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Breakfast and Brunch London

Frankie Goes To Bollywood

I feel like this has been the longest January on record – probably not helped by an eighty three day gap between pay days – but now it’s rounding off to an end and we’re about to jump into February, I can’t quite believe a month of 2018 has already passed. A new year promises new adventures: long lists of restaurants to visit, new foods to try and travel plans to be made. Whilst travelling to eat is set to be a big part of 2018 as usual, something I’m particularly keen to do this year is eat more locally around my little part of London. There are some fantastic places popping up all over South East London: Peckham has been paving the way with great bars and restaurants for a long time now, Brockley is slowly but surely getting there with the likes of the brilliant new Parlez just by the station, and Deptford is now host to plenty of places I’m dying to try.

Down in SE8 there’s the brilliant Deptford Market Yard, open 7 days a week with a row of great little cafes, restaurants and shops from the most beautiful florist to lifestyle store Win & Ruby who promote local designers. Two friends and I dragged our very hangover arses over that way one morning and after some tense deliberation between Frankie Goes To Bollywood and Archie’s – one arm of the brilliant Cheese Truck that has sadly since closed in Deptford, we opted for the former to help bring us back to life. I’ve thought about the food served that morning regularly since then.

Serving up Western classics with an Indian twist, the menu is inventive both in flavour and name: Frankie’s tandoori fried chicken (or TFC – see what they did there?) is marinated for 24 hours and served with a cumin and garlic aioli; spiced lamb sausages with sweet potato mash and cumin gravy make up the Bhangras and Mash  dish; whilst an Indian version of nachos made with mini poppadoms and classic Indian condiments and chutneys is fondly known as Poppadom Preach. A staple on the menu is Frankie’s version of the bacon naan famously associated with Dishoom, though this one is laced with signature tomato chutney and cream cheese and incredibly moreish. With over half the menu vegetarian friendly, there’s also the Gandhi’s Flip Flop burger made with a red cabbage, coriander and spiced potato patty to keep the vegans among us happy.

Being a huge fan of anything that resembles a pimped up McMuffin sandwich I had to go with the Lawhore. Beautifully named, this bun is the ultimate in filth; so much so it feels like it was designed specifically for you and your hangover in your particular time of need. Sausage patty, slices of black pudding, chutney, a fried egg with a yolk that burst perfectly as you bite into it – this is a breakfast of epic proportions. And all that isn’t even the best bit: a showstopper of a fried, crispy onion bhaji sandwiched inside the English muffin bun rounds off the Lawhore in a frankly genius move.

If this is what the local offering of South East London is like all over, I’ll never have to venture into Central again.

Arch 11, Deptford Market Yard, London, SE8 4BX

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Bottomless Breakfast and Brunch London

The Best of the Bottomless

It’s no secret that I’m somewhat experienced in the bottomless brunch arena. The long time Manhattan tradition of a boozy weekend brunch finally made its way across the pond a fair few years ago now and it has snowballed with magnificent effect. From high end hotels to pop ups and even your local boozer, there are bottomless deals on everywhere you look. Not that I’m complaining, I would spend every weekend at a different boozy brunch if I were able to. The introduction of the lesser known Bottomless Roast and Bottomless Dinner indicates the trend has no chance of slowing down, so it’s high time for an easy look guide at the best of the best in London’s bottomless.

South Place Chop House

An old favourite of mine, South Place Chop House in South Place Hotel is one of the original stalwarts of London’s bottomless brunch scene. With an ever changing menu you’ll never be too bored for a repeat visit, which is ideal as this brunch is perfect for big groups celebrating as well as being classy enough to take your parents to. There’s plenty of variety between breakfast and lunch dishes,  some seriously good desserts to get stuck into (shout out to the salted caramel chocolate pot) and the staff are generous with the boozy top ups. The restaurant has evolved to offer a bottomless roast on Sundays, and remains at the top of my list to try immediately if not sooner. If their brunch is anything to go by, I imagine their roast will be one of the best in town, and with the menu boasting three roast meats to choose from as well as pie and fish and chips, I think I might be right.

Price: Brunch: 2 courses for £22.50 or 3 for £27.50. Roast: 2 courses for £25, 3 for £30. Go bottomless for £18
Bottomless drinks: Brunch: Prosecco, bellinis and mimosas; Roast: red, white and rose wine
Duration: Whilst you dine (take your time over those three courses why don’t you)
When: Every Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 5pm
Address: South Place Hotel, 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF
TOP TIP: Great for initiating the parents into the bottomless brunch scene

The Botanist

My favourite place for a boozy brunch in London. From the brilliant menu and the beautiful decor to the fantastic service and live music: The Botanist has it all. Pride of place in the buzzy Broadgate Circle near Liverpool Street, The Botanist throws its doors open in the summer but remains cosy in the winter with copper accents, leather booths, dark wood and soft mood lighting. Favourite dishes on their seasonal menu include the macaroni cheese croquettes with truffle mayo; shrimp and bacon croquettes and the huge chicken schnitzel. For a twist on the traditional eggs Benedict, order the soft shell crab benny with jalapeno hollandaise, and if you’re a fan of Sticky Toffee Pudding, the one at The Botanist is a great contender, served with sounds-odd-but-is-strangely-good cornflake ice cream. All this, plus you’re allowed two drinks on the go at any one time. Bottomless brunch perfection.

