Pancakes. Great, now that I got your attention… seriously though, pancakes will be mentioned a lot in this post. So, if you’re hungry, you’ve been warned! I know it’s easy to go for drinks on your dates. Firstly, you can always leave after one if things aren’t going well. Also, they give you more ‘confidence’. However, who doesn’t love a good brunch? If not for the first date, why not consider it for the successful dates afterwards? Brunch isn’t just for the girls to drink Prosecco and gossip over avocado toast (no judgement, pretty sure being a millennial woman means you’re about 60% Prosecco at any given time according to the media.) So, let us help you out. Here are 6 brunch spots to take your date: From sweet to savoury…
Where The Pancakes Are…
Anyone who knows me, will know I’ve been on a mission for quite some time. That mission you ask? Pancakes. I love them. It’s actually at the point of obsession, is it weird to dream about them…? Questions for another time! Anyway, I have been making headway in my mission to find the best pancakes in London. Where The Pancakes Are has been on my list for a while. Word of their pancake greatness had reached me, a true connoisseur. So, like any person who aims to be an expert in their chosen field, I gathered a team (my friends) and gave them strict instructions to meet there to examine the product.
Conclusion? Excellence. We were rewarded with excellence. Firstly, it’s a very cute spot not too far from London Bridge station. If you’re sat outside, they offer blankets and fluffy covers for the bench. They have great cocktails (highly recommend their Lavender infused gin and tonic, the wakeup call you’ll need if you’re not a morning person.) Their pancakes have just the right amount of fluffiness (obviously critical in a great pancake) and a range of sweet and savoury accompaniments. Plus, they have gluten, vegan, dairy and wheat free options. My only complaint? Make ‘em bigger! You can always get extra though, don’t worry. Afterwards, if the London weather is behaving, you can even top of your brunch with a stroll. Either in Borough Market (depending on the day) or across the bridge. What more can you ask for in a brunch spot?!
Address: Arch 35a, 85a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 0NQ
If you’re looking for a more intimate place amongst some pure London suburbia, then Sunday is the place for you. Fair warning, a line does start to form pretty quickly outside very early on (a further sign of excellence) so make sure to get there early. Sadly, there’s no booking. The food is very much worth it though. As you walk from Caledonian Road & Barnsbury station, you can admire the quaint little houses, imagining you living there and wonder. Are you still in London? It’s so quiet, the real ‘action’ is only as you see the line at Sunday.
They have it all. From delicious pancakes (for the likes of yours truly) corn fritters, brioche French toast to Turkish eggs. You name it. They even have a pumpkin, feta and spinach omelette that comes with avocado toast. Millennial brunch requirement? Check! It’s the perfect brunch spot to go if you want more of a farm to table feel, while staying in the city. Also, their coffee is legendary. A great brunch spot to go with a date that needs their caffeine fix ASAP.
Address: 169 Hemingford Road, N1 1DA London, United Kingdom
The Breakfast Club
Who among hasn’t heard of the Breakfast Club? Also, another home of pancake greatness (I did warn you this would be a theme!) Your choice of venue (they have many) is all down to the vibe you want you and your date to have. If you’re looking for more of an intimate, ‘you’ll basically be playing footsie even it’s by accident’ vibe, then their Angel venue is the one for you. It’s a lot smaller and you’ll have to be prepared to wait for your brunch. If you want more of an oasis in a busy metropolitan district vibe (less likelihood of a wait, but a chance of seeing people entering a fridge which leads to their downstairs by using a secret password) then the Liverpool Street/Spitalfields branch is the one you should go to.
As if that’s not enough, they even have you covered if you want to take brunch to the next level and make it into a day trip. Branches in Oxford and Brighton, you’re welcome! Not to worry if pancakes aren’t your thing. The offer breakfast sandwiches, eggs benedict, waffles and breakfast classics like a full English (theirs is called a full Monty, phrasing boom!) If you’re feeling particularly American, you can even get a side of mac and cheese from their lunch menu. Something for everyone, just what you’d expect from a perfect brunch spot!
Address: See the Breakfast Club website to select your location here
Granger and Co
If someone asked me what one of my favourite brunch spots was, Granger and Cowould 100% make the list. Introduced to me by a friend I met during my masters, a bunch of us decided to pull a ‘mum’s having brunch during the week to gossip’ move and took off one day when we finished early. We headed to the Notting Hill gate branch and all surrounding conversation was quickly forgotten. It all floated away once our food arrived. Two words. Ricotta. Hotcakes. I just changed your life and you don’t even realise it yet! Try them and you’ll never be the same.
In hindsight, the Notting Hill branch is probably not the cosiest place for a date. Even the greatest of dining experiences can’t full distract from how close the tables are. However, their Kings Cross branch is where they really shine. Even eating at the bar will make you feel all kinds of elegant. Their sweetcorn fritters with spinach and bacon are amazing. The clean interior style is relaxing and open, but still intimate enough that you and your date can speak freely. With so many great dishes to choose from, you can always go full savoury for the main meal and split the ricotta hotcakes (they’re a meal on their own.) Sharing food worked for Lady and the Tramp, why not you?
Address: Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square London N1C 4AG
If you want brunch possibly as a Sunday roast, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Hawksmoor. Highly rated for their roast, I’ve only been to the Seven Dials branch. However, the setting has the mood lighting to make you feel like you and your date are talking into the wee hours, when actually it’s only 1.30pm outside. From their curved leather seats that are practically hugging you to their gigantic portions, I couldn’t sing their praises enough. They even have pre and post theatre bookings (just the hint you need to extend your brunch date to an even more of a cultural moment.)
If you’re not free for a Sunday roast, they have other exquisite dishes. Lobster grilled, Monkfish, Steak. All the ingredients of a hearty meal. Do be warned though, their prices are pretty high, but once you see how much food is on your plate (enough that you’ll barely see your plate at all) you’ll be more than satisfied. That said, definitely not a first date spot, unless you’re ballin’ (congratulations) or you feel like things are actually going to go somewhere and you want to impress.
Address: 11 Langley St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JG
Last, but by no means least, Dishoom. The perfect brunch because there’s so much sharing. Firstly, if you want flavour, this is a great start. Secondly, they always have really cool interiors. Depending on where you’re sitting, you could very much be in a different place. Even making your way through their venues is a journey in and of itself. The food is fairly priced, the staff are always lovely and it’s the place to go for modern Indian cuisine. They have a range of venues, but personally I tend to go for the King’s Cross site.
They also offer dairy and gluten free options (gotta love a brunch spot that caters to a wider audience.) If you’re interested in their breakfast options, they have your favourites with that modern Indian twist. Love eggs on toast? Try their Kejriwal (two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast.) Want Granola? They have their house special. Bacon and egg sandwich? Theirs is in a naan roll. You get the theme going here, right? Fantastic! I would recommend their okra fries and you honestly can’t go wrong with anything from their Grills listing. All that’s left to do is to pick the venue that suits you and your date (no brainer, but try and pick a brunch spot that suits both of you in terms of direction and time it takes to get there.)
Address: See Dishoom’s website to select your location here
So, there you have it! 6 brunch spots to take your date: From sweet to savoury… Of course, there are many more beyond this list. It’s London. You can pin up a map of the city, throw a dart and find yourself a new brunch spot easily. However, you gotta start somewhere and that’s where we come in. Now, go forth and eat like you’re eating for all of us!