Magazine Archive

I might be a tad behind the curve on this one, but I recently enjoyed my first 'bottomless brunch'. A relatively new concept (to me anyway), these offers, perhaps counter-intuitively, throw together the potentially contradictory bedfellows of early daytime dining and unlimited drinking.

The one I attended, in Bar + Block, whose day... well, evening job is as a steakhouse and bar, offered great value - buy any dish from the menu (including the lunch one) and enjoy unlimited refills of prosecco (not my usual tipple of choice, but never mind!) for 90 minutes. Some of our party arrived half an hour late, but the staff were great - they just gave us free drinks until they appeared - and 'brunch' eventually began at 2.30pm.

What greatly impressed me about this concept (other than the speed of the refills) was the relaxed, carefree nature of it all. I have long thought that service in this country is too rigid compared to the continent. How many times, in the UK, have you been told that you can't have, say, breakfast because that menu has finished? That if you don't order food you'll have to sit separately? Or even that, if you aren't dining, you can't be served at all? Whereas, pretty much anywhere on the continent, when the sun is out, you will often see people enjoying (or enduring) a pint of hair of the dog for breakfast, with no food in sight. These are unfortunately uncertain times - and surely finding more flexibility to allow yourself to sell the customer what they want, when they want it is a sensible way forward for everyone.

Also, I just wanted to report that I recently popped into a bakers', where I noticed that all the cakes were the same price, bar one that was 50p more. I asked the assistant why and she replied 'that's madeira cake'. As you may have noticed from that Christmas cracker of a 'joke', the festive season is upon us, so it just leaves me to wish all of our readers a happy holiday on behalf of everyone here at H2O Publishing. See you all in 2018!