A Saturday morning only means two things for me – a long sleep in, followed by my favourite meal of the day – brunch of course! This morning I had the pleasure of going on a much awaited visit to the Delaunay on Aldwych Street with my writer friend Gina.
The Delaunay is renown for being one of the best breakfast venues in London, and I can see why. Opened by polished restaurateurs, Jeremy King and Chris Corbin ( the pair responsible for The Wolseley and more recently Brasserie Zedel) the younger sister definitely lives up to the expectations such high profile establishments attract.
The David Collins design is chic and so effortlessly stylish. Everything from the beautiful wooden panelling, brass, artwork and green leather banquettes oozes elegance and class.
The extensive menu is inspired by the grand cafes of Central Europe and caters for most tastes, starting with typical breakfast Viennoiserie and egg dishes, and moving onto lunch-time classics. It’s one of the biggest brunch menus I have ever seen considering brunch for me is usually considered as a late breakfast. If you want typical breakfast style foods like bircher muesli, granola and porridge get in for the breakfast menu before 11am on a weekend.
Despite my earlier claims, it appears that chivalry is not yet dead. The waiters at the Delaunay were charming and friendly as they bustled around the restaurant, politely waiting for passers-by as they jostled by to get to their tables. The service is excellent, jugs of water are continually topped up and plates are cleared immediately. Whether you are a celeb, a big spender or just a normal person like me you are treated with equality here.
Branch like baguettes and butter were placed on our table for us to nibble on while we waited for our meals to arrive – nice touch.
The cappuccino was well above average, with good art work, dense foam with no air bubbles and a strong, smooth flavour.
The Delaunay has a rather impressive of pastries on display near the front counter which are almost impossible to say no to. We were exceptionally hungry so couldn’t help ordering a cinnamon bun to start with. It was tasty, with a great glaze, but lacked the stickiness and layered complexity of my favourite cinnamon buns in London at the Nordic Bakery.
The pancakes served with blueberry compote, creme fraiche and a sprinkling of icing sugar were lovely. They attracted a lot of “ooohhs” and “ahhhs” from neighbouring tables – definite food envy. The pancakes were quite thick but still had a light and fluffy texture. The fillings were generous, with a layer of blueberries on each layer of the three stack which added to the richness. If only they were served a little warmer they would have been perfect.
This is definitely the perfect brunch venue for a special occasion without breaking the budget. I was a little sceptical about the £2 brunch surcharge per person in addition to the service charge but for such a pleasant experience it wasn’t worth quibbling over.
Oh and there’s take out too from the Delaunay counter, on a separate entrance off Aldwych.
Let’s just say I will need to cycle quite a few miles to burn this brunch off but it was sure as hell worth it!
£32 for two items from the brunch menu, two coffees and pastry including service and a “mystery” £2 pound surcharge for brunch (whatever that means).
55 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BB
020 7499 8558
Bookings essential. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to late in the afternoon.