Sometimes – and invariably after a heavy night out on the town – only a brunch will do. South Kensington is famous for world-renowned museums, high-end boutiques and fancy stores, but it’s also mercifully well-blessed with top-class brunching venues. So while your other half or earnest friends indulge in deluxe window-shopping or brain-improving exhibitions, head with kindred spirits to these restorative pit-stops for a superb weekend brunch.
Originating from the late 19th century, Brunch is traditionally a Sunday meal after a Saturday night of boozing and revelry, so nothing much has really changed. It has been brought back into popularity in recent years and shows no sign of slowing down. Kensington is not averse to the breakfast trend and boasts many great brunch hotspots. The area is jam-packed with Kensington Gardens, The Serpentine Gallery, and the Royal Albert Hall; there is no shortage of amazing sights and things to do in the area, so it’s only right that you are well-fuelled to explore them all.
When else it acceptable to sleep in and eat smashed avo and poached eggs to your heart’s content with copious amounts of fresh orange juice, possibly spiked with some liquor, to wash it all down? Once you’ve read through our extensive list of South Kensington brunches, you’ll want to visit them all, each with their own unique twists and delights. Go on; head west to the quaint and charming borough with its Georgian and Victorian architecture and brunch restaurants galore.
We’ve got all the bases covered from classic fluffy blueberry pancakes to juicy rib-eye steaks; the opportunities at brunch are endless. You can work off the oncoming food coma with a jaunt around Holland Park or check out the plethora of cool museums around. There’s no forgetting the retail haven in the form of Kensington High Street too, which is undoubtedly one of London’s best shopping streets.
Now read on, before you hop onto the District line, and get going.
Why: Ffiona’s offers an impressive menu boasting the classics from full English breakfast to steak and eggs with a wonderful variety of twists in between, such as the sweet potato and red chilli hash or the pistachio pesto eggs benedict. The buttermilk pancakes are gluten-free, but are still delightfully fluffy, and you can add almost any topping you like, from sausages to sweet toffee sauce. The interior itself is charming and chic, making for a pretty backdrop for your Sunday brunch antics.
Where: 51 Kensington Church Street, W8 4BA
When: Weekends 9am-3pm
The Ivy Brasserie
Why: The Ivy Brasserie is a classy lesson in how to do brunch right, with their indulgent menu of truffle aranchini, lobster benedict, and steak tartare; there is no shortage of luxurious dishes to feast like royalty. The drinks list features peach Bellinis, Bloody Marys, and the signature Kensington Royale. Set among the beautifully decorated restaurant, each dish promises satisfaction as you dine in style.
Where: 96 Kensington High Street, W8 4SG
When: Weekends 11am-4pm
Why: Coco Momo is a sophisticated and chic brasserie with a hearty selection of brunch dishes on offer. The interior is modern, with muted tones and furnished in soft greys. For breakfast, think waffles dripping in maple syrup and fresh berries or sautéed wild mushroom with soft poached eggs; both pair well with freshly squeezed orange juice. Expect the classic cocktails too: Mimosas, Peach Bellinis, and Kir Royals will be flowing from 10am.
Where: 25 Gloucester Road, SW7 4PL
When: Saturday from 10am, Sunday from 12pm
Why: Head to Eggbreak for the weekends when only eggs will cure your hunger pangs. The menu is expectedly an egg-central experience, with a wide variety of intriguing flavour inspirations. There’s the burrata and truffle scrambled egg on challah bread or a Breakybab flatbread piled high with aubergine tahini, sesame, and feta. The selection is impressive and exciting, making for a worthy brunch list. For drinks, you can go for a range of fresh juices, smoothies, or spritzes.
Where: 30 Uxbridge Street, W8 7TA
When: All day, every day
Balans Soho Society
Why: Come down to Balans Soho Society for a spread that will make you glad brunch exists. The restaurant doesn’t do basic eggs; they’ve got a smorgasboard of flavours and ingredients such as Duck Mashup and a Spicy Breakfast Burrito. The classics are done well too. The cocktails are exciting and creative, try Tiki Punch for a pineapple explosion or Queen of Hearts for a zingy cranberry, lemon fusion.
