As I wipe crumbs off my keyboard, I feel a slight tinge of remorse at my breakfast choice today. Not content with the sweetness of the almond croissant I just wolfed down, I decided to add some dark chocolate chips, you know as you do. Queue sick feeling and immense guilt.
Perhaps I will do two kettlebell classes next week to redeem myself. Perhaps not…
Anyway, usually on a weekend I find myself going out for breakfast. It doesn’t matter what your drink of choice, be it a G&T (why mess with the classics), some kind of new craft beer or an olive-laden martini, a good breakfast is a sure hangover win.
As a big-breakfaster, here’s my lowdown on where to brunch and break that fast in the beautiful Bristol.
The Water Tower/Retreat aka the toilet block, The Downs
Forget the lack of the romance in the name, this is my go-to breakfast spot. Their breakfast bun is immense with any three items (mine’s an egg, mushroom, veggie sausage bonanza) for a reasonable price.
Seating is mostly outside so your beans might get cold quickly. But on the plus side, it’s good for blowing out the cobwebs and inevitable hangover.
There is also the added bonus that on Saturday in season, this cafe is surrounded by young, fit football players, being just a stone’s throw away from the downs dressing room. I am not usually a footballer kind of girl, but window shopping doesn’t hurt particularly looking at those toned legs.
The Deco Lounge, Cotham
I used to live about 5 minutes from this place, joyous times. Despite the white toast, their veggie breakfast is one of my favourites in Bristol. Mostly because it varies from the usual, with deli style red peppers and pakora type veggie thingys. I am also a sucker for their flat white coffee (coffee out of a glass just tastes better).
I have only been here once. And it was Valentines day so maybe I was swayed by the occasion, but it reminded me of a French cafe. Situated on the corner of some square, expecting some continental types to come by and discuss Voltaire, OK I was definitely in a weird mood. Still… good location, good poached eggs, nice coffee and not a Valentines card in sight (but lots of roses), what more could you want?
We couldn’t decide whether the girl on the left just had an unfortunate resting bitch face or if she really wanted to break up with her (fairly attractive) boyfriend.
Browns, Park Street
This was my mum’s choice and usually she is spot on. However, sorry mum, my one experience of brunching in Browns left me cold (like my beans). Not unreasonably priced, they do an offer on two breakfasts in the week and the building itself tempts you inside but after that it was a complete let down. I had a bit of a hangover, one of those ones that progressively gets worse during the day and the first words the waitress said were “We are doing breakfast but our coffee machine’s just broken down”.
Having been placated by a very sweet waitress and the bringing of juice, tea and water (I think I scared her with my reaction to the lack of caffeine), we were sat very close to a huge breakfast table celebrating someone’s mums birthday.
My issue with Browns being proven within minutes, the irritating and pretentious customers.
The clientele includes spoilt 21 year olds who wear heels and what could only be described as a dodgy races dress to breakfast (inappropriate attire much?) and a 4 year old, who I kid you not, on her smartphone (?!) informing her mummy that she was having breakfast in Browns. I mean really…
The breakfast itself, when it eventually came, could have been lovely. The spinach was tasty and garlicky and I like a good sourdough…The poached eggs were good but it was all tepid and doing very little to improve my mood. And perusing the menu, whilst waiting an exceptionally long time to order, I noticed the £8 bloody mary, bloody hell, no thanks.
Perhaps they were just having a bad day (they did eventually get us coffee) so I suggest doing it for the glamour of being in one of the more attractive buildings in Bristol.
We did however come to the conclusion, that Browns is pretty much Wetherspoons (which happens to be across the road) just slightly upmarket and with a slightly nicer finish.
But with the price of double G&Ts at Wetherspoons, I know where I’ll be going next time… although maybe not for breakfast.