Price: 2 courses for £20 or 3 for £25. Add £15 for bottomless for 2 hours
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s, bellinis, mimosa and red, white or rose wine
Duration: 2 hours
When: Every Saturday between 11.30am and 4.30pm
Address: Broadgate Circle, London EC2M 2QS
TOP TIP: The Botanist also do a Bottomless Dinner from 6pm every Saturday with live music. The perfect way to kick off a big night out


Gaucho’s Electro Brunch is not only a winner on the bottomless brunch front, but is available up and down the country, so not just one for those in that there London. Small plates are the name of the game at Gaucho, and come unlimited as do the drinks – you just need to finish the dish you’re on before ordering the next. Fried Provoleta cheese with caramleised onion chutney is the perfect small plate, whilst the peanut butter dulce de leche served with mini croissants at the start of brunch is utterly beautiful. Mini avocado on toasts and Eggs Benedict round off the traditional brunch dishes, and Gaucho’s Bloody Marys are one of the best I’ve ever had. Aperol Spritz as a bottomless is a novelty, though a little watered down compared to those you may order elsewhere. Not many brunches allow you to order as much steak as you want though, do they? Great for a more special affair.

Price: £49.95 for all food and drink
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s, Aperol Spritz, Pilsener Lager and non alcoholic fresh juices
Duration: 2 hours
When: Every Saturday between 11am and 4pm
Address: Multiple locations in London, plus Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds
TOP TIP: Ask for extra peanut butter dulce de leche because it may just be one of the best things on God’s green earth.


Famous for their espresso martinis and fun neon signage, before long Grind will be as well known for their £13 bottomless bubbles. With a range of small plates, classic brunch dishes and even a flat iron steak for a tenner, you can’t go far wrong at one of Grind’s restaurants for brunch. Endless prosecco is served in old fashioned coupes whilst you dine, and those marble table tops make a brunch at Grind seriously Instagrammable. Special mention to the chorizo and smoked cheese croquettes, as well as the bacon, which is astonishingly crispy – just the way it should be.

Price: Plates priced individually, bottomless prosecco £13
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco
Duration: 90 mins
When: Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 5pm
Address: London Grind, 2 London Bridge, London SE1 9RA; Clerkenwell Grind, 2-4 Old St, London EC1V 9AA; Exmouth Market Grind, 8-10 Exmouth Market London EC1R 4QA; Covent Garden Grind, 42 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7LJ
TOP TIP: At £13pp for bottomless prosecco, this is one of London’s cheapest ways to get boozed up through brunch – perfect just before pay day.

Oxbo Bankside

We’re starting to get greedy and seek out all you can eat as well as all you can drink: enter the bottomless buffet at Oxbo Bankside. With towering buffet stations of salads, sushi, charcuterie, cheese boards and a huge array of bite sized cakes, tarts, cookies and jars on jars of penny sweets, this is a brunch that is sure to have something for everyone. And all of this is before you’ve ordered a main! On Saturdays the table is served three hot sharing dishes for everyone to tuck into and on Sundays you can choose between roast beef, chicken, cod or vegetarian dhal. The beef was superb on my visit and a decent roast in its own right despite all the buffet and bottomless fanfare. This is a great one for bigs groups given the nature of the buffet set up, and live music keeps the atmosphere buzzing throughout the afternoon. For Saturday brunch there’s a waffle and egg station too, so go hungry for this one.

Price: £45 for all food and drink
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco
Duration: 2 hours
When: Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 3pm
Address: Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk St, London SE1 0UG
TOP TIP: Get an earlier booking for this one – the buffet stations stop being replenished as the afternoon goes on so as to not waste food, so an earlier slot will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the amazing food on offer.

Tanner & Co

A boozy brunch is fantastic, but how about a boozy roast? Tanner & Co have spruced up their Sunday bottomless roast menu so you can now choose between beef, pork, chicken or vegetarian with all the trimmings, plus you’ll get a dessert thrown in too. On Saturdays it’s a brunching affair – you’ll be brought some nibbles to start, and something small and sweet afterwards, but the pick of the main event is all yours. All eyes on the beef, bacon and brie burger with beetroof chutney, or perhaps the classic poached eggs and avo on sourdough is more your thing?

