Let’s be honest, if you’re eating brunch on a Saturday, you’ve probably been ‘having it large’ the night before. Whilst the previous evening may have witnessed you strutting around like a superstar, with the world at your feet and a head full of promise, the morning after is a different prospect entirely.
So how do you revitalise that battered body, short of popping paracetamol and staying in bed until ‘Final Score’ hits your TV? Offering a new and sociable way to kick-start your abused system or even begin those weekend antics, The North Laine Pub & Brewery now serve a Bottomless Brunch from 11am – 1pm every Saturday. Here you can fill up on copious quantities of overly indulgent foods, and quench any thirst imaginable with bottomless cocktails.
Despite being radiantly hangover-free, we ventured down to sample their range of late morning treats. This buzzing gastro-brewpub is big both in scale and personality, with elegant and interesting modern design features dotted about the place. Dominating the rear of the bar is an on-site microbrewery, where their own brew-master concocts a lush variety of traditional and innovative craft beers.
Although this £15 menu is compact, its dishes are big in both size and quality. Instantly springing off the page was the Eggs Royale. As everyone knows, this is the breakfast of champions. You can judge a lot by the quality of an establishment’s hollandaise sauce; if cooked badly it has nowhere to hide. This one had a gentle consistency, with a welcome but subtle citrus note. It presented a wonderful finish to two perfectly poached eggs, fine smoked salmon and an English muffin. It was a textbook example of a much-loved dish, and should provide a great start to anyone’s day.
For the seriously ravenous, the only choice is the Breakfast in Bread. This featured oven-roasted tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, sausage, smoked bacon, leeks, gruyère cheese and egg, all served in a bread bowl. This was a hearty take on the traditional British fry-up, with quality ingredients and different tastes in every mouthful. It seemed amazing value for money… just don’t try to eat this bad boy like a giant sandwich!
The non-meat eaters were well catered for with the Veggie Brek, a toasted wholegrain bloomer topped with mascarpone and beetroot spread, poached egg, avocado and finished with crushed pistachios. This was also varied, the fresh flavours of the avocado keeping matters light.
Accompanying these sizable brunch dishes was a choice of two cocktails, both classics receiving a little North Laine magic. There was the traditional hangover-busting Bloody Mary or a more uptown Mimosa. With the Bloody Mary, we went for the spicy version, which was rich, earthy and garnished with celery and olives. Whilst not overpowering, there was enough heat to dust off any palette, no matter how much abuse it received the night before. There was possibly a large chunk of your five-a-day nestled in there too, which leant to its overall appeal. The Mimosa was probably at the other end of the cocktail spectrum, but was just as satisfying. A perfectly balanced blend of delicious orange juice and prosecco, this was tangy and light – enough to make you believe it’s actually doing you some sort of good. For those unquenchable thirsts, the bar staff will top up your cocktails all day long. Obviously this lies within reason – anyone unable to stand unaided certainly won’t be blessed with more booze.
For anyone looking to get a good meal inside them, the Bottomless Brunch is a strong option. Factor in the addition of some tasty alcohol and it’s a near unbeatable experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a late-riser or weekend offender, it should be on everyone’s list of places to try.
North Laine Pub & Brewery, 27 Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA