We believe it was legendary pop songstress Mariah Carey that once belted out “All I want for Christmas is…brunch.” Perhaps we have mangled the lyrics slightly there, but what we do know is that weekend brunch in London has become a city-wide institution. Every Saturday and Sunday, thousands of Londoners descend upon neighbourhoods from Shoreditch to Mayfair and everywhere in between to enjoy the likes of smashed avocado on toast and stacks of buttermilk pancakes lashed with sweet maple syrup.
Weekend brunch is a time for celebrating, marking the end of the working week and the beginning of two days of lie-ins, copious amounts of Prosecco and the inevitable Sunday scaries. Surely there’s no better time for celebrating than Christmas, so it makes sense that the keenest of the capital’s brunchers don’t want to break their weekend tradition during the festive season.
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a Christmas brunch this yuletide, our list of London’s best Christmas brunches offers up plenty of festive inspiration. Some of the restaurants featured are as camp as Christmas, or as sparkly as a cracker on the table just waiting to be pulled, while others have actually gone the extra mile and are hosting dedicated Christmas brunch events (we’re talking cringe worthy jumpers galore).
By the way, if you’re in charge of planning the office Christmas do this year or the annual festive reunion of your friend group, planning a recovery brunch for the day after your party is also a good idea. The likes of eggs any style and superfood smoothies are sure to cure any sore heads and dodgy stomachs.
So, whether you’re planning Christmas brunch for you and your mates, the whole office or as a festive-themed date idea, there are plenty of options to choose from, spanning a range of styles and budgets. Just remember to be on your best behaviour…we’d hate for you to end up on the naughty list.
Fun Christmas brunch
If you’re the kind of person whose December diary fills out before the month has even begun, you’re probably looking out for a Christmas brunch where you can keep the party going from the night before. At these fun London restaurants, a good time is guaranteed.
Ping Pong, Soho
What: With branches across London, Ping Pong is known for its casual offering of all day dim sum. On the weekends though, it is all about its lively bottomless brunch and nothing quite says Christmas time like cocktails at midday. Don the most garish Christmas jumper you can find and head down to Ping Pong Soho to enjoy plenty of dim sum alongside free-flowing fizz, cocktails or beers.
When: Saturdays, 12-4pm
Where: 45 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JL
What: If you want to keep the party going from the night before, head to this bonkers Italian trattoria, which is camper than Alan Carr as a pantomime dame. Along with a buzzy, ‘anything goes’ attitude, you’ll find a menu of indulgent brunch fare, including fluffy ricotta pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, and truffle scrambled egg served on buttery brioche. Can’t face hair of the dog? A glass of Gloria’s freshly-squeezed OJ will sort you out.
When: Saturday and Sunday, from 11.45am to 3.45pm
Where: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
Darcie & May Green, Paddington
What: Brunch on a boat sounds pretty special right? Well, that’s exactly what you can enjoy at Darcie & May Green. Moored on the Grand Union Canal just outside Paddington Station, this floating restaurant is home to colourful interiors and an alfresco upper deck if you’re willing to brave the cold. Brunch is served all day and can be made bottomless, with dishes including the likes of smashed avocado on toast and an indulgent banana bread sandwich.
When: Brunch served every day from 8am-4pm
Where: Grand Union Canal, Sheldon Square, W2 6DS
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
What: Looking for a brunch as camp as Christmas? Look no further than Circolo Popolare, which combines a truly Instagram worthy dining room (think festooned lighting, verdant foliage and a wall of wines and spirits) with over the top Italian dishes. Our top picks from the brunch menu include the fluffy ricotta pancake stack and the Big Boy French Toast, while cocktails served in cheeky vessels are a must-try too.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11.45am to 3.45pm
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, Rathbone Square, W1T 1PB
The Little Blue Door, Fulham
What: Riotous The Little Blue Door is designed to look like a house share, featuring a kitchen which doubles as a restaurant, a living room which is really a bar and even a faux laundry room. Brunch here is all kinds of fun, with the menu featuring a truffle cheeseburger with fries or smoking hot chicken thighs, as well as chocolate pudding and ice cream for dessert. Add bottomless rounds of Prosecco or the house punch for an extra special festive touch.