The huge advantage at Tanner & Co is the wide range of drinks on offer and the freedom with which you will find whole bottles of bubbles on your table to keep you satisfied. Also, Tanner & Co now offer espresso martinis among their bottomless poisons, which is frankly both ridiculous and one of the best things I’ve ever heard.

Price: £40 for all drink and food
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s, beer, wine, cider and Espresso Martinis
Duration: 2 hours
When: Brunch every Saturday and Sunday between  11am and 4pm; roasts on Sunday between 11am and 4pm
Address: 50 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UD
TOP TIP: Probably the most broadly catered for bottomless out there in terms of drinks, this will keep the fussiest of drinkers happy


Avenue is a part of the extensive D&D family, who offer bottomless brunches at a fair few of their restaurants, practically enough of them to keep you going all year round. Brunch in Avenue is a buzzy affair, with great food and plenty of fizz to keep you going through your two hour slot. Its central location and their ability to cater for large groups makes it a favourite for birthday celebrations. The menu has a very American feel, with different types of Eggs Benedict, macaroni cheese, burgers, buttermilk pancakes and waffles all on the menu. Not forgetting that New York cheesecake for dessert – if you have room that is. On Sundays unlimited Aperol Spritz are on offer so if you’re a fan of Aperol, get yourself down there!

Price: 2 courses for £25.50 or 3 for £28.50. Add £18 for bottomless
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco and Bloody Mary’s on Saturdays; prosecco and Aperol Spritz on Sundays
Duration: Whilst you dine
When: Every Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays between 11am and 4pm
Address: 7-9 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE
TOP TIP: A later brunch booking means your table will not be turned over for another group, which usually means a more leisurely experience and sometimes, if you’re lucky, over two hours of bubbles…


One of the pricier bottomless brunches in town, ROKA is unique in that it’s one of the only places you’ll find geared around sushi rather than your more traditional eggs and pancakes. There are three price brackets to choose from at ROKA, though if you’re going to do it, do it properly I say. The priciest menu gets you champagne on arrival, added premium sashimi, offers the famous black cod as a main and serves premium wines, including rose. Sushi starters are all you can eat from the counter in a help yourself buffet style, before leading onto hot dishes at the table for mains such as salmon teriyaki and a beef ribeye. A dessert platter to share is served at the table for afters and the wine free flows the entire time.

Price: £49 in Canary Wharf; £59 in Aldwych
Bottomless drinks: Bellini or Bloody Mary on arrival and paired wines throughout brunch
Duration: 2 hours for bookings up to 3 people; 2.5 hours for 4 or more
When: Every Saturday between 11.30am and 3.30pm, Sundays and on bank holidays at Canary Wharf between 11.30am and 8pm
Address: ROKA Canary Wharf, 40 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FW; ROKA Aldwych, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN
TOP TIP: Get a group of at least 4 of you to go to maximise that bottomless drinking time


Canary Wharf is becoming a bit of a destination in its own right, though if you’re not familiar with the area you’d never think it. Bōkan is the restaurant and bar occupying the top three floors of new Novotel, and they are firmly on the bottomless bandwagon. With a carefully curated three course menu to choose from with dishes such at game and foie gras terrine, scallops tartare, beef carpaccio, duck breast and a Wagyu beef burger, this brunch feels decidedly fancy. Everlasting prosecco sees you through your meal and being 37 floors up means the views of London’s skyline are unparalleled.

Price: £49
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco
Duration: 2 hours
When: Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday between 12.30pm and 2.30pm (last orders)
Address: 40 Marsh Wall, Isle of Dogs, London E14 9TP
TOP TIP: After brunch head 2 floors up to Bōkan’s rooftop bar and terrace for more of those striking views and live music into the evening.


Megan’s is a great little restaurant and lucky for us there are now three different locations of this gem in South West London; Fulham, Parson’s Green and Balham. Warm and inviting, with blue and white checked tablecloths and the prettiest of fairy lights strung up either inside or out in the courtyard (in Fulham), Megan’s is a lovely laid back choice for brunch. Rightly famous for their Shakshouka and their brilliant deli style counter where you pick your salads and quiche at free will, Megan’s have also gone bottomless on the weekends. Although charming all year round, an al fresco brunch at the Fulham Megan’s in the summer is particularly brilliant since one of their bottomless drinks is Pimm’s – and we all know how easy it is to drink that stuff like it’s juice. The perfect summer brunch spot.

Price: Plates priced individually, go bottomless for £18
Bottomless drinks: Prosecco, Bloody Mary’s and Pimm’s
Duration: 90 mins
When: Every Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 6pm (last sitting 4.30pm)
Address: 571 King’s Rd, Fulham, London SW6 2EB; UNIT B 69, 57 Parsons Green Ln, Fulham, London SW6 4JA; 41-43 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9EY
TOP TIP: Megan’s do a half baked cookie dough dessert stuffed with Nutella and topped with pistachios and salted caramel ice cream. Thank me later.

