1. Well I just lefta long comment on this and then closed the tab by mistake dammit! Anyway, the main message from me was, welcome to the world of London food blogging!

  2. This is really useful - as an American expat living in London for the past 2+ years I have yet to find a good brunch spot. :) I used to work down the street from Cecconi's on Sackville and never realized they did brunch - thanks for the tips!