Where: 187 Kensington High Street, W8 6SH
When: Weekends 8am-4pm
Why: This high-end chain blurs the line between restaurant and bar with its moody lighting, mirrored walls and acres of cowhide. Though Gaucho is all about prime Argentinian beef, its ‘Electro Brunch’ entitles you to a dozen dishes ranging from chimichurri steak and eggs to smoked chocolate ganache with a dulche de leche cremeaux. Accompany your brunch feast with zingy drinks such as Rekorderlig featuring rhubarb, lemon, and mint cider or Cinnamon Colada.
Where: 89 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DX
When: Every Saturday 11am-4pm
Why: As the name suggests, Margaux is as much about wine as it is about food, though its weekend brunch menu is more properly paired with cocktails or freshly squeezed juices. The French-flavoured cooking runs from the classics such as steak tartare to avocado tartines to elderflower millefeuille for dessert. Margaux’s urban décor, all Brooklyn bare bricks and pendant lights, might seem incongruous, but the room is comfortable and atmospheric.
Where: 150-152 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0BE
When: Weekends 12-4pm
Why: Muriel’s taps into a bucolic, rose-tinted past with its deliberately homespun country-kitchen look. Brunch is served daily and continues the wholesome theme with the likes of banana and ricotta pancakes served with streaky bacon, grilled halloumi and roasted tomatoes on sourdough, and Buddha bowls filled with poached eggs, quinoa and edamame, finished with crispy potatoes and jalapeno yoghurt. Drink your veggies with Vitamin Hug or Berri-licious for a fruity concoction.
Where: 1-3 Pelham Street, SW7 2ND
When: Every day 8am-5pm
PJ’s Bar & Grill
Why: Looking every inch the swish brasserie, PJ’s provides the regulation pavement tables, polished wooden bar and flooring, and all-day opening plus, this being Chelsea, a polo theme. The weekend bottomless brunch also has a luxurious edge, offering the likes of truffled scrambled eggs, creamed wild mushrooms with fried egg on brioche, and buttermilk pancakes with southern-fried chicken thighs and bourbon maple syrup. Bloody Marys, Bellinis and Proseccos will keep you buzzing.
Where: 52 Fulham Road, SW3 6HH
When: Weekends 10am-5pm
Why: Dark-wood bookshelves, green leather seats and bare tables spell business in the dining room of this plush hotel. The Town House kitchen specialises in upmarket British food, but its weekend brunch menu has an international slant. French toast arrives with maple-roasted figs, mascarpone and almonds, and potato waffles are teamed with hot-smoked salmon and preserved-lemon crème fraiche, and the herb crusted lamb rack goes down nicely with the Bellini Royal.
Where: The Kensington Hotel, 109-113 Queens Gate, SW7 5LP
When: Weekends 12-5pm
Why: This subterranean rendezvous is our favourite branch of the meat-majoring chain. The handsome art-deco and wood-panelled interiors are grandiose at Hawskmoor. Doors open at noon, and although there’s no brunch list, the bar menu’s selection of oysters, burgers and lobster rolls pretty much does the job. Try the Tokyo version with yuzu and sriracha, and steaks can be accompanied by ‘anti-fogmatic’ eye-openers: invigorating cocktails such as Tom & Jerez featuring gin, sherry, pear, lemon and almond.
Where: 3 Yeoman’s Row, SW3 2AL
When: Every day from midday
Why: Diners wanting to indulge in the Wright Brothers superb choice of seafood must wait until noon. Even though there’s no brunch list, this intimate, bistro-like restaurant is then open through the day. The menu has oysters at its heart: sourced from the Channel Islands, the west coast of Scotland or Ireland. Otherwise, choose from the various seafood platters or meaty daily specials – and revive yourself with that saviour of worse-for-wear brunchers, the Bloody Mary selection.
