sunday brunch

Sunday Brunch in the UK: A Delightful Tradition

Sunday brunch in the UK is more than just a meal; it’s a cherished tradition that brings people together to enjoy delicious food and great company. From classic English breakfasts to modern, health-conscious options, brunch offers something for everyone. This guide explores the rich history of brunch in the UK, popular dishes, top brunch spots, and everything you need to know to make the most of your Sunday brunch experience.

History of Sunday Brunch in the UK

Origin of Brunch

The concept of brunch, a combination of breakfast and lunch, originated in the late 19th century. It was popularized in the UK as a leisurely meal after church on Sundays, offering a way to relax and socialize.

Evolution of Sunday Brunch Traditions

Over the years, Sunday brunch has evolved to include various dishes and settings, from traditional English pubs to trendy urban cafes. The emphasis remains on relaxation, indulgence, and enjoying time with friends and family.

Popular Brunch Dishes

Traditional English Breakfast

The traditional English breakfast, or “Full English,” typically includes eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast. It’s a hearty meal that’s perfect for a leisurely Sunday morning.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a brunch classic featuring poached eggs, English muffins, ham or smoked salmon, and hollandaise sauce. It’s a rich and satisfying dish that many brunch enthusiasts love.

Avocado Toast

A modern favorite, avocado toast is a simple yet delicious option. It often includes mashed avocado on toast, topped with poached eggs, cherry tomatoes, or feta cheese.

Pancakes and Waffles

Pancakes and waffles are sweet brunch staples, often served with maple syrup, fresh berries, whipped cream, or a combination of these toppings. They’re perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

Scones and Pastries

Scones are often served with clotted cream and jam, and various pastries, such as croissants and Danish pastries, are famous for a lighter brunch.

Sunday brunch food

Best Brunch Spots in London

London offers many unique brunch experiences, from luxurious hotels to trendy cafes. Here are some of the top spots to enjoy a memorable Sunday brunch.

Fallow, St James’s

Best for: Huge breakfast buns
Dish to order: Royale with cheese

Fallow’s brunch menu is renowned for its indulgent breakfast burger, which features layers of gooey cheese, a runny egg, and a juicy burger sandwiched between a flaky croissant bun. The royale comes in three mouth-watering variations: the infamous sausage burger, a salmon belly royale with spinach and hollandaise, and a vegetarian option with portobello mushroom, mushroom parfait, cheese, and egg. Don’t miss the crispy-coated Haymarket hashbrowns with walnut ketchup and their spicy Bloody Mary made with fresh tomato and beetroot juice.

Mount St Restaurant

Best for: Brunch with a side of art
Dish to order: Roast heritage tomatoes on toast

Located in Mayfair, Mount St Restaurant stands out not only for its delectable brunch menu but also for its impressive art collection. Enjoy dishes like smoked trout benedict and devilled kidneys on toast while surrounded by works from Freud and Matisse. The roast heritage tomatoes on toast with creamy goat’s cheese curd is simple yet satisfying. The elegant setting and artistic ambiance make for a unique brunch experience.

Lina Stores, Marylebone

Best for: Sharing with friends
Dish to order: Pork belly and fried egg sandwich

Lina Stores brings a slice of Italy to Marylebone with authentic Italian brunch offerings. Start your meal with freshly squeezed orange juice and a pear Danish, then dive into the enormous pork belly and fried egg sandwich. The sandwich features thin shavings of pork belly, fennel seed, and a sizeable runny egg, all bundled up in a toasted focaccia roll with sweet tomato ketchup. It’s perfect for sharing with friends or indulging in solo.

Double Standard, King’s Cross

Best for: Build your own Bloody Marys
Dish to order: Buttermilk chicken waffle

Double Standard at The Standard Hotel offers a chic, modern brunch experience with a 1970s-inspired interior. The highlight here is the DIY Bloody Mary bar, where you can customize your drink with toppings like gherkins, stilton, bacon crumbs, and even prawns. The menu includes American-inspired dishes like buttermilk chicken waffles and short rib mac ’n’ cheese. Don’t miss the dessert of warm waffles topped with caramelized banana and salted caramel ice cream.

Pavilion Café, Victoria Park

Best for: Al fresco dining
Dish to order: Sri Lankan breakfast

The Pavilion Café, nestled in the serene surroundings of Victoria Park, offers a delightful outdoor brunch experience. With a stunning view of the lake and a menu filled with locally sourced ingredients, it’s a perfect spot for a relaxed meal. The Sri Lankan breakfast with dhal and hoppers is a standout dish. Enjoy American and British classics prepared with fresh ingredients from Borough Market. The café’s expansive outdoor seating and smoothly pulled coffees make it a popular spot, especially during warmer months.

These brunch spots offer a variety of dishes and settings, ensuring a delightful and unique dining experience in London. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal, a relaxed ambiance, or an artistic environment, these restaurants have something unique to offer.

pavilion cafe in Victoria park

Regional Variations

Scottish Brunch

Scottish brunch often features local specialties like haggis, black pudding, and oatcakes. It’s a hearty and flavorful way to start the day.

