Brunch at No. 11 – A sociable, healthy alternative for ladies who don’t have time for lunch:
I’m something of an intermittent consumer of breakfast. When I am working from home I generally don’t bother – instead I often have a cup of coffee and perhaps have a snack at around 11am. But, if I’m travelling I do love a full English or whatever the local equivalent is. But, of course breakfast or brunch is a great time to meet up with friends and then go back and get on with a day’s work. And, although it might not always seem that way, I DO work!
A recent invitation to review the breakfast/brunch menu at No. 11 Pimlico Road was a great opportunity to meet up with friend and fellow blogger Mina, from Kings Road Rocks. And, I got to meet the new arrival in her life too (apparently he’s generally asleep at lunchtime!)
I haven’t been in the building that is now No. 11 for many years. I remember the venue (I think it was called the Ebury Arms then) as a rather tired old pub where we used to meet before and after choir practise more because of logistics than any sense of destination. Now it has been given a rather effective face-lift and makeover with fresh shutters at the windows, farrow and ball style paint colours, a large open bar area and comfy rustic style tables and chairs. Seasonal ‘snowflakes’ added a pretty Christmassy touch.
We ordered a ‘two course’ breakfast each. With dishes from £2 for a pastry up to £10.95 for the No. 11 Breakfast, it seemed reasonable to assume that would be a manageable quantity. There’s a comprehensive menu with eggs every way, some rather delicious but naughty sounding sausage and bacon sandwiches and a whole selection of healthy fruit and grain based options. And you can add extras too, so if you happen to fancy a sausage or spinach with your mushrooms on toast or smoked salmon with your crushed avocado and feta, that’s perfectly possible. It’s a breakfast menu with legs – a million miles from the tired hotel buffet. The last time I’ve had a breakfast of this type was in New York where they take their breakfasts very seriously.
For me Homemade Granola with Organic Farm Yoghurt, Fruit Compote and Wild Flower Honey. At this point my idea that the price (£4.95) should mean we’d need two dishes each went out of the window. It was, however, delicious. And, in the end I had to give in, if only to allow myself enough room for my second course.
Mina picked a fresh fruit salad with yoghurt. Again a generous portion that would have been quite enough without the ‘main’ we’d ordered, it was fresh, light and looked really appetising
On to our next orders.
Grilled Field Mushrooms on Sourdough came perfectly presented on a pristine white plate garnished with a little parsley. I found them a little bitter, I think perhaps a bit of a heavy hand with some balsamic vinegar in the kitchen. Which was a bit of a shame as they looked SO wonderful. Taste though, is entirely personal and it’s quite possible that another diner would love them. The sourdough toast was nicely crispy and topped with a generous portion of cream cheese which worked well.
Mina’s crushed avocado and feta was a more successful flavour combination and was both unusual and delicious.
I drank strong coffee. Mina enjoyed a delicious fresh apple juice. And the smallest diner at the table had his own breakfast and spent the morning charming me and every passing stranger.
It’s an excellent way to catch up with friends, I was home by 11am and well fed enough to skip lunch and work through till the evening. We were guests of No. 11, but had we been paying the bill it would have been less £30 for more than the pair of us could eat. And, I’d like to think it was remarkably healthy too.
No 11 Pimlico Road