Revamp your lockdown rituals with your friends and family, and treat them to a real virtual lockdown celebration: a virtual brunch party.
While restaurants, cafes and bars are yet to reopen, there are other ways you can celebrate your birthday in lockdown with your nearest and dearest, and it can incorporate your favourite weekend pastime… brunching. Whether you’re missing your favourite brunch spot, don’t live close enough to your friends for a picnic or you just want to reinvent the Zoom virtual hangouts, hosting a virtual brunch party is a great way to stay in contact with your friends in a whole new way.
From picking out the perfect playlist to ordering in the best brunch options, read on to find out our top tips for executing the weekend brunch activities at home.
Create fun virtual invites for your friends
Back in lockdown 2.0, I celebrated my birthday and like most people who have spent their birthday in lockdown was pretty sad about not being able to celebrate properly with my nearest and dearest. But in order to keep the birthday spirit alive and spend some quality time with my closest friends, I organised a Zoom virtual bottomless brunch party and with it, sent out virtual invitations. It helped to add a bit of fun to the whole bizarre lockdown birthday experience and it made myself and friends laugh when receiving the invites.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, baby shower, hen do or just want an excuse to eat brunch with your friends over Zoom, start off the celebration with a virtual invite. You don’t need to get too fancy or know your way around Photoshop to make it special, fun and entertaining.
You could send an e-card – hilarious that these are still a thing but great fun for reminiscing your youth – or set up a free Canva account and make a quirky design using one of their inbuilt design templates. Or, if you’re really organised, why not send out a formal invitation by post? Make sure you send this out a week or so prior so it arrives with plenty of time for your virtual guests to respond, or, drop it round by hand if you live close.
It helped to add a bit of fun to the whole bizarre lockdown birthday experience and it made myself and friends laugh when receiving the invites.
Pick the playlist
Vamp up your virtual brunch with a playlist, after all no brunching experience is complete without a grooving tune blasting in the background.
While it might not be the real thing, you can create the experience and atmosphere with a few simple tricks, including having music playing in the background of the call. If you have time, make up a playlist yourself filled with old songs you and your friends religiously sing along to and have it playing from a speaker so your friends can hear it from their end. It’ll help eradicate any awkwardness and silence moments too.
If you don’t want to make your own playlist, Spotify has several options to groove along to. A few of our favourites include:
Bottomless Brunch: This playlist is regularly updated with hit songs from Dua Lipa, Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande.
Relax Brunch: This one’s filled with all of the instrumental tracks you’ll ever need to bop along to.
Sunny Side Up: This playlist is littered with oldies from the world’s greatest artists. Expect Bowie, Prince and Fleetwood Mac.
Set your Zoom background to your favourite brunching spot
No Zoom celebration is a celebration without a virtual background and with London brunching being the theme, draw inspiration from your favourite restaurants around the city that you can’t dine at right now.
Look to some of your favourite restaurants or places you’re yet to tick off your bucket list. See below for a few of our Zoom background recommendations, including Linnaean, Dalloway Terrace, Sketch, Annabel’s, Duck & Waffle and Coya Mayfair. Anything floral, colourful and pink usually screams ‘brunch’.
Get the bottomless alcohol sorted
Go big with your celebrations and opt for a bottomless brunch. Of course everyone will need to be responsible for providing their own alcohol, unless you’re feeling generous enough to provide your virtual guests with supplies, but you can all stick to a set theme.
Go traditional with a bottle of fizz – I love Della Vite, the Prosecco brand launched by the Delevigne sisters. They’ve got two Prosecco offerings; the light Della Bite Prosecco Superiore, which has aromas of citrus blossom and olive, and is made exclusively from Glera grapes, and the vertasile, Della Vite Treviso Prosecco DOC which is perfect for mixing up cocktails at home. The bottle is super stylish and we’re certain it’ll be a real winner with your virtual guests too.
Skip the hassle and get your friends to order in a cocktail delivery or two. A personal favourite of mine is Kocktail. The co-founders teamed up with international award-winning Neil Donachie, the former senior bartender of Savoy Hotel’s Beautfort Bar to bring fruity flavours and boozy tipples straight to your door. Or, if you do feel like really treating your friends, order them all a negroni from Send A Negroni. The clue’s in the name, send your friend a negroni delivery and you’ll all be sipping on the classic tipple come brunch time.
Choose your brunch menu
And now onto the most important part of all, the food. Choosing the perfect brunching spot is always so tricky because you want to make sure everyone is catered for perfectly.
There are a few ways you can make this virtual brunch special. One could be getting everyone to make their favourite brunch on screen, limiting them to a certain amount of dishes to knock up and the time required. Limit the preparation and serving time to 30 minutes and you can then make sure the whole experience isn’t just about the cooking. A few simple dishes include eggs Benedict, avocado toast or a classic fry up. If you’re an eggy lover, why not whip up the Eggslut signature bap, the Fairfax Egg Roll. Recipe here.
Or, get everyone to order in from the same restaurant or order their delivery for the same time. This way you can imagine you’re in the same restaurant together, albeit virtually.
Here are a few of our favourite restaurants offering brunch deliveries right now:
Coya Mayfair: If you’re missing your lavish brunch fix at Coya Mayfair, why not try their delivery options and recreate the experience at home? Try one of their finish-at-home Peruvian feasts for a real weekend treat. Think sharing dishes and dreamy mains.
We’ve also teamed up with Coya to offer our readers the chance to win the Cocinando Con COYA experience for two at home. To enter, click here.
Eggslut: A brunch isn’t brunch without eggs. Keep it simple and order your favourite bap from Eggslut for a real hangover treat.
Caravan: Popular dining chain, Caravan have brought their delicacies delivery side with their at home brunch kits. Choose from rich baked eggs with sourdough and coffee or go spicy with their kimchi pancakes, sourdough and coffee.
Riding House Café: Go big with Riding House Cafe’s Soul Ride Weekender Box filled with everything you need for a decadent weekend in, from Blood Mary’s to Buttermilk Pancake Batter.
Drake & Morgan: Make brunch simple with Drake & Morgan’s offerings. Think Smashed Avocado & Eggs, Eggs Royale and The Grand Slam brunch box.