An Ode to Brunch with @charleith
The word ‘brunch’ is a portmanteau, which, for all you future pub quiz champions out there, is a word whose form and meaning is derived by blending 2 words together. Brunch takes some of breakfast and some of lunch and comes together as a delicious best of both worlds where drinking before noon is encouraged. For this reason it is probably one of my favourite things in the world.
The evolution of brunch
Brunch originated in England in the 19th century and became popular in the United States in the 1930s but I think it’s safe to say that we are currently living at a time of PEAK brunch. The rise of avocado-loving Instagram influencers and Britain’s penchant for Prosecco has given brunch a real renaissance and our social media channels are awash with pancakes, porridge and an unbelievable amount of poached eggs. Those super nonchalant Parisians have even cast aside their croissants to get on board with brunch and more and more hip young things are spending their Sundays conversing over coffee, cooked breakfasts and countless Bloody Marys.
Brunch in Edinburgh
When it comes to brunching in Edinburgh there’s something for everyone. The Pantry (locations in Stockbridge and Colinton) is a firm favourite of mine, serving up their take on trendy brunch food. Their signature dish, Sunshine on Stockbridge, is a pile of delicious things on toast with the option of adding chorizo. Do it, and thank me later.
Urban Angel is another excellent purveyor of tasty breakfast wares. Their healthy acai bowl sits alongside decadent brioche French toast on a menu that is bursting with mouth-watering brunch options.
New on the Edinburgh brunch scene is the first Scottish branch of London chain Dishoom. This Bombay café serves up a whole host of scrumptious Indian fayre for lunch and dinner but its breakfasts are unbelievable. A pillowy naan bread wrapped around crispy bacon from Ramsays of Carluke with a smear of cream cheese, a dollop of spicy tomato chutney and a sprinkling of coriander? YES PLEASE. Their Bloody Mary and masala beans also pack a perfect punch.
A slightly surprising brunch success is Leith’s Serrano & Manchego, a buzzy tapas bar that serves up a small breakfast menu until 5pm. The El Spanglish is a Spanish take on a traditional fry up and it’s every bit as yummy as you’d imagine. Make sure to get a Café Bombon, made with condensed milk, on the side because calories don’t count at brunch.
Brunch at home
Having people round for brunch is ideal, it’s less formal than dinner and there’s no risk of staying up past your bedtime with a pile of unwashed dishes (unless you brunch hard, in which case, RESPECT). I like to make things easy for myself by making one main one-pot wonder (I highly recommend this) and adding some sides: a bowl of smashed avocado, some maple bacon, beans and grilled halloumi all work well. Then just cut up some bread, brew some coffee, pour the buck fizz and you are ready to go! What are you waiting for? Let’s do brunch.