24 Nov 2013


London, UK

Living in a city like London, one is spoilt for choice from available brunch spots, and having been here for eight years, I can safely say a lot of the places opening tend to conform to a prototypical, prescribed vibe. The trend has succumbed to being all about the rustic and home cooked, which was fine at first but after the surplus in their emergence it's been quite some time since something new and energising has graced London. Enter Berners Tavern; a triple threat of an establishment, designed by the famous hotelier Ian Schrager, housed in London’s new and ultra hip Edition hotel, as well being led by the Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton (who’s restaurants Pollen Street Social and Little Social have been reviewed on the Food Grid). With such impressive credentials and a highly publicised opening, expectations were very high. I visited Berners Tavern for Sunday brunch, and with whatever preconceived notions of what a tavern should look like, this place puts all those ideas to rest; if only all Taverns were this beautiful.

The restaurant is housed in one huge and majestic open space. Upon entering the restaurant my eyes twinkled looking straight at the chandelier suspended from the adorned high ceilings, while the walls are covered in paintings and photographs from the Renaissance to the post modern. Despite the grandiose features of the space, it does not make you uncomfortable, in fact the warm tones and palettes lend it to feel like what a tavern would indeed feel like: relaxed and actually cozy. This reminds me of Fitzgerald quote from the Great Gatsby: “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy”. This was very true to what we were experiencing in this place, where despite the largeness of the space and how busy it was it felt very intimate and not at all loud, which can usually expected in such a setting. 

When it came to the food, it was nothing short of extraordinary. Prior to the arrival of our orders we were served with the customary bread and butter, and the bread was so fresh and delicious that we knew we were in for a treat; the bread is usually a sign into the quality of the food. To start we sampled the poached eggs with avocado on toast, which was sublime. The eggs were perfectly cooked, the avocado was zesty and refreshing and the toast provided that ideal crispiness to accommodate the eruption of flavours in my mouth. For my main dish, I could not resist ordering the cheeseburger (call me crazy but I am always compelled to order one when I go to a new place), and my friend ordered the Sunday roast. Both orders were complimented with a side of duck fat chips and steamed broccoli with roasted almonds. Both the burger and the roast were to die for, and the portions were very generous, which left us both giddy with joy and satisfaction. The steamed broccoli is a must, its lemony flavours matched with the roasted almonds made it the ideal side dish. Accompanying our meal was the Dill or no Dill cocktail that was so good we each had two. For dessert we sampled the chocolate filled doughnut and the caramel apple ├ęclair with cream and salted caramel ice cream. Both were very good and were a sweet conclusion to our very successful meal at my now new favourite dining spot: Berners Tavern.

10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP


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