Welsh Brunch

Welsh brunch might include rarebit, laverbread, and traditional Welsh cakes. These regional delights add a unique twist to the brunch menu.

Northern Irish Brunch

Northern Irish brunch can feature items like Ulster fry, soda bread, and potato farls. These traditional foods offer a taste of the region’s culinary heritage.

Brunch Beverages

Tea and Coffee

Brunch is complete with a selection of teas and coffees. From classic English breakfast tea to specialty lattes, beverages are crucial in the brunch experience.

Fresh Juices

Freshly squeezed juices like orange, apple, and carrot are popular refreshing and healthy brunch drink choices.

Cocktails and Mocktails

For those who enjoy a bit of indulgence, cocktails like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and non-alcoholic mocktails are perfect for elevating the brunch experience.

Healthy Brunch Options

Vegan and Vegetarian Choices

Vegan and vegetarian brunch options have become increasingly popular. Dishes like tofu scrambles, veggie-packed smoothies, and plant-based pancakes are delicious and nutritious.

Gluten-Free Alternatives

Many brunch spots now offer gluten-free alternatives, ensuring everyone can enjoy a tasty and satisfying meal. Look for gluten-free breads, pastries, and other dishes.

Low-Calorie Dishes

Low-calorie brunch options like salads, fruit bowls, and yogurt parfaits provide a lighter yet satisfying meal for those mindful of their calorie intake.

Luxury Sunday Brunch Experiences

High-End Restaurants

High-end restaurants offer luxurious brunch experiences with gourmet dishes, impeccable service, and elegant settings. These venues are perfect for special occasions.

Hotel Brunches

Many hotels offer lavish brunches featuring extensive buffets and live cooking stations. Hotel brunches are ideal for those looking to indulge in various dishes.

Bottomless Brunches

Bottomless brunches, where unlimited drinks are served, have become a popular trend. These brunches are great for social gatherings and celebrations.

Family-Friendly Brunch Places

Kid-Friendly Menus

Family-friendly brunch places offer kid-friendly menus with dishes that appeal to younger palates. Look for venues that provide high chairs and children’s activities.

Play Areas and Activities

Some brunch spots have play areas and activities to keep children entertained while parents enjoy their meals. These venues ensure a relaxing experience for the whole family.

Outdoor Brunch Spots

Gardens and Terraces

Outdoor brunch spots with gardens and terraces provide a lovely setting for enjoying a meal in the fresh air. These venues are trendy in the warmer months.

Picnic Brunches

Picnic brunches are a fun and informal way to enjoy brunch outdoors. Many cafes and restaurants offer picnic baskets with a selection of delicious items.

Seasonal Brunch Ideas

Summer Brunches

Summer brunches often feature light and refreshing dishes, such as salads, cold soups, and fruit platters. Enjoying brunch al fresco is a highlight of the season.

Winter Warmers

Winter brunches include hearty and warming dishes like porridge, casseroles, and hot drinks. Cozy venues with fireplaces add to the seasonal charm.

Festive Brunches

Festive brunches during holidays like Christmas and Easter often feature special menus with seasonal treats. These brunches are perfect for celebrating with loved ones.

DIY Brunch at Home

Recipes and Tips

Hosting a brunch at home can be a delightful experience. Look for recipes and tips to create a memorable meal, from classic dishes to innovative new ideas.

Setting the Scene

Setting the scene with beautiful tableware, decorations, and a welcoming atmosphere can enhance the home brunch experience.

Brunch Entertaining Ideas

Entertain your guests with games, music, and engaging conversations. Thoughtful touches like personalized place settings can make your brunch special.

Brunch Etiquette

Reservations and Wait Times

Making reservations can help ensure a smooth brunch experience, especially at popular spots. Be mindful of wait times and plan accordingly.

Dress Code

Dress codes for brunch can vary from casual to smart-casual. Choose an outfit that suits the venue and occasion.

Tipping Practices

Tipping practices can vary, but it’s generally appreciated to tip your server for good service. If you need clarification, check the venue’s policy.

Brunch Trends

Current Trends

Current brunch trends include plant-based dishes, international flavors, and innovative presentations. Stay updated on the latest trends to try something new.

Influences from Abroad

Brunch trends from abroad, such as American-style brunches and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, have influenced UK brunch menus.

Future of Brunch in the UK

The future of brunch in the UK looks bright, with continued innovation, an emphasis on quality ingredients, and diverse offerings.

Sustainable Brunching

Farm-to-Table Concepts

Farm-to-table brunch concepts use locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Supporting these venues helps reduce environmental impact and supports local farmers.

Reducing Food Waste

Sustainable brunching also involves reducing food waste. Many restaurants are adopting practices to minimize waste and promote sustainability.

Supporting Local Producers

Choosing brunch spots that support local producers helps promote sustainability and ensures fresher, high-quality ingredients.


Sunday brunch in the UK is a delightful tradition that brings people together to enjoy delicious food and good company. Whether you prefer a classic English breakfast, trendy avocado toast, or a luxurious hotel brunch, there’s something for everyone. Explore the diverse brunch options across the UK, consider hosting your brunch at home, and enjoy this cherished meal sustainably and enjoyably.

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