The boom in restaurants serving brunch is unstoppable and, while the joys of going out for this most leisurely meal are not to be sniffed at, hosting brunch at home is even better and costs a great deal less. Not only do you handpick your guests (no rowdy people or ill-behaved kids on neighbouring tables), but you can collapse on the sofa with the papers afterwards.
Brunch feels very modern but the term was first coined in an 1895 feature in British magazine Hunter’s Weekly, which described the meal as “cheerful, sociable... it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” All of which is as true today.
The great advantage of this hybrid meal is that it is easy to assemble and doesn’t involve fancy cooking, table-laying and general showing-off like a dinner party might. It’s an easy-like-Sunday-morning affair, laden with everyone’s favourite carbs (Bagels! Toast! Waffles! Muffins!), eggs cooked in various ways and lashings of juice and Bloody Marys. It’s unhurried, unpretentious and the antidote to weekend hangovers. The king of meals. We love it.
How to brunch
As this is the most laidback meal there is, there are no rules. But a few pointers might help make yours even more chilled, so here you go:
- Don’t even think of doing anything else: brunch is long and leisurely and will easily expand to fill the entire day.
- Ask your guests to bring something: extra pastries, smoked salmon, juice and coffee will always be demolished.
- Have a few post-brunch activities up your sleeve. A gentle stroll around your neighbourhood or a rowdy karaoke session are good options.
- Hold your brunch late-morning on a Sunday to give you time to prepare and the hungover, time for a lie-in.
- Have a pile of Sunday papers for those who aren’t feeling chatty.
- Start a brunch club and take it in turns to host. Although this could add a certain competitive element...
Turn to page 114 of May's The Simple Things for more of our look at Brunch.