When: Saturday, 11.30am-6pm
Where: 871-873 Fulham Road, SW6 5HP
Red Rooster, Shoreditch
What: You might be used to carol singers at Christmas time, but we’d recommend enjoying Christmas brunch at Red Rooster, where you’ll find a gospel choir instead. Taking place every Sunday, the house choir belts out tunes while you tuck into dishes such as chicken and waffles, shrimp ‘n’ grits, and mac ‘n’ cheese served with collard greens. As it’s the festive season, don’t be surprised if a little Christmas jingle finds its way into the line-up.
When: Sunday, 11am-5pm
Where: 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT
Fancy Christmas brunch
Christmas is the season to break out the sequins and smart shirts in your wardrobe, so why not make a special effort with Christmas brunch and head to one of London’s fanciest restaurants. We’ve got your fancy Christmas brunch inspiration all wrapped up, so read below to see our top picks.
Radio Rooftop, Covent Garden
What: It doesn't get much more glam than enjoying a festive brunch 10 floors above London's bustling streets. The chic space at Radio Rooftop is offering a Christmas brunch to remember, with dishes to choose from including a turkey eggs benedict and a lobster sandwich served with sweet potato fries. You can finish up with a wintry cocktail such as the Apres Ski Martini (Grey Goose, fig and rosemary vermouth, Manchego) all the while drinking in those unforgettable views.
When: Saturday and Sunday, midday until 5pm
Where: ME London Hotel, 336-337 The Strand, WC2R 1HA
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
What: If you’re ok with the risk of running into a Beckham when you’re not exactly looking your best, Chiltz is a good shout for a recovery brunch that is as indulgent as it is stylish. Think caviar scrambled eggs or a lobster and crab omelette, while for the traditionalists ther are buttermilk pancakes and spiced avocado on toast. If you need some fresh air, the terrace is oh-so-charming and comes equipped with heaters and cosy blankets.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm
Where: 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, W1U 7PA
Oblix at The Shard, London Bridge
What: 32 floors high and boasting panoramic views of the capital’s skyline, brunch at Oblix is an extravagant affair. Served in Oblix East (the more casual half of the restaurant), brunch here sees starters and desserts presented on large feasting tables, while mains are enjoyed at the table. Dishes to choose from include a Wagyu beef burger topped with truffle mayonnaise and seafood linguine pepped up with chilli, garlic and a squeeze of lemon.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-4pm
Where: Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Berners Tavern, Fitzrovia
What: It’s a hotly contested competition, but we think Berners Tavern is home to one of the prettiest dining rooms in the capital. Although it’s grand in scale, the restaurant still manages to feel cosy, making it perfect for a Christmas gathering. The brunch menu here features grass-fed Scottish steaks served with triple-cooked chips and the signature mac ‘n’ cheese which is filled with red wine braised beef blade.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-4.30pm
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
Duck & Waffle, City
What: Open 24/7 and 40 floors above the city’s streets, Duck & Waffle is an ideal spot for special occasion dining, but is still casual enough to not feel pretentious or stuffy. Brunch here is served on both days of the weekend, with the offering featuring bacon-wrapped dates, eggs any style and Belgian waffles topped with caramelised banana. If you’re visiting for the first time, the restaurant’s eponymous dish is a must-try.
When: Saturday and Sunday 11:30am -5pm
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Healthy Christmas brunch
Christmas is known as a time for indulging, but sometimes the endless turkey dinners and alcohol can get a bit too much. If you're looking for an antidote to all of the excess, check out these healthy Christmas brunches below.
