Sure, you can catch up over coffee, bond over burgers, or gossip with gozleme (less common) but the bonafide best way to spend quality time with your pals is at brunch.
It’s the meal that suits both early birds and night owls and you’re free to drink as much as you please, because there’s always time for a nap afterwards. These are the London brunches where they take the booze as seriously as the eggs benedict.
The one with the trolley
Cocktail connoisseurs will already know Little Bat, the Islington sibling of Callooh Callay. New to its already ace offering is a weekend brunch menu (banana butterscotch, mascarpone and hazelnut brioche French toast, please) to which you can add bottomless Prosecco, Mimosas or Bloody Marys for £25. Or… they’ll wheel over a trolley piled high with everything from beetroot juice to bacon strips so that you can mix up your very own bloody mary to whichever specification your sore head demands.
The one with the Spanish Negroni
The Spanish diet is largely based around chorizo, bread and eggs and as such makes a brilliant brunch option. But don’t assume you’ll be washing it down with jugs of sangria: at El Segundo in Peckham the bottomless cocktail options include a Barrel Aged Spanish Negroni made from herby Gin Mare, Campari and Pedro Ximenez. Your session is £20 for one hour or £35 for two. No doubt your Spanish will be muy bien by the end.
The one with the Bloody Mary toolkit
This gorgeous food hall opened in Fulham station’s Edwardian ex-ticket hall last year, and their excellent line-up of traders (including fried chicken babes Butchies) now offer a brunch menu at weekends. The bars serve a brunch cocktail list to compliment them – breakfast martini to start? – and Our/London vodka have put together a Bloody Mary toolkit. It’s meant for groups of 4-6, but we’re not counting.
The one with cauldrons of rum punch
At Dum Biryani in Soho your food is always accompanied by a banging hip-hop soundtrack, which makes it an out-there choice for a business lunch but the best choice for brunch. Their crazily tempting menu (which includes masala paneer-filled pavs, butter garlic soft shell crab and pistachio kulfi) can only be improved by ordering the Indian spiced punch, made using Old Monk rum, guava and pineapples. It will arrive in a copper cauldron and will set you back just £15 for two hours.
The one with all the beer
For venues that specialize in bowling, All Star Lanes sure know how to put on a brunch. If your drink of choice is hopped rather than popped you’ll love their bottomless craft beer option (£20 for two hours), which was chosen by drinks writer Melissa Cole. Food-wise you’d be an idiot not to go for the Reuben pragel – a bagel-cum-pretzel that’s stuffed with salt beef.
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The one with all the champagne
Just because you’re out to get sloshed doesn’t mean your Saturday need be trashy. Grab your most glam outfit and your most fun friend and treat yourself to the Party Brunch at Coya in Mayfair. It kicks off with an hour of bottomless drinks – including Champagne – before you sit down to feast on tacos, ceviche and many other delicious South American dishes. Then the DJs turn it up for a bit of post-feed dancing. It’s £75 a head – kind of reasonable given the champagne exchange rate post-Brexit.