Set Menu: Brunch is dead. Long live brunch.

Are you still a brunch fan? (Alamy Stock Photo)
Are you still a brunch fan? (Alamy Stock Photo)

Remember the days when spending one’s weekends going to town on avocado on toast, matcha lattes and bottomless Prosecco was cool? Well, instead of allowing it to drop off a ledge entirely, here in London chefs are giving the half-breakfast, half-lunch ritual a little zhuzh, promising superior hangover cures with far less ‘cheugy’ energy.

First off, consider scaling rooftop restaurant Seabird for the octopus brioche roll with aioli and pickled red onion and matchstick patatas bravas served with confit egg and chives. Or for something a little more likely to clog your arteries, try the utterly bizarre yet highly tempting egg, bacon and cheese toastie lasagne by Pasta Evangelists, available for one day only this Saturday at Market Halls Oxford Street. Oh, and don’t even think about visiting Haringey without indulging in the fried plantain tossed in sugar and coconut, and chicken ata din din (that’s chicken in a Scotch bonnet and red pepper marinade) at Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s.

From 1 October, Fallow will be serving its take on the classic royale, where sausage, bacon, egg, mushroom ketchup and sriracha will be sandwiched between two slabs of swirly croissant dough. Plus, on 2 October, chef and author of The Last Bite, Anna Higham, is putting on a divine brunch pop-up, promising Staffordshire oatcakes, tattie scones and peach and almond granita to mark the beginning of autumn (@anna.atthetable). Last but not least, keep an eye out for Chet’s, opening later this year, serving Thai twists on American classics, such as banana roti with sweet condensed milk and berries, and buckets of spicy Thai Bloody Marys. You’re welcome.


Douglas Blyde tries a revived take on the ancient tipple

‘Cyder was not always a forgotten child,’ says Paul Ross, head cyder maker at The Newt, Somerset. ‘Back in the golden age of the 17th and 18th centuries, it was really respected and cared for.’ No, the ‘y’ is not a typo but a conscious choice by the makers of The Winston Cyder to honour the beverage’s reverence. Designed to be served in a champagne glass, this iteration of the staple brew is a far cry from the tins you’ll find in the supermarket. The one I taste, the limited-edition 2018 expression, is rich, vibrant and clean with tiny, tickling, persistent bubbles.

Poured from a pint-sized bottle complete with cork, it’s named in honour of a certain prime minister who would enjoy ‘imperial pint’ bottles of champagne followed by cognac. Local apple variety, Katy, stars in it and is brought to life in the Newt’s own orchards and a state-of-the-art, on-site press. At £35 a bottle, it’s rather more expensive than a pint down the pub, but trust me, it’s worth the investment. (