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Schmooze, booze and tattoos: where to munch the best brunch in London

Red7 , February 25, 2014

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Spring is in the air. The tulips are peeping out, we can walk to work without fear of frostbite and some of us are even daring to bare a bit of leg.

More importantly, Londoners are starting to feel the urge to take a leisurely, lazy weekend morning walk in the sunshine to spend a few hours supping eggs and Bloody Mary’s in some of London’s hippest restaurants. Whether you’re after a boozy brunch, gourmet ingredients or simply somewhere to sit with your head in your hands for a few hours over a coffee, the following London brunch destinations are guaranteed not to disappoint.

The Breakfast Club, Hoxton


The eggs The traditional Huevos Rancheros wrap (fried egg, chorizo, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, refried beans) is what local Londoners come to the Breakfast Club for.

The atmosphere Quirky décor, mismatched furniture and a relaxed yet decidedly hipster atmosphere make for a deliciously out of the ordinary, Tex Mex brunch experience in East London’s hub of activity, Shoreditch. It’s worth the 10-15 minute queue for a table.

The Bloody Mary The Breakfast Club’s classic Bloody Mary is suitably fiery, but the real boozy brunch magic comes from the Morning Mojito with golden rum, mint, orange and grapefruit.

Try The Bacon Banana French Toast for a dose of sweet and salty breakfast goodness.

Pavilion Café, Victoria Park,


The eggs Eggs Florentine, Royale and Benedict cooked to absolute perfection.

The atmosphere A picture-perfect café overlooking the Victoria Park boating lake. The brunch-hungry young families and creative types who frequent this East London breakfast staple can sit out on the jetty or under the enormous domed roof inside. The Pavilion café uses local organic produce and serves a constantly changing seasonal menu. There are also freshly baked bread and wheat free cakes to take a way.

The Bloody Mary No Bloody Mary’s here, but there is often spicy tomato juice available and bottles of craft beer. The main pull at Pavilion Café is the coffee.

Try The Breakfast Burger, a towering hangover saviour consisting of a sausage patty, bacon, cheese, sweet fried onions and egg.

Market Café, Broadway Market


The eggs The eggs and smoked salmon or ham hock with fried egg are to die for.

The atmosphere Finish a leisurely stroll along the Victoria Canal in this rustic Italian-inspired café with a modern twist. Market Café may be hipster territory but the vintage wallpaper and Formica-topped tables give the brunch favourite a lovely homely feel.

The Bloody Mary Market Cafe’s classic Bloody Mary always hits the spot, as does the Prosecco on tap.

Try The seriously indulgent truffled rarebit.

Beagle, Hackney

The eggs Simple dishes like smoked salmon and eggs never fail to impress, and their slightly fancier dishes (boiled eggs with anchovy soldiers were a recent brunch menu star) are inventive and delicious.

The atmosphere After opening in Spring 2013 in the railway arches under Hackney Central station, Beagle’s brunch has become stuff of East London foodie legend. The small menu is seasonal, ever-changing and beautifully crafted.

The Bloody Mary Bloody Mary’s are Beagle speciality, with several unusual varieties gracing the brunch menu. The classic Bloody Mary is made with chorizo-infused vodka, the Maria Maria with smoked garlic tequila, the Snapper with gin and fish sauce and the Racy Mary with fiery jalapenos. It’s best to try them all.

Try Oysters outside in the sunshine for an extravagant hangover cure.

Duck and Waffle, The Heron Tower


The eggs Expect lavish combinations such as Ox Cheek Benedict and Duck en Concote with wild mushrooms, gruyere and truffles.

The atmosphere Gourmet brunch with a gourmet view on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower.

The Bloody Mary The classic Bloody Mary has truffle in it, which speaks volumes about the quality of brunch on offer at the Duck and Waffle. The Marmite Black Velvet Brunch cocktail also comes highly recommended, with a marmite and Guiness reduction topped with champagne.

Try There’s too much to choose from on the brunch menu, but the bacon-wrapped dates and foie gras crème brulee have particularly stand out flavours.

Dishoom, Shoreditch


The eggs Try the Egg Nann Roll with chilli tomato jam or the Bombay Omelette with coriander and green chillies, served with Fire Toast (char-grilled bloomer).

The atmosphere Authentic Bombay Café comes to East London in the form of this London brunch favourite which combines traditional breakfast favourites with a spicy twist along with a few recipes straight from Bombay. Open the door to be washed with a smell of spices and freshly baked bread. In summer relax on the beautiful Bombay-inspired verandah, or cosy up indoors with a fresh mint tea, a chocolate chai or a Monsooned Malabar Coffee.

The Bloody Mary Dishoom’s Bloody Mary is hot stuff but the Dhoble breakfast cocktail  (orange juice, gin, maraschino liquor and lemon) also makes for an almighty breakfast tipple.

Try Bun Maska toasted rolls with butter dipped in Chai, a Bombay classic.

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