Have you been to any of these bottomless hot spots? Let me know what you thought and where your favourite is in the comments below!

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Food From Travels Las Vegas Los Angeles


I’m genuinely considering setting up some sort of campaign to get Eggslut to open in London. Eggslut is truly the hangover cure people need, and Londoners need it now. Don’t be so greedy, America. Having read about this spot as a New York must eat among, well, thousands of New York must eats, I was thrilled to find out there was an Eggslut in Las Vegas…right in my own hotel. Nothing could be more ideal to sop up the endless debauchery of sin city.

Waking early with jet lag on my first morning Stateside, it conveniently meant I could skip the queue that snakes from Eggslut inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel to grab my first Eggslut breakfast. After much debate over the small menu, I landed on the sausage, egg and cheese on brioche, made with turkey sausage, cheddar and the genius addition of honey mustard aioli. The best way to describe this creation is a) heaven and b) like a pimped up Sausage Egg McMuffin sandwich, but one hundred times better – and I’m a fan of a Maccy D’s breakfast, believe me. The egg is cooked over medium, so bursts when you bite into the buttery brioche and is a total, messy joy to eat. The honey and mustard add another level of delicious and the American cheddar brings the McDonald’s-esque filth to the bun. If you prefer to get your regular pig in the morning, there’s a bacon version served with chipotle ketchup instead of aioli.

For the veggies amongst us there are two options on the menu: the Fairfax which sounds so good I nearly ordered it before realising it was veggie (I like meat in the morning…) – soft scrambled eggs and chives on brioche with cheddar, sriracha mayo and caramelized onions; and the Egg Salad made with hard boiled eggs and honey mustard aioli. There are two further meat options on the menu – the Gaucho, with seared wagyu beef, egg, red onions, rocket and chimichurri, which my friend absolutely raved about, and an Eggslut cheeseburger which includes bread and butter pickles, of all things.

If you don’t fancy a bun, or you’re gluten free, you can either have salad with any of the above, which admittedly could be a bit odd, but it’s an option. You could have their coddled egg on potato puree, or one of their house-made buttermilk biscuits, served with butter and maple syrup.  But I wholeheartedly and with true passion recommend one of their fancy McMuffin style buns. Sadly to get one of them you’re going to need to take a long flight since Eggslut isn’t in the UK (yet..please?), have closed their NYC pop up and now sits firmly back in their original spot on the West Coast with three spots around LA and one in Vegas. Worth the journey though.


Los Angeles:
Downton LA: inside Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, Stall D-1, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Venice: 1611 Pacific Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90291
Glendale: 252 S. Brand Blvd., Suite D, Glendale, CA 91204

Las Vegas:
Inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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Coppa Club

We’ve all seen the wisteria laden cabanas at Coppa Club Tower Bridge on Instagram. By winter the restaurant terrace is decked out with festive igloos, during the summer they are draped in faux ivy and wisteria, fading from pink, to purple, to lilac and white. Add in the fact that Coppa Club sits on the river with a view of Tower Bridge and it’s pretty much as picturesque as you can get in Central London. The setting is beautiful and it’s no surprise that the bookable cabanas were full all the way through summer in a matter of days of release, but how does the food stand up against the pretty surroundings?

I took my dad out to Coppa Club for Father’s Day and by sheer stroke of luck, there was space under one of the coveted cabanas for us to sit for our meal. They do hold some back for walk ins and we got there at just the right time. Since it was sweltering we would’ve probably been a little more comfortable in the cool inside space, which is beautifully designed with brass accents, old fashioned cane backed chairs and a big sweeping bar in the middle. But of course I couldn’t resist the wisteria so we sweated it out under one of the cabanas instead. When in Rome, after all.

Whilst sat in the sun and having ordered a pint of the Coppa Club lager on draught (£4.25) for my dad and the Cotes De Provence Chateau Minuty rose (£8.95 250ml) for myself – which was bloody delicious – we started to dig through the starter options to share. There are plenty of small plates and nibbles to order at Coppa Club and it strikes me that this is a great after work pit stop for a few drinks and some tapas style dishes to tide you over as you plough through some cold prosecco. Crispy fried truffled gnocchi (£3.50), fresh crab and avocado on crostini (£5.95) and Italian sausage rolls with hot mustard (£3.50) are as good an accompaniment to evening drinks by the river as any, in my opinion, but I digress.  That afternoon we opted to share the seared king prawns marinated in olive oil, chilli, garlic and lemon with sourdough bread (£6.95) and crispy calamari served with a delicious paprika and sriracha mayo (£5.95). Both were excellent and the prawns in particular were huge and juicy. A good start.

