I thought food service had peaked in my teenage years when I discovered the fabled All-You-Can-Eat restaurant. I always saw them as a challenge: how many tiny plates could I consume before I descended into a self-inflicted food coma? The answer: shamefully fewer than I’d hoped unfortunately, but they became a reliable venue for meeting with friends and I always walked (or waddled!) away feeling my multiple plates were value for money.
So you can imagine my excitement when a close friend recently brought to my attention the revamped, swankier 2017 version: Bottomless Brunch. Currently all the rage amongst the twenty and thirty somethings of the world, these brunch services offer small plates of fresh pastries, croque-monsieurs, avocado toast, poached eggs, porridge and fruit salad on repeat for a two-hour time slot for you and your friends to sample at your leisure.
Our choice of restaurant was a stylish French eatery called Aubaine. Situated in Broadgate Circle, and stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station on the central line, unlimited brunch here starts from £15 per person. Reservations are advised especially for groups and parties as this service is popular, and in warmer months there is extra seating outside.
For an extra £15 per head you can upgrade your brunch to include bottomless prosecco, which is perfect for celebrations, reunions or in our case, revelling in the long bank holiday weekend!
Photo © Aubaine.co.uk
Once all four of us had arrived and were seated, the waitress was quick to invite us to pick an starting option from the menu, which I appreciated as I’d already cast my eye over the list and made my choice! I began with a croque-monsieur which was freshly toasted and arrived lovely and warm. The cheese and ham filling was plentiful, and the flavour on both was spot on.
I also sampled the fresh croissants with blackcurrant jam, which for me was a throwback to my childhood as this was often my breakfast of choice when I was on holiday in France. The croissants were giant (not a bad thing!) but because of the small sized plates there was no avoiding the dreaded pastry crumbs that ended up all over the table top. A mild embarrassment!
Curiosity won over me with my next choice: French toast with syrup and blueberries. The last time I had French toast was in New York almost 10 years ago but the memories of The Big Apple were definitely reignited, or maybe that was just my blood sugar beginning to spike from the syrup! Either way, another thumbs up from me.
In between all the food and catching up with my lovely ladies I must add I was very impressed by the attentiveness of the waiting staff to topping up our prosecco glasses. It wasn’t until we were informed that our two hour time slot had ended that I saw my bubbles drop to below the half way line on the glass, so goodness only knows how much we drank between the four of us!
I rounded off my brunch with a fresh fruit salad, which, alongside the porridge and granola, was one of the healthier options on the menu. Again, portion size was well thought out, it was a similar size to the mini fruit pots I sometimes pick up on my lunch break from M&S. However, I was a little disappointed at the variety of fruit on offer. I only received one thin slice of strawberry and a single raspberry which were lost amongst swathes of melon and pineapple. By this time I was certainly too merry on the prosecco to care all that much, but I would have liked to count that serving as more than one of my five a day.
Once your two hour time slot is up you have the option to continue drinking and dining ‘à la carte’, or you can settle the bill and depart to one of the many other eateries, bars and venues in the Broadgate Circle. I would highly recommend the cocktail menu at The Botanist which is open until late, and the drinks are very artistic.
Overall Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡
I would give Aubaine a strong 4 out of 5. The value for money compared with other establishments in Central London is amazing, especially on the prosecco, and the atmosphere and service were top notch. The food was also very good, however I didn’t see any sign of the artisan breads listed on the menu and the fruit salad did leave a little to be desired.