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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Affordable London Brunches & DIY Brunch Ideas | Recipe

So it seems that brunch, that rather ambiguous meal that can take place at any time between breakfast and dinner now it seems, is kind of a thing. Like, everywhere. Not that I'm complaining. An array of delicious breakfast foods still on offer at 3pm and an excuse to sip champagne before noon? I'm in! 


Now, as much as we'd all love to spend every day Sunday schmoozing over champers in some swanky central London restaurant, that can get a little tough on the old purse strings. Which is, of course, where I come in. In this post, I'll be sharing a couple of affordable London brunch spots I've stumbled across recently as well as a recipe to rustle up a DIY brunch to impress. 

Now, there's brunch and then there's brunch. For me, there's the sophisticated Saturday morning, Sex and The City style (or so I like to imagine, don't pretend you don't do the same) catch up with the girls brunch. Then, there's the feeling-sorry-for-yourself Sunday 'thank god they still serve this at 3pm because I was immobile until 2pm. Must. Find. CARBS' brunch.

If you're after the former, I'd like to introduce to what is, hands down, my favourite brunch spot - Mommi in Clapham. A fusion restaurant marrying Peruvian and Japanese dishes, a match made in culinary heaven. Brunch meals here average at just £7.

Tea at Mommi, Clapham

My favourite dish so far is their Purple Potato Pancakes served with bacon, plantain, peanut butter, honey and a fried egg. At first, the peanut butter threw me but it was actually a really nice compliment to the salty bacon (remember when we all questioned syrup with bacon? Trust me, just try it).

My favourite! Mommi's Peruvian Pancakes with bacon, egg and peanut butter!! Sooo good!

The chorizo with sweet potato also looks really tasty and, of course, crowd-pleasers like poached eggs on avocado toast are also on offer.

The chorizo brunch at Mommi <3

Avocado toast with poached egg - always a winner!

Eggs benedict at Mommi, Clapham

Most impressively, for a nifty £15pp you can add a bottomless glass of champagne or a Bloody Pisco (Peruvian Bloody Mary made with white brandy) to your meal. And we're not talking, 'champagne' that's actually £5 per bottle prosecco either. Nope, this is the real deal - Champagne Mercier which retails at £25 per bottle FYI. So £15 for as much as you can drink (within the 1.5 hour time limit) is a great deal. I've also heard rumours of a three course bottomless brunch menu for £30 but I have yet to sample that myself.

BOTTOMLESS CHAMPAGNE!!! - enough said. 

Okay, so now onto our slightly stodgier brunch for those days when we need a little extra help. I find that on delicate days, nothing makes me feel better than fresh air and good food which is why I like to venture to Electric Diner on Portabello Road in London's Notting Hill. This American-style joint offers a tasteful take on more traditional breakfasts like the full English and eggs benedict, along with fun dishes like steak and fries, warm waffles and peanut butter ice cream sandwiches. 

The English breakfast at Electric Diner, Notting Hill - A+.

The vegetarian breakfast at Electric Diner, Notting Hill. 

The cherry for me was the Nutella and rum milkshake - hair of the dog in the most delicious of packages. Slide into the privacy of a booth or pull up a stool at the bar and let the sizzle of sausages soothe you as you watch the chefs work their magic in the open kitchen. The atmosphere is buzzing, the staff are friendly and the location's a winner are you're slap bang in the middle of London's coolest market - Portabello Road (no greater distraction from a hangover than a bit of retail therapy). Prices here average at around £10 per meal so, again, not bad at all for the healthy portions and central scenery. 

A Bloody Mary and RUM & NUTELLA milkshake. I would walk to Notting Hill rn just for another one of these. Love.

Now, for those approaching-pay-day days when eating out just isn't an option, I'm a huge fan of the DIY brunch. It's cheaper, there's no braving the elements or makeup required and, best of all, you can make up a plate of exactly what you like. Better yet, you get to enjoy it all in the comfort of you own bed whilst binge watching Netflix - score. 


My favourite DIY brunch combination has to be crispy bacon with granary toast, hash browns (yes, double carbs are a must) avocado, grilled tomato and perfectly poached eggs. Eggs are important. They must, be runny in a the middle or... all is lost. Such an expert on poached eggs am I in fact, that I'm sharing a YouTube video on my trick on how to perfectly poach them next week. It's sooo easy, none of that crazy, swirling lark. I'd usually add grilled mushrooms to a breakfast too but I saved them for the next photo here haha. Oh, an let's not forget the bubbly. I'm partial to prosecco when drinking indoors because, let's face it, it's much more affordable than actual champagne. Tesco have a great selection with bottles starting at just £5 a pop (pun intended).

DIY brunches are the way forward! 

Want to impress someone with your brunch skills? For a super quick and impressive looking brunch dish, I love a twice baked bread roll filled with runny cheese sauce, a baked egg and tomato and spring onion garnish - mmm... 

Twice baked bread with baked egg and cheese sauce. Recipe below.

To cook this simple dish, first preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Chop up a spring onion and a medium tomato. Then, cut the top off your large crusty bread roll (keep this, it's nice to serve it on the top) and then hollow out the centre of the bread. Fill the roll halfway with cheese sauce (I like the ready-to-pour pots you can find next to the fresh pasta in the supermarket) and then add half of your sliced spring onion and tomato. Crack an egg into the top of the sauce and then add your remaining onion and tomato and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. 


Finally, wrap your roll in foil, leaving the opening exposed so that your egg can cook without your roll burning.  Pop in the oven for 15 mins while you settle back into bed. 5 minutes before the roll is done, check your roll (some bake faster than others) and then pan fry some mushrooms with salt and pepper as a side dish. Take out your roll, unwrap, serve and ENJOY! / Bathe in your own glory if you've cooked this for someone else because you know, and they know, that you're the shit right now. 


Upgrade your lazy Sunday with a magical meal or treat your other half to brunch in bed (they'll owe you BIG time). Or, why not go all SATC and invite the girls over to your place for brunch. Each of these DIY brunches costs less than £3 per dish to make. Split a bottle (or three) of mid range prosecco between you and you're talking £2 per glass so that's an entire brunch for as little as £5! You'll save time and money on travel and can gossip freely without feeling pushed for table time.

I hope that this post has given you some ideas of how to make the best of brunch whether you eat out or DIY. Do you know of any great places for brunch in your area you can share with us? Or do you have an tips for cooking a great brunch at home? Let us know in the comments sections below so we can all enjoy! :)

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x Jade Mercedes Fraser x
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