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Thursday 16 May 2013

Battle of the Brunches...

There's nothing us Mice love more than a super tasty brunch on a Sunday. It's officially the day of rest which we reckon encompasses all activities, especially cooking before 7pm. The best brunches are those that also include champagne...Sunday laziness with a blurred, boozy edge is absolute bliss and the one and only way to forget the Monday blues! They always seem a great idea when planning them mid-week for the coming weekend, but after an cocktail-fuelled Friday and Saturday the thought of alcohol at breakfast can be enough to push you over that hangover cliff, but once you get involved I promise, it's the best medicine!
After recently trying out and loving House of Wolf for cocktails (see our review here) and hearing of the Sunday roast and unlimited mimosa deal, we were super excited to head back for another visit to try it out.  
As soon as we arrived we were led to the top of the old Victorian building to a little dining room. The space is quite small but beautifully decorated in a similar fashion to the Apothecary bar downstairs - shabby chic interior, natural light pouring in and crammed full of amazing knick knacks! My favourite being the centre piece chandelier made from cutlery! 

Despite this, I felt as a fun brunch venue it was distinctly lacking in atmosphere, whilst we were there only two or three other tables were seated and without background hubbub or music, there was definitely something missing.


The deal? Choose between roasted leg of lamb, slow roasted belly of pork, venison casserole, roast strip loin of beef or baked stuffed mushrooms, with all the trimmings and two hours of unlimited mimosas or bloody Mary's for a sum of £25.  
The roast was delicious and couldn't be faulted...perfectly cooked meat, crispy yet fluffy potatoes, a mini pot of knock out cauliflower cheese and even the greens were a little party in your mouth, however the drinks left a lot to be desired. A huge shame and an easy hurdle to fall down at, a flat thimble of Prosecco with lashings of orange juice does not make a happy boozy brunch! It was a similar story with the bloody Mary's...non existent vodka but enough tomato juice to make 500 vats of ragu sauce!  

The two hour time limit obviously puts a restraint on your blissful Sunday lounging, plus the lack of atmosphere didn't give us much reason to stay. Once our delicious food had been gobbled down we were right ready to pack up and be on our way! I would go back for the roast dinner in a heartbeat however £25 for one course plus bottomless orange juice seemed a little steep!  
Never ones to be disheartened, we booked our next attempt at a boozy brunch whilst we were still sitting at our table in House of Wolf! After a full on, all day drinking session last Saturday dressed as PJ and Duncan at the Rugby 7's we diligently stuck to our quest to find the best brunch and topped up alcohol levels at The South Place Hotel.
Having only been open since late last year, The South Place Hotel is a relatively new and hidden gem between Liverpool Street and Aldgate. From the genius brains behind Chelsea's Bluebird, it ticks all the boxes...classy and trendy without being pretentious. I loved it as soon as I saw it. It was one of those moments where you walk past, peer in and think 'I hope we're going in there'...2 seconds later I saw the revolving doors emblazoned with the name of our destination...BAM!  

It wasn't crammed to the rafters, but there were at least twenty odd people with the same idea as us when we walked in. The atmosphere is upbeat and buzzy, with fun music playing in the background and the instant feeling that you're at somewhere pretty fun! The decor is sleek, modern yet still chic with a long marble table down the middle highlighted by spotlights, with individual tables dotted around. 

We especially loved the quirky wall art and exhibition taking place in the foyer, all adding character to what could otherwiseasily become another lifeless hotel.  

Now onto the food and soon as we sat down, we ordered our drinks and within a minute an ice cold, fizzy and delicious bellini arrived...this time definitely alcoholic! 

The deal? Two courses for £20 or three courses for £30 with a £10 additional charge if you want unlimited Prosecco / Bellini / Mimosa or Bloody Mary. We opted for two courses and unlimited drinks for £30, refills are served as long as you are dining so word of slowly and chat lots! Naturally as typical girls this took place without any devious plotting!
This works out £5 more than the House Of Wolf Roast however there is no contest...South Place served delicious drinks and the food was divine, definitely well worth the extra! 

I chose the smoked salmon, soda bread and horseradish cream followed by the native lobster omelette with hollandaise and fries...seriously good and scoring top food points! Middle Mouse went for the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on soda bread followed by a sweet tooth craving of baked cheesecake and rhubarb compote. 

All four of us finished every last scrap, got through 6 bellinis each and were the last table to leave before trotting off to nearby pub The Jugged Hare for a few glasses more....!  
The South Place Hotel was a clear winner for us girls...Champagne brunch accomplished and a return visit already booked in with a different group of girls!! 

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