The phenomenon that is bottomless brunch – a breakfast/lunch mash-up featuring copious amounts of fizz and cocktails – is quickly sweeping eateries up and down the UK. It’s the latest in a long line of American ideas that have become the norm for us Brits, and one we’re totally incredibly grateful for. Food + prosecco + weekend = total luxe living. And if Americans know anything, it’s food.
Now, although we love NYC and all its quirks, we didn’t actually manage a bottomless brunch while we were visiting last year. I know. Heresy. So, we needed to fix that dire situation before heading back across the Atlantic in a few weeks. Our London choice was the eponymous Counter Vauxhall Arches, quite literally next to Vauxhall tube station and under its railway arches. Of more interest (well, to me anyway as I’m a massive geek) was that Counter is impeccably placed opposite MI6. Brunch with Bond? Oh, why not.
Counter Vauxhall Arches Review: get the goss
We’d stayed the night in a hotel and decided to give their breakfast a go. As is the case with most ‘take what you like’ brekkies, it left a lot to be desired. With freeze-dried coffee only on offer, not a latte in sight, we decided that we’d cut our losses and head over to south London slightly earlier than planned.
Arriving through the arched doorway we were offered a comfy booth to relax. Coffee, much coffee, was needed and after ordering, it promptly arrived. We scoured the extensive brunch menu, paying special attention to the weekend brunch offer (featuring our bottomless Bellinis or Prosecco, whichever takes your fancy). We plumped for the spiced avocado with poached eggs on toasted sourdough, and waffles with papaya and coconut whipped cream with grilled pineapple. After a short wait and sipping the last of our lattes, the meals arrived along with our peachy bellinis.
Even though both of us had a small breakfast earlier that morning, we devoured them until there wasn’t a crumb left in sight. On either plate. Laura’s spiced avocado was beautifully creamy and slathered in extra virgin olive oil which had a delicious peppery spice to it (trust me, this Sicilian knows her olive oil), and my sweet treat waffle had the right amount of crisp to crunch alongside sweet vanilla cream. Of course, the drinks matched perfectly – the peach puree went with the waffle like peas go with carrots.
If you’re super keen to take full advantage of the menu, we’d definitely suggest skipping breakfast altogether. Diners can jump into a starter, a main dish and dessert if their stomach will allow it. We were pretty stuffed after our dishes – they are certainly generous portions!
The great thing about the bar is its flexibility. It’s open for breakfast, offers brunch, lunch and dinner AND opens in the evening as a bar. Impressive huh? It’s the kind of place you can pop in on the way home from work, and it’s so close to central London you can quite easily hop on the tube or the underground to enjoy the vast menu. We think it’s a great date venue too, always a good indication of how laid-back a restaurant is. We left just as a birthday party was getting in to full swing.
The bar with three postcodes…
And here’s an interesting fact about Counter; you arrive through the front door in one postcode, dine in another and leave through a third! It’s the longest bar in London hence its THREE postcodes, and one of the coolest we’ve seen. The decor has been carefully selected by the owner’s art-minded partner, and key pieces are even available to buy if you fancy a little culture with your visit. A definite first for us.
Speaking of definites, we’ll definitely be back. If you haven’t tried bottomless brunch before, Counter is a great place to start.
Counter | Literally outside Vauxhall Station. You can’t miss it | 020 3693 9600 | Website
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