Jackson & Rye
Hands down, my favourite spot for brunch ever has to be Jackson & Rye in Soho. This cosy little place offers one of the prime brunch-eating spots in town, right near Tottenham Court Road station. But that’s not all – Jackson & Rye promises one of the best gluten free brunches in London.
Which is why I picked it for my birthday brunch, and which is why I constantly go back there. I love the atmosphere, the food and the bellinis. Think 1920s-style bar crossed with American diner benches and you’re about halfway there. If you can, make sure you sit downstairs, which is often emptier, and admire the beautiful decoration while you eat. The lighting is suitably dim, but the acoustics are great so you never feel like you’re interrupting someone else’s meal.
But what to eat? Pick from truffle mac and cheese with one of their five different Bloody Mary’s, or a buttermilk chicken sandwich piled high with spicy cabbage slaw, romaine lettuce and chipotle mayo, served with fries. Go down the traditional route; pancakes with crispy bacon, blueberries and maple syrup, or Huevos Rancheros – “sunny” eggs with chorizo and avocado, served with spiced beans and chipotle and tomato salsa in a corn tortilla and home-style potatoes. Alternatively, why not try their scones with a twist – served with sour cream and blueberry compote for a savoury bite. No matter your taste or craving, Jackson & Rye will have it.
A personal favourite has to be the avocado royale – this avocado and poached eggs dish comes with oak smoked salmon, lemon and watercress on granary toast (simply ask for gluten free toast to be switched in) and covered in a rich, creamy hollandaise. I mean, if they can get the hollandaise just right, there’s nothing else worth knowing. The blend of flavours is sublime. You get the rich, smoky flavour of the salmon with the sharpness of lemon and watercress, tempered by poached eggs (runny middles done just right) and warm hollandaise sauce. It’s a bruncher’s dream.
If you’re prepared for a boozy brunch, try their white peach bellini for something sweet, or breakfast sour to whet your appetite. But make sure you leave room for dessert. For those who can eat gluten, you absolutely have to try their peanut butter fudge s’mores, made with graham crackers, marshmallow, chocolate and drizzled with a peanut butter and chocolate sauce. If you’re like me, though, it’s the banana split every time – this sugar overload comes with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, butterscotch sauce, mascarpone cream, pistachios and popping candy over caramelised banana. It will leave you on a sugar high for days.
I can’t get enough of Jackson & Rye, especially because their prices are much more reasonable than the Soho postcode would have you think. Nothing in London is ever cheap, but any one of their egg dishes come in under £10, so you can have a brunch that won’t break the bank.
If you haven’t checked out Jackson & Rye yet, you really should. Based out of Soho, Chiswick, Richmond and Kingston, it might not be as popular or as infamous as Balthazar’s in Covent Garden, but it certainly gives them a run for their menu.