What? New this year to Covent Garden, Henrietta Hotel has just launched a Sunday brunch, so you can fuel your morning before pottering around the market or for the ultimate Sunday, brunch before heading to a matinee at one of the nearby theatres.
New? One of the new hotels to open in 2017, the Henrietta Hotel then joined the brunch game at the start of November.
Where? 14-15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, Wc2E 8QH, www.henriettahotel.com
On the Menu: There are a couple of classic brunch dishes like crushed avocado on toast with spring onion and lovage, but you’ll also find the likes of butternut squash, graceburn and pumpkin seed salad; crispy cod with lovage, dill pickle and fried agria potatoes, and an open sandwich of porcetta with fennel slaw. Sweet dishes include buckwheat waffles with smoked fudge sauce, banana and hazelnuts and pumpkin and orange blossom soft serve.
The Look: With a relaxed but still polished look, the restaurant is a mix of muted colours, geometric shapes and curves and different textures. Plump round chairs sit next to white seats, navy walls sit opposite mirrors on exposed brick and mismatched geometric tables and straight lines are decorated with copper lamps and cacti.
What We Ate: There’s a dainty dish of brioche with wild, earthy, mushrooms dripping in garlic butter and topped with a fried duck egg, prettily decorated with leaves and just waiting to be photographed, I mean eaten. We also chose smoked salmon and scrambled egg, again, delicately presented. Fried agria potatoes (essentially chubby chips) were crisp and salty giving way to a soft inside, I recommend you get some.
If you have space then we recommend the Dame Blanche, a decadent, indulgent dish of vanilla cream and molten chocolate. Our waiter told us we had to try the warm madeleines, they do take 15 minutes to arrive, but they are worth the wait. Soft, warm, fluffy pillow-esque cakes perfect for dunking in the Chantilly cream, we said we’d just have one each, having already had the Dame Blanche, but we of course ate the whole basket. In comparison to the delicate savoury dishes the puddings were more substantial, so chances are you will still have room for them.
What We Drank: There’s a particularly good refreshing lovage gin fizz which we started with. Then not knowing whether to continue with the cocktails or go for a coffee, we combined both and rounded off with espresso martinis.
Go With: Being smarter than your normal brunch joint, take your parents when you’re playing at being London tour guide.
Final Word: I’m all for open kitchens, it lets you see the chefs at work, it brings a focal point to the room and as a waitress once told me, it means that the chefs can’t go screaming at the front of house staff. This last one seems to have been missed here, because the chef was not in a happy mood. Granted it’s stressful in the kitchen, but when you have one chef putting down the others continually, it becomes uncomfortable, it makes for an awkward atmosphere and you can’t hide from it. Going downstairs to the loo, I then heard them being shouted at in the other kitchen. However good the food is, it can’t make up for a difficult atmosphere.