Avenue introduced me to something special, something I’d never even dreamed acceptable in society. But as someone who is new to London and urban life, it appears I’m one step behind, once again. Brunch, with unlimited Bellini’s, Bloody Mary’s or Prosecco, is apparently a common thing in places like New York and a growing trend in the UK capital of London. People getting sauced between the hours of 11am and 3pm, classing it as acceptable just because it’s Prosecco and it’s being drank with a meal. There are plenty of places which have made the Evening Standard’s top list for these so called ‘boozy brunches’, such as Bourne & Hollingsworth, Cookbook Cafe and Flesh & Buns. Although, my friend presented a trusty buzzfeed article which had a little more choice, including that of Avenue, a New York inspired bar and restaurant based in-between Piccadilly and Green Park.
This brunch actually took place on Easter’s bank holiday weekend, so I was suffering from the worst hangover of the year so far, bar January 1st. What is it about bank holiday weekends that just make you feel like Christmas has come early? I well and truly acted like I was ballin’ for those four days and have been struggling for the rest of the month. But despite the night before’s little portion of crazy, I managed to make it to the restaurant looking fairly presentable and on time.
The place is beautiful, 100% one of the fanciest places I’ve been to since I moved here. All the staff were in suits and super polite and there was an incredible buzz coming from the back in the dining area. The decor was insane. The bar was insanely classy and chic, featuring some high bar chairs and some vintage looking seating opposite; I would have never say it out loud but my pay cheque is not made for places like this. Although, once I reach Carrie Bradshaw sassy, I will make it my spot.
My friend and I had reserved a table for 3pm and upon my arrival I was told the kitchen would be open for another 15 minutes. Straight away I knew this was a problem, my friend is never on time – and not like fashionably late. Usually between 40mins to an hour onwards. So I set myself up on one of the stools at the bar, ordered myself some ice water trying to hide my hangover and waited. And the longer I waited the more pitiful looks I was getting from the staff surrounding me, the bar man actually slid over a bowl of mixed nuts for me, to quote on quote ‘cheer me up’, like they do in those movies when someone has been stood up.
45 minutes of staring into space, wishing the ground would swallow me up – my friend arrived and because I’d had such a long time to bond with the manager, they’d kept the kitchen open for us. The menu boasted a range of breakfast(y) dishes from Granola, Yoghurt and Berries to BBQ pork ribs and Southern Fried Baby Chicken, with the option of dessert too. We quickly ordered a round of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup and waffles with bacon and mixed berries. And of course 2 glasses of unlimited prosecco. Now I had some doubts about just how unlimited this would actually be, but I really needn’t have worried. They just kept that shit coming. Every time our cup reached the half empty mark they ran over with that bottle like there was no tomorrow.
My friend and I were the last ones left in the restaurant, the staff had started preparing the restaurant for dinner and we hadn’t even noticed the lights dim we were so sauced. So the brunch did the trick. For the amount I paid for the waffle, I have to say it was pretty worth it. Made fresh to order and the berries worked wonders for my hangover. All together my meal came to £35. A little shock – £20 for a waffle is a little much, but for a treat with an old friend what’s money right? I’m so good at making excuses for spending inappropriate amounts of money on food. The staff had been so great and patient with us, that I wouldn’t even have minded paying service – which they discounted for some reason. Probably another little something to ‘cheer me up’.
For the rich folk out there who could afford to do this every weekend, please do it. For me.