Brunch is already pretty great. We know this. But there is something out there better than brunch… Bottomless brunch. Better still? Boozy bottomless brunch. I had heard that such a thing existed, and knew we had to find it. So it was that, on a cold yet bright Saturday morning, we ventured to The Roundhouse Camden, to their restaurant Made.
What exactly do you get at a Bottomless brunch? A basic price gets you unlimited toasts, croissants, waffles, tea and coffee, as well as one main course. Or you can go for the booze option, which gives you unlimited Bellinis and Bloody Marys alongside this… we don’t need to tell you which we chose!
The thing is, the brunch could so easily have been mediocre. And yet it wasn’t. I had what I would argue was the best Eggs Royale I’ve tried so far on this blog – the hollandaise was rich and buttery and not at all sharp, the egg perfectly runny, just how I like it. The pastries were fresh, soft and crumbly. And the Bellinis tasted of peach but didn’t skimp on the Prosecco. I should know, I had… a lot of them.
Not wanting to peak too soon, we booked a table for 12. The last booze service was at 3:30. There were four of us. Our receipt showed that we’d ordered 38 Bellinis in that time. I’ll leave you to do the maths. We made sure we got our money’s worth.
Sometimes brunch is a hangover cure, sometimes the start to a really exciting day – but once in a while, brunch should be the day itself. That’s what makes it more than just breakfast. Made’s Bottomless Brunch motto is “weekends made easy”, and that is exactly what it is – being so full and so drunk that you don’t have to make any other plans for dinner. Celebrating simply the fact that it’s a weekend.
At Best Brunch Ever, we fully support that.
I arrived at the Roundhouse in Camden before the other three. Being a fairly new London resident, I hadn’t been to the Roundhouse before, but it was pretty much as I imagined it (ie, round). There was a guy with long hair in a Less Than Jake hoodie sat outside, looking like he’d stepped straight out of my latter teenage years.
I’m not gonna lie – I was already a little hungover. So when I was shown to our table, I was perfectly happy to sit and stare blankly out of the window for a while. Less Than Jake got up, walked down the street for a while. I looked at my phone. I looked back out of the window. He had sat back down on the steps.
The others arrived, and the food came pretty soon after that. There were three-tiered stands which were crammed full of breakfast food. As Hattie said – for the price, it would have been easy to serve us sub-standard pastries, okay bread, average waffles. But they were all great. And as soon as one stand was emptied, the excellent waitress would replace it with another. There was butter and Nutella. There were bellinis.
Less Than Jake continued to sit outside by himself.
The atmosphere was so relaxed that we could have stayed there all day eating waffles without ever needing the main course, but I ordered baked eggs shakshuka with Merguez sausage and it was wonderful. The eggs were great, the flavours were full and spicy, there was thick crusty bread to mop it all up with. I couldn’t have asked for better. Every time I looked over at Hattie, her hand was in the air, and more bellinis would arrive.
We began to worry about Less Than Jake. He’d been sitting outside for at least an hour and a half. Had he been stood up?
“Go home,” we wanted to say. “It’s cold. Or come inside and have some food. They’re obviously not coming.” The poor guy hadn’t even brought a book to read, or a game to play. He was just… sitting there.
We ate more waffles, we drank more bellinis. We came up with at least three new ideas for blogs. We decided we probably already had too many.
Eventually, finally, Less Than Jake came inside and began chatting to the waitress. Is this what he’d been waiting to do all along? Was he waiting for her shift to finish? Were we, her customers, standing in the way of true love? They continued chatting. We celebrated. Then devastatingly, he went back outside and continued sitting on the steps.
Sadly, all good things come to an end. We eventually paid our bill, we told the waitress that she had been wonderful and that the food had been amazing. We said we would write a blog post about it and told her off for the fact that Made doesn’t have a Twitter account (even though it probably wasn’t her fault). Shannon, you probably won’t read this, but you were great.
As we left, feeling full of food and just the right amount of tipsy, and sort of surprised to find the rest of the world sober at 4pm on a Saturday, we saw that Less Than Jake was sitting on the steps with a girl in a headband with cat ears. They both looked happy. It was a good day.