Not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but always a winner. Jo takes herself off to see how the other half do weekends
London’s swanky members-only clubs don’t usually seem accessible to impoverished food writers so we were pleased to discover that Devonshire Club in the City has launched a new weekend brunch menu (11.30-4pm) in the 110-seat Brasserie, available to non-members too.
A snowy, slippy-pavement Sunday saw us gingerly make our way to the club, a refurbished warehouse with a gleaming interior of chrome, marble, pale taupe, squishy armchairs and cosy leather banquettes, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the snowy garden.
It’s a sophisticated space Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the antithesis of a cigar smoke-fugged gentleman’s club with chesterfields and port Ã¢â‚¬â€œ peopled with impossibly handsome Italian barmen and charming maitre d’ who immediately make you feel comfortable. A lack of guests (possibly due to the inclement weather) did mean a lack of atmosphere, however, bar one table celebrating a 21st birthday and another couple.
Those hoping for clean or vegan eating will be disappointed but it was also a relief to find a restaurant that’s not pandering to fads. Dishes tend very much to the British and classic: smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on sourdough (probably the only nod the zeitgeist apart from a matcha tea smoothie), truffled mac n cheese, French toast with berries and yogurt and drop scones with bacon and maple syrup.
There are plenty of eggs, from Florentine and Benedict to Royale (muffin, poached egg, smoked salmon and Hollandaise). Full English more than ticked the boxes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a plethora of pork with both back and streaky bacon, sausage and black pudding. Juices Ã¢â‚¬â€œ orange, carrot, turmeric and mint, or beetroot, apple and ginger Ã¢â‚¬â€œ are refreshingly good, as is the bottomless prosecco (£15), proffered generously by the waiters.
Ham, egg and chips, kedgeree and burgers appear on the savoury section, segueing neatly into the main event: a silver trolley loaded with a massive joint of roast beef, carved at the table.
Excellent meat served rare, flavourful veggies and a light-as-you-like Yorkie meant top marks. So big was the plateful that it was difficult to finish, so definitely no room for sticky toffee pud, flour-less lemon and almond cake or choc and pecan brownie.
Devonshire Club’s brunch would be ideal for those hosting overseas friends or family who want to experience British food at its best and most traditional, or those who simply want a cosy but elegant bolthole and a Sunday lunchtime of prosecco and pampering. devonshireclub.com