Although I’m usually one to be all over a brunch menu, we went to Coppa Club later in the day and had both eaten a decent breakfast so opted to order from the All Day menu rather than the brunch. Mains were their signature Coppa Club Hot sourdough pizza with spicy salami, Nduja, chilli, tomato and mozzarella (£9.95) which was definitely as hot as it sounds – and a solid pizza in a competitive market, though not up there with the specialists like Forza Win or Pizza East. My super greens and grains salad made up of quinoa, fregola, roasted beets, peas, broccoli, toasted seeds and chilli with added roast chicken (£12.90) was delicious and filling, something I’m always concerned places don’t get right with their salad offering. I did peek at the table next door at the brunch dishes that they were tucking into and have to say that the baked eggs and their Benedicts in particular looked very good, so I’d love to return to sample the brunch menu another time.

I also need to return to get another fix of that sticky toffee pudding they serve (£5.95), because that was good. I am a serious judge of London’s STPs and Coppa Club’s was very much up there – only pipped by my forever favourite from Hawksmoor. It was served with a good scoop of vanilla ice cream and most importantly, plenty of toffee sauce – enough that I had leftovers to scoop into my gob once the actual pudding had been demolished. That’s the sign of a good sticky toffee pudding if you ask me. So yes, happily the food and service do measure up to the beautiful setting at Coppa Club Tower Bridge. Go forth, get your wisteria Instagrams but moreover – eat and drink well.


Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AH
020 7993 3827

There are also Coppa Clubs at St Paul’s, Oxford Circus and Sonning-on-Thames in Berkshire, though the Tower Bridge one is the only one with cabanas on their terrace.

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Food From Travels New York

Russ and Daughters

As far as Jewish delis on the NYC hit list go, Katz’s is the big one. Made famous in When Harry Met Sally during that scene – you know the one, don’t make me do it – and notorious for the frankly ridiculous size of their pastrami sandwiches. But the rumblings I’ve been hearing from no less than five separate friends in their latest New York recommendations is lesser known to those this side of the pond: NY institution Russ and Daughters.

Sitting pretty on the Lower East Side, this Jewish deli specialises in smoked fish and is well known for it, having been in business for decades. On the family deli’s 100th anniversary, the Russ and Daughters Cafe was born, situated just around the corner from the original outpost. I decided that on this trip, Katz could wait. I needed that board of smoked salmon and all the trimmings.

The joy of dining solo is you can often grab a single seat at the bar whilst couples and groups wait in line for a table to be seated, as was the case when I dragged myself from Astoria to the LES for the sole purpose of bagels and coffee one Friday in NYC. I’d overheard the couple sat next to me at the bar say they had waited for over 45 minutes, so clearly Russ and Daughters are doing something right. Luckily I swooped right on in as a solo diner.

The downside of dining solo of course, is that you can’t get away so easily with ordering loads on the pretense of sharing it all, which led to a difficult choice between the small plates. I settled on trying knishes for the first time – potato and caramelized onion encased in dough that had been baked, served with a mustard sauce. They were great, but I must report that the latkes the couple next to me ordered with wild salmon roe and creme fraiche looked amazing, and I did have a bit of food envy. The fishsticks also sounded brilliant  – Gaspe Nova smoked salmon and scallion cream cheese in a rye crust served with two sauces for dipping – cocktail and tartare. An order for next time for sure.

Of course I’d already chosen my main because have you seen those boards loaded with bright smoked salmon, red onion, thick tomato slices, capers, dill and cream cheese on Instagram? I mean, you may not have done, but trust me, they will make you salivate. I chose a toasted poppy seed bagel to accompany the board and it utterly lived up to expectations. 100% would buy and ravish again. Boards also come with sturgeon, smoked sable or kippered salmon if you’d rather mix it up from the classic, and can be ordered as platters for groups of 3-4 people, though they look huge, so I reckon between 5 would be fine too – after all these are American sized portions.

There’s also plenty of caviar on offer if that’s your bag, along with a handful of salads and soups (Matzo ball soup is of course on the menu). Eggs complete the offering, the sunny side up eggs with Nova smoked salmon and potato latkes sounding like a great shout, as well as the Eggs Benedict served on challah bread (i.e. the greatest of all the breads). A strong sweets menu makes you wish you had two separate stomachs for sweet and savory; the cinnamon babka french toast with apple compote, candied walnuts and creme fraiche being reason enough to go to Russ and Daughters with friends so you can ‘order one on the side to share’.

The thing about New York is there is a constantly evolving mass of must eats in the city, and once you find the ones you love, you want to return on every visit along with trying all the new recommendations on your list (oh, the struggle is real). Russ and Daughters is absolutely on my ‘return to’ list – go try it and see for yourself.

Russ and Daughters Cafe: 127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
+1 212-475-4880
Open every day between 10am and 10pm, bar weekends when they open at 8am

Russ and Daughters Deli: 179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
+1 212-475-4880
Open every weekday between 8am and 8pm, Sat 8am – 7pm and Sundays between 8am and 5.30pm

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Bottomless Breakfast and Brunch London


Once upon a sunny September Sunday, I had the joy of a late summer brunch with a very generous pour of bottomless bubbles at Cafe Pistou in Exmouth Market. Sadly, Pistou’s warm pain au chocolats and excellent croque madames are now long gone, but when one door closes…there is now a Grind in its place. And I’m pleased to confirm that the Exmouth Market Grind fills the boots of brunches of Pistou past admirably.

With a brunch menu designed around mostly smaller dishes, this is the perfect place to take a group of friends and order everything to try to share. The atmosphere was buzzing on our visit, filled with big tables of friends laughing over their filled champagne coupes. The marble tables laid with pale pink and grey menus make this an extremely photogenic brunch to partake in, and a neon sign demanding you ‘Don’t Just Stare At It, Eat It’ completes the signature Grind Instagrammability in style.

But, you know, don’t just stare at it…no problems there, because the food here is too good to stare at it too long. Chorizo and smoked cheese croquettes (£5.50) were just as delicious as they sound: rich with cheese and chunks of spicy sausage in them, perfectly golden on the outside. I had my eye on the sprout spring salad with goats cheese (£5) but sadly they’d run out by the time we ordered – surely a good sign. Being the cliche I am, I also had smashed avo on sourdough with chilli and poached eggs, adding feta to the mix after a big debate between that or bacon (£8.50). Luckily for me my friend L ordered a side of bacon with her meal but found it too salty, letting me at it – super crispy, just the way I like it. The poached eggs were perfectly done with the brightest of orange runny yolks oozing out at the slightest nudge. The wild mushroom hash with harissa (£6) got full marks from L though noted it would have been easier to eat from a plate than a bowl.

Speaking of, there are ‘bowls’ on the menu, with nut granola with agave and winter fruits, porridge and coconut soaked oats with nuts and seeds on offer for those who are inclined to be more health conscious at brunch. On the other end of the spectrum there’s a full English, cheeseburger and a brilliant sounding eggs benedict on the menu with wild boar and chilli.

Obviously, we left room for afters, L getting the creme brûlée (£3.50) which was smooth with a lemon twist to it, whilst I got the chocolate hazelnut parfait with espresso streusel (£6). The latter was excellent, with layers of different textures topped off with sea salt to give it extra depth. Of course, brunch these days wouldn’t be complete without a consistent flow of prosecco, and I’m very much a fan of Grind’s styling: the menu lists this option as “Bottomless prosecco, seriously” – and it’ll only set you back £13 each. What are you waiting for? Grab some friends and get down to Grind. Seriously.


8-10 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QA
+44 20 3019 7709

Bottomless prosecco, seriously, also available at Clerkenwell Grind, 2-4 Old St, London, EC1V 9AA and London Grind, 2 London Bridge, London SE1 9RA

Bottomless brunch for 2 came to £30pp.

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Bottomless Breakfast and Brunch London

Oxbo Bankside

I’m on a bit of a quest to discover the bottomless roasts London has to offer. I’ve written about Tanner & Co’s offering – my first bottomless roast experience – but more recently I’ve been to one that has swooped in to the number one spot. How can you make a bottomless roast even better than it already sounds? Oh I don’t know, maybe have an unlimited buffet of starters and desserts on top of a stellar roast and as many bubbles as you can stomach? Enter Oxbo Bankside, whose bottomless brunches have stormed in popularity recently – and quite rightly, because they do it well. With live music playing, attentive and friendly service and the bubbles flowing for two hours from the time you sit down it’s off to a good start. With the food it just gets better.

Visually the restaurant is stunning – bright and spacious with an open kitchen style set behind the two islands of unlimited joy. On the starters island you’ll find everything from sashimi, ceviche, smoked salmon with capers, tiger prawns with lime and chilli, potted crab and shrimp – and that’s just the seafood part. There are salads and olives, chicken and smoked duck, as well as a charcuterie full of Iberico chorizo, peppered pastrami and prosciutto with pickles and mustard. The challenge here, of course, is to pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and all that jazz. I don’t know about you but I could fill up on multiple trips up to the starters alone, but that would be a mistake, because the main event is yet to come and boy, that’s a damn good roast. We both went for beef, but Oxbo give you a choice – chicken, a veggie option and even a fish dish are on the menu to choose from. The beef was exemplary, the roast potatoes among the better ones I’ve had in a restaurant (my standards are incredibly high – my mum’s are of course the best) and the veg cooked perfectly. The roast is worth going for alone.

