Perhaps you’re in town for Wimbledon, or maybe you’re looking to start your day in a way that involves the least amount of balls possible. Either way, you’re going to need a hearty brunch – and perhaps a stiff drink – to see you through however many sets await you.

Below, Laura Herring, the well-versed author of London’s Best Brunches, takes GRAZIA on a tour of five outstanding brunch venues that not only make the cut but go above and beyond when it comes to the most important meal of the day.

Fink’s Salt and Sweet
“This is a place for the cool young things. Positioned on the corner on the site of a Victorian butcher’s, the beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows flood the room with light. It’s noisy with the chatter of interesting people talking about interesting things over good coffee and even better food. On a warm day you can sit at one of their ten coveted outside seats.

“One thing not to miss is the smoked salmon. It literally glows with a rich, orange light, luring you, like a greedy moth into its oily deliciousness. It is smoked just around the corner and delivered fresh to the deli. And what a deli. They describe it as ‘your fridge, only better’. And that’s exactly right; it’s just what you would wish those bare shelves of yours to heave with: local cheese, English hams, creamy burrata, the famous E17 Walthamstow bacon jam, fresh pesto, charcuterie and delicious sourdough bread. And the challah bread cinnamon toast (with or without bacon) and great selection of cakes that always adorn the counter will please those with a sweet tooth.

“To sort out any lingering cobwebs, order a Pickle Mary, with its deliciously sour taste of pickle juice (which you can buy in bottles to take home) and crunchy cornichon garnish.”

SIGNATURE DISH: Salmon from the House of Sverre
COFFEE: Caravan Market blend
TEA: All the usuals
FOR THE MORNING AFTER: Pickle Mary: Bloody Mary with a sharp shot of pickle juice
OPENING HOURS: Weekend brunch: Saturday 9am–5pm; Sunday 8am–5pm
ADDRESS: 70 Mountgrove Road, N5 2LT
TELEPHONE: 020 7684 7189
NEAREST STATION: Finsbury Park or Arsenal

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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
Granger & Co.
“Why is it that the Aussies do brunch so impressively well? Laid-back and generous – both with their food and service – at Bill Granger’s Notting Hill venture, brunch doesn’t feel like something only for the weekend, or as a result of getting up too late for breakfast; it’s a way of life.

“There are, of course, plenty of health-conscious options – almond milk chia pots and house granola with coconut yoghurt and compote, and a rainbow of juices and smoothies. But even the larger dishes feel good for you. Eggs on sourdough with your choice of extra toppings is a great place to start. As well as the expected bacon, roasted tomatoes and avocado, there are some more unusual add-ons to choose from – tea-smoked salmon, miso mushrooms and a punchy salsa. In fact, most of the dishes come with some surprising flavours – the bacon and egg roll has a definite chilli hit, mellowed by mango chutney – and it’s exactly what you’ve always wanted without even knowing it.

“With windows all around the room, creating the impression the sun is permanently shining outside, and a bounty of fresh food, you will leave Granger & Co. with a healthy glow, as though you’ve just spent the morning outside in the great Australian fresh air.”

SIGNATURE DISH: Broken eggs with ricotta, spinach, pine nuts and sourdough
COFFEE: Allpress
TEA: Rare Tea Company
FOR THE MORNING AFTER: Bill’s Bloody Mary with clamato, wasabi, lime and coriander
OPENING HOURS: Monday– Saturday 7am–12pm; Sunday 8am–12pm
ADDRESS: 175 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SB
TELEPHONE: 020 7229 9111
NEAREST STATION: Ladbroke Grove, Bayswater or Royal Oak

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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
Kopapa
“On their website it says that ‘kopapa’ is a Maori word that means ‘a gathering, to be crowded, and a building to store food in’.

“Kopapa is all of these things. It is the perfect place to gather because of its excellent central location in Seven Dials in Covent Garden, and also because of its topnotch grub. I don’t know about how they store their food, but I can tell you that it’s pretty delicious on a plate. But both of these things also means it does tend to get very crowded at the weekends, so it’s not a place you can linger leisurely; it’s a place to meet and catch up before going on somewhere else – to browse the shops, visit a gallery or wander around the old streets of London.

