All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. (John Gunther)
Now, let us turn from the words of one esteemed journalist and writer to someone with far more credibility…
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.
(A. A. Milne)
Oh, breakfast is SUCH a thing. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. With the weekend fast approaching, everyone must be making breakfast/brunch plans, so what better time to answer one of the questions I get asked the most: where does one go to have brunch in London? Must say, one thing I envy Elaine for is that the brunch culture in Sydney is so much stronger than it is here in London, which makes me sad because I do so love my brunch. Still, there ARE some real gems, and I’m always on the prowl for more!
1. Granger & Co
When I visited Elaine in Sydney last Easter, one of the first places she brought me to was the much-raved-about Bill’s, and it really didn’t disappoint. So imagine how ridiculously happy I was when I found out that Bill Granger has a restaurant in London as well!!!!!! I still remember stumbling upon that golden nugget of information while not-listening in a lecture in First Year. Needless to say, I made plans for breakfast the very next day, and to this day still go pretty frequently.
There are only two things I order at Granger & Co.
Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana & Honeycomb Butter (£11.50)
These are so fiiiiiiine… Thick and fluffy and literally like eating clouds. The ones here always seem to be even fluffier than the ones I had in Sydney, even though I would never have thought that possible. And when you get that odd sliver of ricotta that didn’t quite get mixed in, and it melts on your tongue all smooth and creamy? HEAVEN. As per proper pancake etiquette, you must drench the hotcakes in the entire pot of maple syrup provided… and then ask for more on the side for dunking.
Sweetcorn Fritters, Roast Tomato, Spinach & Bacon (£13.50)
I love having both a sweet AND savoury option when I eat, and this is the savoury option I always go for. These are crispy and extremely tasty, the flavors being almost reminiscent of “cucur udang” (local prawn fritters in Singapore and Malaysia).
Granger & Co can get really crowded so be prepared to stand in line. The longest I’ve ever queued was just under an hour on a freezing Saturday morning, so don’t go hungry. There will be lots of regulars, some of them Australian, and every one of them perfectly willing to queue because they all know how DAMN WORTH IT those ricotta hotcakes are.
But hey, queuing is always a great opportunity to make friends!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D Tell your fellow queuer that you like his shoes, or that she has purdy hair. I love the brunch crowds because they are my kind of people – laid-back, carefree people who love food enough to wake up early and make time for a leisurely breakfast, and who care enough about the people in their lives to want to sit around and chat over good coffee.
On another note, I don’t know when it was exactly that hipsters hijacked the brunch scene but they seem to form a huge section of the brunch demographic, to the extent that one would think brunch an unquestionable hallmark of hipsterism. Anyway, I tend to steer clear of hipsters, because I am so terribly mainstream that they would just think me supremely uncool and won’t want to be my friend. :'(
GRANGER & CO
175 Westbourne Grove
London W11 2SB
Mon-Sat: 7AM to 11PM
Sun: 8AM to 10PM
*breakfast is only served until 12pm, but the ricotta hotcakes and sweetcorn fritters are also on the lunch menu