But don’t get full yet, you’ve got unlimited desserts to come. Two of the most magical words in the English language, I’d wager. There’s something for everyone for dessert at Oxbo – an extensive cheeseboard to hack your way through, an array of mini bite size cakes and tarts, even a sweet section of jars filled with dolly mixtures and haribo. We made a valiant effort to try as much as possible – the cookies, cheesecake, bread and butter puddings were favourites of mine, along with the mini eton mess meringues and praline tarts. Dessert here is a big kid’s dream come true.

It sounds like this one is going to be expensive, doesn’t it? Unlimited starters, desserts and prosecco, plus a huge roast? It’s all yours for £40 pp, £28 if you opt out of bubbles (but why would you?), making it not only one of the best bottomless I’ve been to, but a steal too. Whilst I’d usually go for a later afternoon slot for a brunch to avoid my table being turned over, the trick here is to go for an earlier table to make sure the unlimited buffets are fully replenished – as the day goes on they will dwindle and food will eventually stop being replaced so as not to waste it. Not into roasts? You’re sorted – Oxbo do the same on Saturdays, swapping out the Sunday roast for a waffle and egg station and sharing style mains at your table. The only thing left to say is, when are you going?

Oxbo, Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk St, London SE1 0UG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7593 3900

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A Bit Fancy Breakfast and Brunch London

Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden

What’s a better way to start your day than a huge breakfast with a stunning view of London and your best friend after a session of sunrise yoga? Okay, fine, I can hear you shouting a fair few alternatives at me, but I stand by it that this was a great way to spend a Thursday morning, despite the 5.15am alarm.

Design My Night have brought back sunrise yoga at Sky Garden for just a tenner a go, which is pretty good as far as yoga classes go price wise in London these days. The catch is you’ve got to get yourself to the top of 20 Fenchurch Street by 6.30am. Whilst the early wake up call is brutal, doing a bit of yoga as the sun rises and starts to beat down on the glass ceiling of Sky Garden feels pretty special, and the promise of a fancy breakfast as a reward of sorts makes the whole getting up before the sun thing totally worth it.

Whilst there is the option of a breakfast buffet on the Sky Garden terrace for an extra £10 after yoga with Design My Night, we opted to book a table at Darwin Brasserie just above the terrace instead. With a view overlooking London from every table, there’s a kind of magic in the setting. Our spot looked down onto the river and the Shard – a view I for one never tire of seeing.

A continental buffet of mini pastries, cereals, fresh fruit and jams lined up next to soft, freshly cut bread and pats of butter line along the bar as you walk into Darwin Brasserie, and naturally we launched into this to start off with aplomb. Bircher muesli and yoghurt with granola, freshly squeezed juices and vats of fresh tea and coffee complete the buffet, and all of this comes in at £16.50, which considering the setting and the important fact the buffet is unlimited, is a pretty good deal in my book. For an extra £8.50 you can order one of the hot dishes from their a la carte breakfast menu which includes pancake stacks, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, wild mushrooms on sourdough and for a £5 supplement, you can go big and get a Full English.

Tempted by the pain perdu with crisp bacon, crushed pecans and maple syrup, I eventually landed on an old favourite, Eggs Royale, whilst my friend opted for smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and tomato and chilli salsa. Whilst mine – being so rich with the hollandaise – was a punchy choice after so much food from the continental buffet, both were excellent and did the trick of keeping us full far into the afternoon. The bircher muesli and thick greek yoghurt with English honey were favourites from the buffet, and the choice of fruit was excellent – apple, grapes, pineapple, a selection of melon and mango, too. Please note I am also now looking at sourcing a set of drawers to hold mini pastries and muffins a la Darwin Brasserie for my own kitchen.

Often the quality of food and service is sacrificed when the view is this good, but not here. Sky Garden is a gem of London as it is, with its rainforest design and views of London on all sides, but Darwin Brasserie alone has made its mark as a foodie destination with one of the best breakfasts in London.

Sky Garden, at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 8AF
+44 333 772 0020

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California Food From Travels Los Angeles

Willie Jane

My love affair with brunch is well documented. Given the obsession with bottomless brunch we now have here in London originally stemmed from the New York tradition, brunch in America comes loaded with high expectations. Wandering through Venice Beach one sunny Sunday, shaking off the cobwebs from the night before with an excellent Groundwork Coffee, we wander down Abbot Kinney Blvd lazily, stopping to take photos of the incredible street art we come across. With all its great independent shops and little restaurants, Abbot Kinney feels like being in Australia to me – unsurprising given its proximity to the beach. Spotting two tiny fluffy puppies outside Willie Jane, and then the sign for bottomless brunch, we’re swiftly sold on where we’ll be eating that day. There are many great places to choose from to brunch in Venice, but puppies and prosecco? Table for two please.

