So I’m just back from a fab and frantic weekend in London. It’s a city that I have loved for years and used to spend quite a bit of time in so I was super excited to go back and soak up the buzzy vibes, do some sightseeing and of course, enjoy the food and wine!
We started with breakfast in Duck and Waffle and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that it was fab but drinks are priceeeeyyyyyy… all worth it on a “Treat Yo’self” weekend though 🙂 We ate out in a lovely Italian in Bermondsey that evening and then the last spot we had booked was brunch the next morning in Balthazar in Covent Garden.
I ate in the iconic French brasserie in New York quite a few years ago and loved the loud and bustling atmosphere.. the one in Covent Garden is similar just on a smaller scale. With the same well recognised red awning as the NYC branch, we didn’t struggle to find it and ventured in. First point to note is that bookings are essential, it was 12.30 and people were being told there was an hour wait for a table of 2.
The restaurant interior is quite striking, high ceilings, lots of mirrored walls, red leather seats and booths. I’d read in other reviews that the noise level in the evening is a little high but at lunchtime it was the right balance of chat and music without drowning everything out. That said, it is definitely more a place for a lively meal as opposed to somewhere you’d go for a quiet romantic date.
We were both pretty hungry so started by ordering two glasses of bubbles and a basket of bread to keep us going while we looked over the menu and made our decisions. Balthazar have a bakery attached to the restaurant and I have to say the bread we got was super fresh, the potato bread in particular being my favourite.
The menu has a section with all the usual “Brunchy” options and an Entrees section too so there was plenty of choice. Menu pic below and you can click to look closer but the full menu is also on their website here.
We decided to share a starter dish then get our own mains and chose the Burrata at £11. I cannot tell you how much I adore burrata! As it’s not a massively common option here I order it every time I spot it on a menu. This was served with tomatoes and pesto and we’d saved some of the delicious bread too… it was absolutely perfectly, soft and creamy, and the sweet tomatoes were beautiful.
My main dish was the avocado on toast which is usually served with poached eggs. I don’t eat eggs so requested mushrooms instead to which there was no issue. Two large portobello mushrooms and a lovely mashed avocado on sourdough with some tomato salsa … had I not just devoured half a bread basket I may have wanted more than 1 slice of toast for my £12.50 but given the amount of carbs I’d already had it suited me perfectly.
Mt friend chose a side of the skinny chips and the garlic prawns at £10.50 which were served with Espelette pepper and chunks of garlic along with a couple of slices of that fab potato bread which she thoroughly enjoyed.
I was originally to go on this trip with an ex of mine for his birthday and had mentioned this when booking, so when a little birthday treat arrived out I directed it straight to my pal and had a laugh at her mortification while we did the whole Happy Birthday thing… bonus for us being a little mini dessert of macarons, chocolates and some cookie type things 🙂
Total bill including service charge of 12.5% (which is standard in these type of establishments in London now ) was £97.31. This included 2 mimosas also. While £100 isn’t a cheap brunch we really enjoyed it, it was just the right atmosphere for what we were looking for, has a great central location, decent food and drinks and friendly staff!
Balthazar, 4-6 Russell Street, London, WC2B 5HZ
Ph: +44 (0)20 3301 1155