Oh hey there. Want to hear a story all about brunch, friends and cupcakes? Good.
Today’s tale is about a group of girls, all American and Canadian expats living in London, who, though generally happy with their fantabulous lives, each found themselves missing that one special meal which North America does better than anywhere else: brunch. Luckily they found each other, and so, unified by their love of eggs, booze before noon, gossiping and Instagramming caffeinated beverages, decided to go out into their new home and find the best brunch(es) London has to offer.
This was how my favourite monthly tradition, not to mention a killer hashtag (yes, I’m claiming credit for #brunchbunch) was born. My pals and I try to mix it up with our restaurant choices, covering swanky and edgy and everything in between. It also takes us all over the city, because no borough is too far to travel to when a mimosa is at the finish line.
On a recent Sunday morning, which dawned bright and windy, I was a running a little bit late for the latest meeting of the #brunchbunch gang. I hustled my way to the train, stopping only to snap a photo of the (mercifully) blue sky.
Once in town, I stopped to pick up some cupcakes at Hummingbird and write a few belated birthday cards. Thank goodness for empty café tables in Covent Garden and my devil-may-care attitude toward signs that proclaim “seating is for customers only.”
Eventually, I arrived at our chosen brunch venue: the new(ish) London iteration of the famous American (but French-style) bistro, Balthazar. I didn’t hang around taking photos, because I was dying to see the inside. If you’ve ever been to the original NYC Balthazar, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Pretty much identical, right? Anyway, I soon stopped oogling my surroundings and got down to the business of catching up. Mimosas and french fries were ordered (hey, don’t knock the combination ’til you’ve tried it), and and menus were perused for more sustaining fare.
Meghan is the super-stylish one who (inadvertently, I’m sure) can make you feel like the grubby kid at the grown-up’s table.
Lolly is the birthday girl with the biggest smile.
obnoxious voracious Instagrammers.
Our pal Lauren is a fantastic orderer: a pain au chocolat followed by French onion soup? Inspired.
The rest of us didn’t do too badly either. My scrambled eggs with crab were perfectly cooked, and Claire‘s Eggs Royale looked tasty, too.
After we’d eaten our fill and paid our bill, we gathered outside to put the next brunch date into the diary (with so many schedules, it can be difficult).
It’s ok though, because we had homemade peanut butter cups. Don’t you wish every adult event came with favours, like when you were little?
Lauren had to jet off to feed the Internet’s Cutest Baby™ (seriously, not kidding, see here), but the rest of us decided to take a little stroll.
We found a corner, under the old market arcade, to shelter from the wind and hold an impromptu birthday party, complete with cupcakes…
…candles (is it just me or does this girl make crutches look chic?)…
…and a rendition of Happy Birthday hearty enough to draw looks from the passing tourists. It’s cool, though: that’s how you know you’re doing it right.
The cakes were, predictably, delicious.
Also predictably, we did a lot of laughing and photo-taking. Which of course, is the #brunchbunch way.
All images © Eleanor Büsing