Just How Bottomless Can a London Bottomless Brunch Be?

I was overjoyed when the bottomless brunch trend landed in London a few years back. Years behind Dubai and other cities, our capital finally got the memo and embraced the bottomless brunch scene.

I love brunch. I love drinking bubbles. Therefore, I love bottomless brunch. It’s a very simple equation.

I’ve tested out a few spots and feel it’s my duty (as a bottomless brunch lover and a mummy in need of bubbles and benedict) to share my experiences with you.

South Place Hotel, Liverpool Street

This was my first bottomless brunch in London and it really set the bar high. The brunch here is a real experience. It’s posh, yes, and the service is excellent/formal, but it still feels fairly relaxed. The dining room, at the front of the hotel, is light and modern and quietly bustling. Live piano music plays intermittently and the ambience (*Said in a Micky Flannigan voice*) is lovely. Yes, lovely. It’s not going to rock your world, but it’s going to be lovely.

Food is good – I think I had eggs Florentine followed by croquet madam on my first visit, and eggs benedict followed by a chicken pie on my second. No complaints at all.

Most importantly, the drinks flowed flawlessly, never having to ask for a top-up. The waiters would be on the ball making you a new drink once you had less than a third in your glass and it would appear as if by magic. That’s my kind of magic.

Price: £22.50 for two-courses, or £27.50 for three. The bottomless bubbles are £15 on top.

Ideal for: Special occasions. Couples. Small friendship groups.

Rating: 4.5* / 5*

 

The Botanist, Broadgate

On arrival at The Botanist, the waitress explained to us how the bottomless brunch worked. You always have a (continuously topped up) prosecco on the go. In addition to that, you have another drink of your choice – mimosa, wine, bloody marys or various bellini options – again, continuously replenished. This is what you call a truly bottomless brunch.

In stark contrast to South Place Hotel, The Botanist is dark and has more of a ‘bar at night’ feel to it, even at midday. I’ve been a few times now (guilty) and each time there has been live music – an acoustic singer and guitarist. The vibe is much rowdier than South Place Hotel, with a typically younger crowd, many dressed to go ‘out out’ – despite the fact that it’s midday. It’s busy, bustling, and whilst the service is less formal, it’s just as attentive. Our glasses were never empty.

The food is good too. Lots of classic breakfast options but also lots of lunch dishes too. Our table had a mix of the two – and everything looked and tasted good. The cheeseburger was a particularly popular option.

One highlight is the photo booth downstairs – definitely recommend a visit to that at the end of the brunch.

Of the three brunches I’m reviewing, I would definitely say this is the booziest. Being double parked consistently for two hours is a guaranteed ticket to drunk-ville, and what a wonderful journey it is. If you’re in any doubt as to how much booze someone can drink in two hours, the fact that one of my friends – who shall remain anonymous – was sick before the end of the brunch should speak volumes. You know who you are…

Price: £20.00 for two-courses, or £25.00 for three. The bottomless bubbles are £15 on top.

Ideal for: Friendship groups, hen parties, and anyone wanting to get a) really drunk or b) get their money’s worth

Rating: 5* / 5*

 Villandry, Regent’s Park

If you’re looking for a low-key, leisurely brunch but don’t want to go crazy, this one might be for you. I think the term ‘bottomless’ is a little ambitious for this particular brunch. More accurately, it’s a brunch with a couple of glasses of fizz (prosecco only, no other options).

The menu has a much heavier emphasis on classic breakfast than the others. The first course is breakfast pastry, followed by mains, which are mostly things like full English and eggs benedict, but also have one or two other options, like a burger. The third course is then a selection of cakes. No complains about the food, but nothing to write home about either. Service was mediocre. Fairly efficient but without a hint of a smile. To me, that massively affects my experience. I like my mimosas served with a side of smiles.

The ‘free-flowing’ bubbly was flowing, but very slowly. I don’t think our glasses were topped up more than two or three times in the entire two hours.

There were a lot of families eating and the atmosphere is chilled and casual. It’s not a bad place to have a lazy breakfast or brunch, but they don’t take bottomless all that seriously. So if that’s your priority, I’d recommend you look elsewhere.

Price: £35 for three courses and free-flowing prosecco

Ideal for: Those looking for a low-key, casual brunch with a couple of glasses of bubbles. Family-friendly.

Rating: 2.5* / 5*

 

villandry_bmg

These are my lovely uni girls, ‘The Bill Mo Girls’ at Villandry. The company was 5*/5*. 

 

 

 

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