“The chefs behind this West End venture are predominantly of New Zealand heritage – so the coffee is excellent, and they do a mean avo’ on toast. The weekend-only brunch menu includes Turkish eggs and chorizo hash, and is definitely worth checking out. Each of the dairy-free smoothies come with an ingredient you can’t quite pronounce, so they must be good for you – but you can balance this out perfectly with a crème brûlée doughnut.”

SIGNATURE DISH: Turkish eggs with whipped yoghurt and chilli butter
COFFEE: Kopapa Blend roasted exclusively by the Monmouth Coffee Company
TEA: In pots large enough for 2 cups
FOR THE MORNING AFTER: Orchard Fizz: apples, pears, vodka and prosecco
OPENING HOURS: Weekend brunch: 9.30am–4.30pm
ADDRESS: 32–34 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9HA
TELEPHONE: 020 7240 6076
NEAREST STATION: Covent Garden or Leicester Square

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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
Milk
“There’s a very calming Scandi feel to Milk when you step inside. Cool, white and wholesome – like its namesake. Since the refurb (formally M1lk), there is also a more spacious feel, although you may be asked to share a larger table, so be prepared to bond with a new friend over your morning bacon.

“A highlight of the menu is the sourdough, fresh from their nearby Brixton wood-fired ovens (the flour is from a mill in Dorset). It comes topped with eggs, every which way – including with a very special burnt-butter hollandaise. The Convict is the king of the menu though, a real head-turner of a dish: English muffin stacked with bacon, sausage, hash and an egg, which is then smothered in their own homemade ‘hangover sauce’ and topped with a snowy peak of cheese. It’s fairly outrageous, but totally and unbelievably delicious. There are some great veggie options too including sweetcorn fritters, local Wandsworth honey dripped over homemade crumpets and, of course, fluffy buckwheat pancakes. For something a bit less bready and with a bit of a twist on a classic, try the very good baked eggs with butternut squash and feta, as well as seasonal specials.

“With great smoothies, even better coffee and a fun atmosphere, Milk is the perfect way to start to the day – just like our mums used to tell us.”

SIGNATURE DISH: The Convict English muffin
COFFEE: Workshop Coffee Co.
TEA: Suki Tea
FOR THE MORNING AFTER: ¾ pint fresh fruit smoothie
OPENING HOURS: Monday– Saturday 8am–5pm; Sunday 9am–5pm
ADDRESS: 18–20 Bedford Hill, SW12 9RG
TELEPHONE: 020 8772 9085
NEAREST STATION: Balham or Clapham South

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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
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Credit: Supplied courtesy of Alicia Taylor
Raw Duck
“Raw Duck focuses on seasonal, simple dishes that aren’t afraid to play around with strong and unusual flavours. There’s definitely a Japanese influence running through the menu – and also Middle Eastern and European splashes – but the ingredients themselves are mainly wholesomely British and from excellent, reputable providers.

“At the lighter end, there is homemade granola or bircher, as well as toast and house jams, but it’s really the eggs cooked in myriad unusual ways that are the highlight of the day. Brown rice miso porridge with a perfectly poached egg will leave you feeling nourished and wholesome, or for something to help with a lingering hangover, the curried potatoes with salt beef and two fried eggs will give you a much-needed protein boost. But what people really go crackers for is the broken eggs, which is basically an omelette-meets-scrambled-eggs scenario with lots of umami-based flavourings and fillings – spinach and cheese, mushroom, rice and miso, or sage and anchovy.

“Just down the road from London Fields, Raw Duck is the perfect little spot to while away an hour or two, sunny side up – maybe even after a dip in the lido?”

SIGNATURE DISH: Broken eggs
COFFEE: Caravan Market blend
TEA: Rare Tea Company or Green Tea and Roasted Rice
FOR THE MORNING AFTER: Soothing ginger and turmeric, or a drinking vinegar to aid digestion, or a breakfast cocktail
OPENING HOURS: Weekend brunch: 10am–5pm
ADDRESS: 197 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ
TELEPHONE: 020 8986 6534
NEAREST STATION: London Fields or Hackney Central

LondonsBestBrunches

Extract from London’s Best Brunches by Laura Herring, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $29.99

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