Brunch is a kind of institution for our East Coast friends, it’s basically a day party with blaring music and avocado toast. It’s what you do on a Saturday morning, followed by a week of green juice cleansing and spin classes. I’m all good with the first but I’d rather sleep without a fan in a heatwave than do the second. I tried a cleanse once, I ended up eating coco pops for dinner in desperation. If you’re wondering where to hunt down a New York brunch experience in London, Avenue in the luxurious neighbourhood of St James is worth a visit. One of the best things about it is that there is zero pretentiousness, even in a plush venue such as this.
The bar and restaurant is a shrine to the Aperol Spritz, even offering a bottomless brunch on Sundays (£25.50 for two courses, £28.50 for three, + £18 for unlimited bubbles or spritz per person). And in true American style, there are hefty servings of comfort food to soak up the alcohol. Think Southern Fried Chicken burgers, which were a little more breaded than crispy, with a cheeky hashbrown. And chunky, super crispy chips. And a lobster mac n’ cheese (just add £5). Also, if you’re keen to Instagram your New York style brunch, there are plenty of crowd-pleaser plates like smashed avocado and feta on toasted sourdough and egg benny dishes. However, this is no place for foodies. There are lots of things I could nitpick that was ‘wrong’ with the dishes, for example the ribs that tasted like they had been microwaved. I know I write about food pretty seriously but this was way more about doing something different than having a beautiful meal. Avenue’s brunch is about partying first, with snacks there as a bonus. Like a really expensive kid’s birthday. A personal tip would be to go with a group of friends to lift up the atmosphere, this place is about silliness and fun. There’s even a DJ.
7-9 St James’s Street