Fashion Features & Entertainment Assistant Josie Ayre takes on a bottomless brunch in Mayfair
The term ‘bottomless brunch’ for me has connotations of young, professional New Yorkers away from their family’s traditional Sunday dinner and instead taking to the streets of the East Village to drink an endless stream of Bloody Marys only to stumble out of the door later a little dishevelled. And London is no different.
While the word ‘brunch’ originates in Britain, like many things – the toast trend (check out this month’s Deluxe pages to find out more), Facebook and the word ‘bae’ – the idea of a bottomless brunch was first conceived in the good old U.S. of A and then travelled over the Atlantic to our fair island. While Bloody Marys may be the choice de jour for American diners looking for their weekend hit of alcohol, us British types like to pretend we’re a little more refined. Prosecco is of course, the natural alternative and that’s where Quaglino’s comes in.
Quaglino’s is the downstairs dinner spot for those looking for more than just a side of spinach with their dinner. Smartly turned out and barely ever without live music – ranging from live DJs to comforting jazz – Quaglino’s is the posh yet approachable restaurant in the heart of Mayfair, a borough where it’s easy to feel out of place.
While I can vouch that dinner is an all round great experience, I arrived with a friend in tow on a Saturday afternoon for brunch and, more specifically, eggs. We descended down the grand staircase to be greeted by our friendly and knowledgeable waiter, Patrizio, who sat us down next to a mixed bunch of punters from birthday parties, to couples sharing desserts and the odd Sex & the City-esque gaggle of girls. It was a lively atmosphere which is, in my mind, a good sign for somewhere serving alcohol by the bottomless bottle.
Quaglino’s offers a reasonably priced two or three-course menu with the added bonus of a topped up glass of Prosecco for £15. With eggs on the mind, I went for the scrambled option with smoked salmon, while Cris, my friend ordered eggs with truffle shavings. While it covers most of the bases in the egg department (obviously very important to me), it has a distinct lack of avocado – very middle class of me – which, feels missed on a brunch menu. Apart from that slight indiscretion those with a big or small appetite are also catered for with a mix of dishes available, so if you don’t fancy a slice of toast you’ll still have options.
We both agreed that our eggs were a delight with them coming well seasoned and in plentiful supply. We moved onto dessert, both ordering the vanilla and white chocolate cheesecake. I will be the first to admit our choice of courses was a bit bizarre, as I don’t usually follow up my breakfast with dessert but we were by this time suitably lubricated by the endless supply of Prosecco which our waiter stealthily filled up our glasses with.
The cheesecake came with a green kind of sludge which if I’m honest, I wouldn’t have missed had it not been there. Overall though it was delicious and refreshingly light so we didn’t feel like we’d just eaten a brick made out of pure, unforgiving calories.
Once our conversation moved through from pleasantries to life complaints right through to more risqué topics, we decided to call it a day, only to have our glasses filled again…so after that one, we finally made our exit. While we stumbled up the stairs we had so graciously descended only a few hours earlier, a little disheveled much like our trans-Atlantic counterparts, we concluded that we’d had a very good brunch indeed – with slightly slurred words to that effect.