Where: 56 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3DY
When: Every day from midday
Why: Part of a chic mini-chain of urbane cafés, Aubaine provides a suitably insouciant Gallic start to the day. Weekend brunches fuelled by Champagne or a Negroni are all-encompassing affairs – as healthy (superfood salad) or otherwise (full French breakfast, featuring Toulouse sausages) as you wish. The baskets of flaky, buttery pastries are enough to impress most people but then there is the indulgent lobster benedict and aromatic black truffle scrambled eggs to entice us further.
Where: 260-262 Brompton Road, SW3 2AS
When: Every day from 8am
Why: Brindisa is a byword for the finest Spanish comestibles. Although there’s technically no brunch menu, Casa Brindisa opens on weekends from 10:30am. No-nonsense tapas come thick and fast in the open-fronted dining room featuring tiles, whitewashed walls, and crammed-in tables. Platters of acorn-fed ham and chorizo, flavour-bomb boquerones or blackened Padrón peppers all shine, while albondigas con sepia (meatballs with cuttlefish) aren’t far behind. And don’t miss the cold rice pudding with caramelised milk ice cream.
Where: 7-9 Exhibition Road, SW7 2HE
When: Weekends from 10:30am
Why: This self-styled Lebanese canteen holds plenty of interest for ravenous brunchers. Especially popular is shakshuka – slow-cooked tomatoes onions, herbs, garlic and peppers topped with a fried egg – teamed with feta cheese or sojok sausages. Granola, pastries and croissants are available if you’re after something less robust. Vibrant tiling, outdoor tables and knick-knacks pinned to the wall amplify the Mediterranean vibe at Comptoir Libanais, as does a glass of rose mint tea.
Where: 1-5 Exhibition Road, SW7 2HE
When: Every day from 8:30am
Brunch near South Kensington
If you're in the mood for a different vibe, and you're already on the District line, the neighbouring areas of Chelsea, Fulham, and Battersea host some great options for brunch too, just a tube stop or short bus ride away from Kensington.
Why: Farm Girl is where you want to be seen brunching. The quaint all-day restaurant is beautiful inside with vibrant pops of colour and pink flamingos peeping out behind potted plants. The Antipodean-inspired menu features healthy bowls such as the Dragon and Daisy packed full of pretty fruits and toppings. The Island Eggs are another novel option of toasted sweet potato doused with labneh, avocado mash, and hazelnut dukkah.
Where: 9 Park Walk, SW10 0AJ
When: Weekends from 9am-5pm
Why: This moreish gastropub makes a fine choice for a hangover cure. The Orange has a classy line-up of breakfast dishes such as indulgent baked eggs in creamed spinach with feta and chilli. Expect classics like English muffins topped with thick cut ham and hollandaise poached eggs, and brioche French toast with blueberry compote. Pick from a variety of teas or drink fresh orange juice.
Where: 37-39 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
When: Every day from 8am
Bibendum Oyster Bar
Why: The Bibendum Oyster Bar, in the spacious art deco surroundings of the Michelin Building, is ideal for civilised weekend brunches. Claude Bosi may concentrate his haute cuisine efforts on the first-floor dining room, but there’s plenty to satisfy casual diners downstairs. Organic granola and fresh juices might start the day, but so too could eggs royale, bacon butties or even seafood platters. And there’s Champagne aplenty to wash everything down.
Where: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
When: Every day from 9.30am-5pm
Jack’s at the Junction
Why: Jack’s at the Junction is simple, fuss-free all day brekkie with eggs any way, whether you’re in the mood for an omelette or a Florentine, or want to indulge in the Yankee – American-style pancakes loaded with maple syrup, bacon, and eggs. The casual restaurant is rustic and stripped back, to allow you to focus on the food. You can go with the set menu or customise your eggs with extra toppings like smoked salmon or black pudding.
Where: 252 Lavender Hill, SW11 1LJ
When: All day
If you’re looking to widen the net even further, why not work your way through our pick of the best weekend brunches in the capital?