Yesterday, dodging the East London rain I had brunch at somewhere I've walked past many times and keep on planning to eat at: Beagle, which is essentially right underneath Hoxton Overground Station. I've been planning on heading over there for months now, but every weekend I'd been going to go there had been planned engineering works on the line from me to there (I love you TFL), so it took me a while to make it over. But do you know what? It was worth the wait, because it turned out to be the best brunch I'd had since since I last dined at The Tasting Kitchen in Los Angeles last June, which is my favourite brunch on the West Coast.
While we were waiting for our orders I had a Bloody Mary. I'm so predictable, right? But honestly, a weekend brunch would not be complete without one. The problem is, I just drink them way too fast! I'd read a lot about Beagle's signature Bloody Mary made with Chorizo infused vodka to give it a smoky flavour, but when I was browsing the Bloody Mary list I got distracted by the 'Snapper', a Bloody Mary made with gin, and spiked with fish sauce and oyster sauce. I was intrigued; it could either go very well or very badly, depending on the skill of the barman. Predictably as I'm writing about it, it was delicious. I don't think you would have been able to taste the extra sauces unless you knew they were there, but they did create a really interesting, slightly savoury flavour profile. The gin also added refinement the classic vodka Bloody Mary is sometimes lacking. On the menu they also have a Bloody Mary made with harissa and one made with garlic infused vodka, so I really must head back to try those too. In the background you can see Sherin's 'Lady Thyme', a shaken coupe of gin, lemon thyme, lemon and sparkling wine. A Summery drink with floral tones that is perfect for the gin fan. In the first picture you can also see my sublime bellini made with vanilla and seasonal Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb.
It is obvious why my eggs seemed to get a lot of love on Instagram, isn't it? It is actually the most liked picture I have ever posted up there. Perfectly set whites and dippy, drippy golden middles, served with the perfect amount of chargrilled toast, already cut into soldiers and slathered in anchovy butter (which I really need to figure out how to make!) A grown up version of the childhood classic, and one of the best brunch flavour combinations I've ever come across. I ordered extra bacon on the side; smoked in house, and it was perfect.
Also on the side I went for one of my other favourites at the moment, the humble avocado. I've written here before how it was stupid that I did not think I liked them until I moved out of Southern California, right? Anyway, perfectly dressed with lemon and sea salt.
I know the picture does not really do it justice, but Sherin ordered what I think has to be the best plate of pancakes in London. Seriously, they were that good, and even after my being full after the eggs, soldiers, avocado and bacon I managed to finish quite a lot of them off of her plate! Served with syrup, apple puree and creme fraiche they were hot, sweet, light and they melted on your tongue. I admit to eating at least half of one while she was still on her eggs and had not even got her fork into them yet. Warning to anyone looking to dine with me; I will eat all of your food too.
While I only usually order scrambled eggs if I just feel like a comforting breakfast and they are served with smoked salmon or caviar, or they are cooked by Ludo Lefebvre (seriously, that man makes the most sublime scrambled eggs I have ever tasted. His scrambled eggs are the reason I'm a food writer, but that is another story!), Sherin usually always gets them at brunch, so I always get to nab a forkful. Continuing the theme, they were velvety and moorish, and not a sad breakfast alternative to everything else on the menu.
Where did you go out for brunch this weekend? I ate out way too much last week catching up with various people (Bodeans, Bill's, Whyte & Brown and I also tried out two new cocktail bars scoping out a place for my 5th Blog Birthday drinks), so I think next week with the exception of the lunch and brunch I already have planned, I should try to cook a bit more!