Starting on the pitchers of mimosas which seemed to have no end in sight, here began one of my odder American experiences, in that the wait staff thought I was Adele. As in actually asked me, apparently legitimately if I was Adele. I’m still skeptical but my Californian friend I dined with was convinced they really did think I was the Oscar winning singer, so okay. I mean, I have the same length hair as Adele and I said ‘hello’ in a British accent on arrival, maybe that’s all it takes in LA. Who knows, but it set the tone for a really fun afternoon with friendly staff and plenty of mimosa refills.

We started off with the warm biscuits served with fresh burnt orange honey butter ($6), which were just as delicious as they sounds. Now the thing about biscuits, and a constant source of debate I have with Americans, is that to me they are pretty much scones. I can hardly tell the difference between them, except maybe slightly in texture. Not that I’m complaining, because both scones and biscuits are delicious, and I love seeing biscuits as a staple on American breakfast menus. Continuing the Southern theme, I had to go with one of Willie Jane’s fried chicken dishes, specifically the fried chicken and chorizo gravy sandwich served with slaw ($15). It was sublime. Proper Southern fried chicken, all juicy under the golden crispy buttermilk and set off beautifully with the colourful homemade slaw and chorizo flavours.

My friend went down a slightly healthier route with greek yoghurt, granola, berries and lavender honey ($8). I swiped a bit and it was excellent. The rest of the menu looks just as good: cinnamon French toast sticks; smoked brisket hash with fried eggs and more Southern style cooking with shrimp grits with scrambled eggs and bacon. Then of course you’ve got bottomless mimosas generously poured for you for the entirety of your time there for a mere $15 per person. Willie Jane has my heart.

We sat in the garden area outside, sheltered from the California sun by a pergola strung in lights and surrounded by pretty flowers and plants. Never rushed, the service was excellent – if a little off their game on star spotting – and I felt I could have easily sat there for hours enjoying the atmosphere and steadily making my way through several pitchers of mimosas. Which I think you’ll agree, is the kind of Sunday every Sunday should be. And rumour has it, Adele’s a big fan.

1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
+1 310-392-2425

Brunch for 2 with bottomless mimosas including tax and service came in at $75.

Disclaimer: I am not Adele nor do I assume her identity bar at house parties when ‘Hello’ comes on. I have no idea if Adele has ever been to Willie Jane, though I do think she’d like it. The wait staff certainly would.

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California Food From Travels Los Angeles

Bottega Louie

Apparently no one really ventures into Downtown LA on a weekend, but people make an exception for brunch at Bottega Louie. I could have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner here based on the online menus alone, but as ever, too many places to eat, too little time. Since brunch is the best meal that exists, brunch won out.

Bottega Louie is much bigger than I expected, all white with high ceilings, gold trim and big windows that fill the room with light. Quit frankly, it’s gorgeous. There’s a large case of patisserie and their famous macarons you really can’t miss as you walk in the door, making it very difficult to leave without something to go. (Don’t do that, don’t be silly. Take a box of macarons for they are delicious. The salted caramel and pistachio are particularly good.)

Everything you expect to be on the menu for an American brunch is there: eggs benedict with bacon ($17), sweet waffles ($18) and pancakes with lemon and ricotta ($17), smoked salmon bagels with all the trimmings ($18), eggs “any style” ($18). I would happily have ordered any of these but something a little more unusual jumped out at me and I couldn’t pass it up – a smoked salmon millefeuille. As my best friend said when I recounted that days food to her: “TELL ME MORE. What do you MEAN?” A savoury twist on the French dessert, with layers of puff pastry interspersed with thick cream cheese and plenty of smoked salmon. It was excellent, albeit as rich as you would expect. My friend opted for the lobster hash ($20), served with perfect poached eggs, shallots, paprika hollandaise and…Brussels sprouts. It turns out Californians have a thing for Brussels sprouts I wasn’t quite expecting, the oft-hated vegetable turning up on a fair few menus over my time there. But hey, they worked, so maybe us Brits need to be a little more open toward the infamous sprout.

For me it’s not really brunch without eggs, so I ordered a boiled egg with soldiers on the side, though sadly the egg was overdone and not really all that runny. But then we come to our other side dish and it more than makes up for my brief disappointment: beignets. My God, why have these never been in my life before? Like a doughnut, but so much airier! So bouncy! I absolutely could have eaten another plate and in hindsight I probably should have done – delicious.

Brunch cocktails were a perfectly spiced Bloody Mary with an olive garnish and the pretty Pomegranate Fizz: vodka, prosecco and pomegranate juice with mint, peach and creme de cassis. At $14 each, this isn’t where you’ll get bang for your buck if you want a particularly boozy brunch (you’ll want a bottomless brunch for that, of course) but this a classy affair and Bottega Louie certainly delivers across the board. It’s a beautiful restaurant that’s definitely worth a look in for brunch whilst in Los Angeles. Now to work out a way back for all the pasta and pizza they do for dinner…with beignets as the inevitable dessert.


Have you been to Bottega Louie? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017
+1 213-802-1470

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