Brunch is simply defined as “a late morning meal which combines breakfast and lunch” and it has become an ever increasingly popular way to dine at the weekends.
Weekends are often spent either getting over the copious amounts of red wine you drank the night before, or getting an early gym session in being smug in the knowledge that you can chill out for the rest of the day. Therefore, breakfast has been missed, but you’re a little too early and not quite ready for lunch, so brunch it is! I think restaurants and cafes have wised up to this fact and are putting on fantastic weekend menus to entice you in.
I scoured the Chelsea neighbourhood whilst I lived there for a few months and had the opportunity to try out some of the local restaurants and cafes rating their take on what is my favourite brunch choice, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
Here are my top three:
At the top of the medals table comes Delice which is just a 10 minute walk from Gloucester Road tube and is nestled amongst the bigger chain names such as Paul’s Patisserie and Gail’s Artisan Bakery so it’s got some big hitters to contend with. Delice isn’t intimidated though and appears to be on to a winner because whenever I’ve wandered past, it’s always busy and has that feeling of a locals place to hang out. It’s got a fresh, clean interior and the staff are friendly and attentive.
There was plenty to choose from on the brunch menu but I was going through a smoked salmon and scrambled eggs phase (the healthy brunch option in my opinion) so I was pleased to spot it on the menu. I think you can tell a lot about how good a brunch is based on how well the chef can cook scrambled eggs. Don’t ask me why, but I think too often they come on the plate with water swirling round. I can categorically confirm, these were great scrambled eggs and I liked that I got some avocado on the side too, nice touch. It was reasonably priced and definitely felt like somewhere you could settle into on a Sunday with the papers and endless coffee on tap. So the next time you’re wandering down the Fulham Road looking to put some money in the pocket of the locals market, then head in, you won’t be disappointed.
Delice can be found on 154 Fulham Road, SW10 9PR
I’ve always enjoyed just going for a walk at the weekends and particularly when living in Chelsea where it is criminal to do anything but walk to get anywhere. Will and I decided to head to Sloane Square to do a spot of shopping (or more likely I was dragging him out the flat and away from some sport on TV) and we thought we’d take the back roads to get there away from the crowds of the King’s Road. That’s when we came across Tartine which was located amongst a couple of streets of pretty shops and restaurants around Draycott Avenue. We had a pick of a few restaurants but opted for Tartine as the menu looked reasonably priced but had the requisite smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on the menu.
Whilst it seemed a little quiet when we walked in, it soon filled up behind us and there was a nice buzz in the restaurant. I ordered my smoked salmon and scrambled eggs again and the restaurant had a nice twist because they serve it on a lovely sourdough bread that is made daily at their local Belgravia bakery. It also came with a fresh salad on the side (free of charge). It was a generous size portion of smoked salmon which is always good to see as places often scrimp on the salmon if they can get away with it and the eggs were just delicious. The sour dough bread was a nice change to the usual brown bread and I felt like I was keeping to my healthy intentions for the weekend. Service was good and they were attentive and friendly throughout the meal. I think Tartine gets a well deserved silver and I’d definitely go back if I’m in the area and suggest you do too. The afternoon tea menu looked tasty too if you’re not in town for brunch.
(I don’t think the photo does the place justice at all becasue normally an awning comes out, but I think the ladies drinking wine were trying to get a tan and asked for it to wound in).
Tartine can be found on 114 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AE
Bringing up the rear in bronze position (although Will might put this one up in gold!) is Ca’puccino which is fighting it out with the endless restaurants and cafes available on the King’s Road. Ca’puccino is a place I’ve walked past a few times and almost walked over the threshold but at the last minute decided against. I’m not sure what was putting me off whether it was the menu never appearing quite as exciting as other places I’d looked at, or if it just seemed a bit small to get a spot in, but I thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and wandered in.
It’s quite a deceptive place as it appeared quite small upstairs but actually there is plenty of space downstairs with a cosy couple of rooms to kick back and enjoy just a coffee or something more substantial. Continuing on my smoked salmon and eggs theme, I went for an omelette this time with a dollop of crème fraiche. It was served not in the usual style but in a small cast iron frying pan along with some sliced courgettes marinated in a lovely fresh dressing on the side. It really did surpass my expectations. Service had been quick getting us our coffees and meal but I must be honest and say that trying to pay the bill was painful. We must have asked four or five times, but I think the poor waitress had been left to fend for herself with the large number of diners all vying for her attention.
In the summer it is a fabulous spot to sit outside in the sunshie and they have a fabulous ice cream selection on offer. So grab your sunnies, and shotgun a table in the sunshine.. when it comes out again.
Ca’puccino can be found on 138A King’s Road.
So that is my top three places to brunch that aren’t the usual chains on offer round the Chelsea neighbourhood.
I would however also like to bring your attention to The Grocer on Kings which is a gorgeous little cafe serving alternative snacks and small meals in a delightful little cafe on the King’s Road.
And I recently went to Beaufort House for Will’s birthday brunch with all the boys which does a great weekend brunch menu. I have to say their full English breakfast is very reasonable at £10 and as I’d given them a heads up that it was Will’s birthday, they even came out with a piece of cheesecake with a candle in it for his birthday (FOC). A very nice touch that was unexpected and they do say the little things make the difference. I’ll definitely head back there for lunch or dinner sometime. Just make sure you book in advance or you might be waiting at the door for a while.
Beaufort House can be found on 354 King’s Road SW3 5UZ
In my opinion, brunch is where it’s at for weekend dining. Getting in a late morning meal means there’s no shame in having coffee and cake at 4pm when you’re feeling a bit peckish followed by a late dinner and wine.