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London's Best Brunch Spots

25.05.18

This weekend turn up and tuck in to the best brunches on offer in the capital

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It’s no easy task deciding where to go for brunch in London. Following its seemingly overnight success as the plat du jour for weekend dining, every restaurant worth its Instagrammable currency has turned its creative efforts towards offering up glamorous takes on avocado toast and unlimited prosecco.

Rather than spend hours poring over which places is best, we’ve scoured the city to roundup the brunch destinations worth your valuable weekend time.


Clerkenwell Grind

Making its debut in 2011 serving artisan coffee and espresso martinis to the Shoreditch set, the Grind group has evolved over the years, introducing Londoners to boutique drinking and dining in some chic spaces. Among the aching-to-be-Instagrammed dusty pink and teal interiors of its Clerkenwell post lies one of the city's much-loved bottomless brunches. Offering a brave twist on some breakfast classics, we recommend starting with the acai bowl with passion fruit and cacao nibs as a taster before tucking into the rustic take on the full English. If there is room for dessert, the hot apple crumble sundae is the one to plunge your spoon into. There is a plethora of drinks on the menu, including everything from coffee cocktails to rose wine, but you won’t go wrong with the bottomless prosecco for just £13.  


Chiltern Firehouse

This former fire station turned Michelin-starred high-end hotel/restaurant in Marylebone wowed A-listers upon its grand opening back in 2014, and even today it still commands both respect and envy as a tricky place to land a reservation. Once you experience the brunch at Chiltern Firehouse, however, it’s not hard to see why. From the disarmingly delicious French toast, served with English berries and clotted cream, to the establishment’s ultra-satisfying signature crab-stuffed donuts, the food lives up to Firehouse’s well-respected reputation. Designed in part to mimic an Old-Hollywood studio (this is from the man behind LA’s Chateau Marmont, after all), it’s not hard to fathom why the hotel has become such a, ahem, hot spot in the city. Weather-permitting, the restaurant’s adjoining terrace brings a touch of luxury oasis to offset the hustle and bustle occurring just outside. Patience is a virtue when it comes to landing a table here, but trust us, it’s worth the wait.


The Ivy Tower Bridge

For brunch with a spectacular view of Tower Bridge, make a reservation at The Ivy Tower Bridge. Drawing on the exceptional pedigree of the first Ivy establishment, first opened in 1917, the Tower Bridge posting marries crowd-pleasing dishes with a glorious setting subtle art-deco interiors as well as inviting chintz chairs, gilded mirrors and a peppering of eye-catching artworks covering the burnt-orange, white and deep-blue walls (depending on where you sit). The restaurant’s brunch menu is extensive, covering everything from the classics – eggs benedict and chips – to the more extravagant – grilled whole lobster anyone?  The fail-safes are there in terms of drinks: prosecco, gin and tonics and the healthier option of various coolers and juices. 


Mac & Wild Devonshire Square

If avocado toast and scrambled eggs aren’t your vibe (although both make appearances on the menu), Mac & Wild in Devonshire Square offers up a unique brunch menu, catering to those who want something with a little more bite. Forgo your usual order and try something different, such as the restaurant’s renowned “veni-moo” burger – voted London’s best in 2016 – which serves up a venison patty with cheese, béarnaise sauce and caramelised onions along with some moreish chips. Mac & Wild is also one of those rare places where the sides match the standard of the mains: the haggis mac ‘n’ cheese is worth the visit alone. Yes, it may not be your typical brunch fare, but that’s the point. We recommend going bottomless as you’ll want top-ups of the Buckie Royale (Buckfast and prosecco). 


Nutbourne

A self-proclaimed farm-to-table restaurant offering a taste of the Sussex countryside in London’s Battesea, Nutbourne manages to evade the sometimes-jarring ubiquity of such a description to earn its place as a genuinely good all-day brasserie. Set up by the family behind the much-loved The Shed in Notting Hill and Rabbit in Chelsea, the dishes are beautiful in their simplicity, elevating French toast with apple, whipped elderflower and bee pollen. The restaurant’s speciality breakfast plates up two eggs alongside four sides (including farm house sausage, maple syrup bacon and chorizo) and a choice of apple or orange juice. The rustic interiors are quite nice, too, if you’re looking to dine among picture-perfect surroundings.


Brother Marcus

Residing in leafy Balham in South London, Brother Marcus has proved so popular in its relatively short time since opening that it is already opening a second home in Angel. And after experiencing their brunch, it’s not hard to see why. The Brother Special, a delectable offering of beetroot cured salmon, scrambled eggs and sesame-glazed broccoli on toast, is a particular highlight, or there’s the Marcus Breakfast for those fancying a more traditional dish of bacon, sausage and egg on homemade toast. While it’s clear the emphasis here is on the food rather than the interiors, the courtyard outback is perfect for warm-weather brunching, and the wooden tables serve as a nice backdrop for the colourful crockery the food is plated up on – just in case you’re looking for that Instagram shot.  


Mr Fogg’s Curiously British Brunch

Eccentric, endearing, effulgent… If you haven’t yet experienced Mr Fogg’s, the establishment’s beautifully bonkers Curiously British Brunch is the perfect excuse to pop along. The three-course brunch, set at the incredibly good value price of £38, also includes unlimited punch for 91 minutes and the menu covers just about every appetite. For the more daring aficionados with a more adventurous palette, the frog’s legs are a must-try, but even the less exciting lobster and avocado salad is enough to set tongues wagging. Of course, part of the appeal of Mr Fogg’s is the interiors: the building is designed with a plethora of Victorian-style accoutrements – including chaise chairs, old-style lamps and lighting and, eh, some taxidermy – so it feels like you’re stepping into a bygone era when you sit down to eat. Not a bad spot for brunch with a twist. 


Aster

London’s Victoria may not be the destination that immediately comes to mind when thinking of where to brunch, but this Nordic venue under the helm of Finnish chef Helena Puolakka is worth meandering the heavy traffic of tourists for. Occupying 10,00 square foot of space, the restaurant’s lower floor opts for lavish interiors with an overhead hanging clock setting the brasserie-inspired tone, while the first floor takes inspiration from Scandi minimalism. The brunch menu has all the classics but embrace the theme and try the Baltic fish cake with salad and dill sauce or the linguine with smoked aubergine and baby basil. You can have unlimited bubbles for £17 or choose one of the cocktails from the spring menu: we recommend the Forbidden Fruit – blended scotch, lager cordial, sherry and apple and citrus mix.