What else could weekends possibly be for, if not enjoying the company of your friends and catching up over a glass of fizz in the hours following noon? Leave the shopping for online, the museums for Sundays and the West End for evenings – brunch is where it’s at, and London’s eclectic selection of quirky cafes, dazzling diners and stylish restaurants offer something for any brunch occasion. When it comes to your next prosecco-pouring, smoothie-slurping venture, you need look no further than here: we’ve scoured north, east, south and west to find the coolest spots to share a laugh – and maybe a bottle – with your closest.
Aeronaut – Acton
If fancy dress and themed outings are a weekend past-time, look no further than Aeronaut. Head west to this award-winning venue for buckets of freedom, fun and frivolity. Weekends are a blast here, with themed brunches alternating weekly between ‘Wish Upon a Brunch’ and ‘Saved by the 90s’. Dress up as your favourite prince, princess or animal and come along for live renditions of Disney hits, before hitting the dancefloor yourself – or, don the double denim and vogue centre-stage. Look out for one-of-a-kind events: think The Greatest Showman or Rocky Horror. For a little escapism, Aeronaut has you covered.
Attendant – Fitzrovia
For something that’s quirky and classy in equal measure, the Attendant fits the bill – five minutes off bustling Oxford Street, you’ll find a former Victorian toilet turned into a 21st-century brunching spot with hints of contemporary sophistication. The breakfast and brunch menus take natural ingredients and turn them into mini works of art – think poached eggs with shredded beetroot and curled lemon slices on a bed of pea-shoots and seeds. Everything here is fresh and organic, right down to the classy interiors. You’ll find no bubbles here – instead, it’s freshly pressed juices, so prepare to detox.
Bad Egg – Moorgate
There are two types of brunch venues: the ones that get it right, and the ones that get it wrong. Bad Egg falls into the first category, where the bubbles, mimosas and bloody marys don’t stop coming, while you pick from dishes taken straight from an American diner menu. From fried-chicken pancakes to pulled pork and everything in between, this cosy diner sits snugly between Moorgate and Liverpool Street. The vibe amps up at weekends, where your brunch is served alongside a colourful hip-hop and reggae playlist – it adds some much-needed colour to these grey-sky London days, after all. So grab the hot-sauce with one hand and raise your glass with the other, and toast to another weekend done right.
Cereal Killer Cafe – Shoreditch
The only thing edgier than Shoreditch is…cereal after noon in Shoreditch. Throw caution to the wind and set up an afternoon date at this hip East London joint, where you’ll find over 120 varieties of cereal. From collectables like the Spice Girls cereal to hard-to-find-in-the-UK brands, twins Alan and Gary Keery have one incredible unique offering for those looking for something a little outside-the-box. Your sweet tooth is spoilt here, with creamy milkshakes and pop tarts up for grabs, as well as pic’n’mix toppings for your bowl. There’s a prominent sense of childhood nostalgia as you stare at all the boy-band posters and cereal boxes from the eighties and nineties, so head on down and free your inner-child (before rewarding your inner-adult with a cocktail on the side).
Draughts – Waterloo
Unleash your inner-geek at this eclectic watering hole, where it’s all about fun and games over classic pub grub. From quizzes every other Monday to book launches and live theatre, you can fill up your social calendar in no time here. The real draw, of course, is the incredible spectrum of board games on offer: whether you’re a casual gamer or a die-hard enthusiast, there’s something for every appetite – so grab some friends, head on down and roll the dice.
Drink, Shop & Do – Islington
A menagerie of arts and crafts, afternoon teas and delightful décor, Drink, Shop & Do is a space with a million faces: from bingo to neon life-drawing, this venue has everything, and its weekend offerings are particularly impressive: unlimited prosecco and made-to-order bagels are brought to your table while you raid the selection of board games in the corner – or perhaps a more dainty afternoon tea is in store. Schmooze with friends over a game of Jenga, or practice your stitching in a sewing workshop – the hours of the weekend will fly by no matter what you choose to do.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium – Bethnal Green
Cats just got cooler. A magical wonderland for our feline friends, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium brings Wonderland to life with indoor trees, fairy lights, vintage furnishings and all the cat accessories you could possibly imagine. While you sip from china mugs and bite delicate homemade cakes, watch your furry friends scurry from tree to tree, paw and claw at their toys, and purr softly as you nuzzle into their fur. These rescue cats are truly lucky to have found a home like this, and you can join them for an exciting afternoon of playtime: literature-lovers will be fond of the names like Dickens, Oberon and Durrell, after all. And for those who want to add some sparkle to their High Tea, a prosecco option is also available.
Mommi – Clapham
Brunch for the yo-pro’s has been perfected at Mommi, where Japanese and Latin American-inspired cuisine is paired with a nostalgic power ballad playlist for the eternally young. Urban and edgy, what better way to spend your Saturday than feasting on Sashimi Caesar Salad to a soundtrack of Elton John and Bonnie Tyler? After you’ve put desert to one side, get up on your feet and dance to the nineties beats. It doesn’t have to be about the brunch here, though: why not take part in a gin masterclass, or head down after work on a Friday for live tunes at the piano.
Petersham Nurseries – Richmond
Take it down a notch at Petersham Nurseries Café, where antique furniture is housed in a greenhouse-space and delicious food is served surrounded by the beauty of nature. Plants grow and flowers blossom in every corner of this pleasing space, and you can dine amidst fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea. After perusing the plant selection indoors and out, pull up a chair and sample some of the Italian-inspired menu that relies on seasonal ingredients. It’s a great pit-stop for those lazy days spent strolling around Richmond Park, in hopes of spotting dear or teeing off at the Gold Club.