A lazy, luxurious Sunday brunch that extends well into the afternoon is one of life’s great pleasures and 34 has mastered it
I REALLY OUGHT not to be the kind of girl that likes brunch — rolling two meals into one just leaves me feeling cheated — but a lazy, luxurious Sunday brunch that extends well into the afternoon is one of life’s great pleasures.
On principle I rarely stray too far beyond my North London postcode before midday on a Sunday, but the prospect of sampling 34’s new brunch menu was appealing enough to make an exception. On top of this, the London marathon was on, and I could think of no more fitting way to mark the occasion than with my own, late-morning eatathon.
I started gently, with a perfect little green apple bellini, which was fresh and zingy and just the right level of sharpness — any more would be too disturbing too early in the day, any less and it would just be boring. The Bloody Marys looked fantastic too — but I once took a vow to never drink a Bloody Mary again, and I take this commitment very seriously.
Feeling quite perky after the bellini, I opted for the lobster thermidor omelette — how could you not? One such omelette had arrived at the table next to mine moments earlier, and the girl literally exclaimed ‘Oh my God!’ as she took her first bite, as if Harry Met Sally in Mayfair.
I can now understand her reaction — it was simply divine. The omelette was so light it was almost soufflé like in texture, and then the sauce was gloriously rich and creamy and married perfectly with the sweet lobster flesh. I was pleased they didn’t scrimp on the lobster either, there were big, hearty chunks of meat so that it felt gloriously decadent.
The long-suffering D, my dining companion, opted for smoked salmon with bacon, wild garlic hash and a poached egg — another breakfast of champions — which was comfortingly smoky and savoury, and disappeared in nanoseconds.
Smoked salmon with bacon, wild garlic hash and a poached egg
I felt so defeated by the omelette that I reluctantly ordered a blood orange sorbet for dessert and then regretted it so asked for some of their salty caramel truffles too. The sorbet was a little sweet for my taste, so it lacked the freshness I craved after so heavy a main course— but the truffles cheered me up once more. D meanwhile tucked into the dolce de leche and chocolate tart, which looked and tasted beautiful.
This is not a brunch for small appetites — but then Sunday brunch ought to be an indulgent affair, and I honestly can think of few better ways to spend a weekend morning than in the sun-lit, art-deco dining room of 34, chasing away any lingering hangover with their big, bold dishes and a delicate little bellini (or three).