Farmacy, Notting Hill
What: To cleanse your soul of the previous evening’s sins, make your way to the plant-based Farmacy restaurant where everything is green and good for you. Kickstart the recovery process with a shot of ginger blended with cayenne and turmeric, before moving on to the virtuous likes of a protein omelette, chocolate chip waffles served with house-made Nutella and coconut ‘yoghurt’ or tacos loaded with roasted mushrooms – all the fun of hangover binge-eating, just without the meat.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4pm
Where: 74-76 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH
Granger & Co Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Notting Hill
What: Okay, so this is technically Granger & Co’s breakfast menu, but the food is simply too good to not include. If you’re up before midday (which is when the breakfast menu ends), you’ll be able to tuck into the virtuous likes of sweetcorn fritters with roasted tomatoes and spinach, or perhaps a bowl of miso and brown rice porridge with coconut yoghurt and mango. Wash it all down with a fruit smoothie or freshly squeezed orange juice.
When: Served Saturday and Sunday until midday
Where: Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP; The Buckley Building, 49 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0EP; 7 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG; 175 Westbourne Grove, Kensington, W11 2SB
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned, City
What: Want to save the indulgence for actual Christmas Day? Then stick to the healthier sides of things at Malibu Kitchen’s all-you-can-eat vegetarian Christmas brunch. You can feast on the likes of ‘courgette spaghetti’, flatbreads with dips and even a beetroot Wellington. There are vegan cupcakes and brownies to try too, and you’ll be able to enjoy it all knowing that it’s (sort of) good for you.
When: Saturday 12-4pm
Where: The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Brother Marcus, Angel and Balham
What: Brunch is served all day at Brother Marcus, where most of the dishes on the menu are named after fictitious family members. If you’re feeling health-conscious, opt for the Yummy Mummy (Cajun cauliflower, beetroot hummus and mangetout with black quinoa and charred corn on sourdough) or the Brother Special, which sees beetroot cured salmon served with scrambled eggs and tender stem broccoli brushed with a honey and sesame glaze.
When: Brunch served all day
Where: 37-39 Camden Passage, N1 8EA; 9 Chestnut Grove, SW12 8JA
Cosy Christmas brunch
Christmas is a time to wrap up and feel all cosy and warm. If you’re on the lookout for a Christmas brunch that will leave you ready for a snooze in front of the open fire, these options should be a perfect fit.
Dishoom, King’s Cross
What: London’s foremost Indian chain has a smattering of sites across the capital, but the King's Cross location has the cosiest feel. The breakfast/brunch menu here is full of the kind of ‘dirty good’ dishes that you find yourself craving while hanging out of your bottom, including the now legendary bacon-stuffed naan finished off with cream cheese and chilli tomato jam – which is also available with double the bacon for a small extra cost.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 9-11.45am
Where: 5 Stable Street, N1C 4AB
The Ivy City Garden, City
What: At this offshoot of the iconic Covent Garden original, The Ivy City Garden, you’ll find a cosy vibe and a three-course brunch menu that is guaranteed to sort you out for the rest of the day. You can go for traditional classics, such as eggs Benedict with chips, or you can opt for the more filling likes of lobster linguine. Cocktails are on-hand too and brunch rumbles on until 4pm – perfect if you need a lie-in after a festive Friday night rager.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm
Where: Dashwood House, 69 Old Broad Street, EC2M 1NA
Dean Street Townhouse, Soho
What: One of the comfiest dining rooms in the capital, Dean Street Townhouse is a perennially popular Soho restaurant. Brunch here is served on Saturday and Sunday, with choices ranging from classic options (think eggs Benedict and full English) right through to more substantial dishes, such as haddock and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce or ribeye steaks accompanied by thick-cut chips and lashings of béarnaise sauce.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-5pm
Where: 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 3SE
Harry’s Bar, St James’
What: Italian-leaning Harry's Bar takes its cue from the 1950s and is full of cosy accents included comfy seating, low lighting and an autumnal colour palette. The food is just as comforting as the interiors, with dishes on the weekend brunch menu including the likes of waffles topped with smoky bacon and maple syrup, as well as tagliolini pasta topped with black truffle shavings and cream. Desserts are decadent too and include bountiful ice cream sundaes.
When: Served Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm
Where: 30-34 James Street, W1U 1ER
If you’re the kind of person who thinks brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast, check out our pick of London’s best bottomless brunches.