I’ve always loved brunch. In Australia I used to love getting together with friends at cafes or at each others homes or in a park for a weekend brunch – the meal that combines breakfast and lunch. And yes, one that generally includes Bloody Marys and/or Champagne. Yet in the decade I’ve been in London it has been a rare occurrence – mainly because so few places do it (or say they do yet don’t open to lunch-time!).
So it was with great delight when I discovered via Twitter that Hawksmoor, reknowned for its steaks, was going to open for Brunch, and from 11am! Having managed to wangle a table for their soft opening, it is with many apologies to Will & co that it has taken me so long to blog it – for the reason why, see my 3-star disappointment that occurred a few days before my visit – but it did give me the opportunity to return again, so this blog post will take in both those experiences, my very first BOGOF-post if you like.
My first surprise came within seconds of sitting down, when our lovely bubbly red-haired waitress asked if she could get me a drink, and when I asked for the requisite Bloody Mary she responded with “which one”… there are three to choose from! I went for the Bottomless Bloody Mary (Mix No. 7) which was delicious (pictured above). And not only that, there is a huge range of breakfast cocktails, of which my friends and I managed to consume most of, only saving two of the Bloody Marys and the four Champagne Cocktails for a later date. There are Eye Openers, Anti-Fogmatics, Invigorators*, enormous Punches to share and Gloom Lifters!
We couldn’t go past the Hawksmoor Breakfast and while £30 for two people to share, it is great value for the quality. There’s a smoked bacon chop, sausages, black pudding, bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, and unlimited dripping toast. The meat is all from The Ginger Pig and you really can taste the difference in the quality. Our friendly, but not overbearing, waitress explained to us the traditional way to eat black pudding was to scoop out the middle of the sausage and mix it with English mustard and vinegar – and OMG, it was delicious. And for someone who rarely finishes a thin slice, I ate a lot of it. I’m also one to generally believe that Beanz Meanz… but wow, did the trotter beans blow that theory out of the water. Bone Marrow is a highly under utilised ingredient, and it shone in its usage here. There are desserts too – the cornflake ice-cream is delicious and it’s also made into milkshakes!
And while our plates were scraped clean, confirming how much we all enjoyed the meal, we experienced food envy spying other plates around the restaurant. The HkMuffin (more on that later) and the Sunday Roasts in particular. We were already trying to schedule our return before we’d left.
* Oh, and the warning under The Zombie cocktail of a maximum of one per person should be strictly adhered to – while the four of us were sharing all the cocktails, BoyWonder had the lions share of our second Zombie… and fell asleep on the journey home and went MIA for a few hours!
But the real reason for being here was the food. I was tempted to go for the Hawksmoor Breakfast again, but couldn’t persuade BoyWonder to join me… he was determined to have the HkMuffin. The Sausage & Egg delight which trounces over it’s more well known, and very distant, cousin. It consists of a pork, beef & mutton ‘flat sausage’ topped with Ogleshield or Colston Basset Stilton and two fried eggs. All piled up inside a toasted muffin. BoyWonder went for the Colston Basset Stilton and added some Ginger Pig Bacon as well…
I think he’s still having dreams about it!
I really wanted to try the Ginger Pig Bacon, so I went for bacon & eggs with unlimited dripping toast. I couldn’t resist getting some more of the trotter beans and the bone marrow which I split with BoyWonder – yes he spared some time during the HkMuffin eating frenzy!
The only problem is leaving enough room for dessert. I have to go back, and soon as I really want to try the Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Ice-Cream. Oh, and perhaps I’ll get past the breakfast to try the roast beef with all the trimmings – the Yorkshire Puddings look amazing!