Hemingford Road, London N1
This quiet neighbourhood café is becoming increasingly well known, so be prepared to queue a little for their exquisite weekend brunch menu. Far off the beaten track from Islington’s Upper Street, you have to know it’s there to find it. The photographic food at SUNDAY is regularly posted on social media by happy customers, causing it to become an Internet sensation without even having its own website. For such a small venue the menu is delightfully detailed, serving both healthy and indulgent options. Not to be missed is the amazing combination of buttermilk fried chicken, cornbread waffle and maple syrup – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
The Bike Shed Motorcycle Club
Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT
The Bike Shed, once a forum and blog for leather-clad faithful’s, now a trendy restaurant that occupies two railway arches in Shoreditch. With a similar vibe to the Ace Café on the outskirts of London, you will find an eclectic mix of beardy bikers and trendy pedestrians eating the extensive brunch menu in cool red leather booths. The food has been designed to make everyone feel welcome: from biker caff staples of full hearty breakfasts to superfood salads and detox juices for the health conscious. After brunch, head to the shop or even the barbershop, which adjoin the restaurant, for some biker souvenirs. Want to visit in the evening? Become a member and enjoy the privilege of drinking their widespread beer list after 8pm (or just order food with your drinks).
Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA
With four venues now across London, it is becoming easier to visit this great restaurant. For the summer months, the site at Somerset House has to be the firm favourite, if only for the beautiful terrace that has views across the Thames. Serving comfort food in an iconic building, it’s hard not to feel immediately relaxed, something much desired for brunch. Ingredients are sourced mainly from British suppliers and farmers, and a great deal of research is undertaken to discover the finest sustainable produce. The brunch classics are served throughout the day and include the queue-worthy brioche French toast with caramelised apples and cinnamon cream. Any restaurant that will serve breakfast and roasts on the same menu is instantly preferred (Sundays only).
The Lido Café
Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PA
You don’t need to just visit during summer to enjoy the benefits of surrounding a South London best-loved outdoor swimming pool; this café is delightful year round. Having said that, it is beautiful in the hotter months, with the interiors opening out onto a decked area overlooking the water, making you feel as though you are somewhere slightly more exotic than around Brixton. The seasonal menu is short but sweet, always offering the brunch classics such as eggs benedict and Bloody Mary’s. The coffee is also seriously good and if you make it before 12pm the buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup are a must.
The Modern Pantry
St John’s Square, London, EC1V 4JJ
The Modern Pantry’s menu at their Clerkenwell site is so extensive it’s almost intimidating. However, once you grow accustomed to the potentially overwhelming number of options you begin to understand why it has become a cult favourite for brunch: there is something for everyone. As an example, there are three choices just for hot chocolate (classic, liquorice & urfa chilli and malt & caraway). This elegant townhouse on the historic St. Johns Square has a variety of rooms that offer different settings, from relaxed to formal dining, whilst still serving the same delicious menu. If you are prepared for an all-day experience, reserve an afternoon tea spot, the menu starts at 3pm and lists a selection of sandwiches plus the classic scones, jam and cream (and optional bubbly).