4 tips on how to make the perfect brunch

Go on, admit it. You’re obsessed. You can’t get enough of smashed avocado, runny yolks, healthy smoothies, crispy bacon, and piping hot coffee. You spend your weekends discovering new spots, comparing poached eggs, and clenching your teeth at the prices. But ah, those prices. What if there were another way?

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly count myself amongst the aforementioned brunch-obsessed people – heck, I just wrote a post on where to find the best breakfasts in London. However, I do also pride myself on whipping up a fine breakfast-lunch combo in my own kitchen, and I love having people over to share it with. It’s more economical, diverse, and best of all, you don’t need to change out of your pyjamas!

So if you’re intrigued to know what ingredients you need to whip up a scrumptious brunch in the comfort of your own home, here are 4 tips that will make it that little bit easier.

Smashed avocado on bagels with crispy bacon, plus fresh grapefruit/orange juice

1. Think about drink

I usually have a stock of tea (Darjeeling is my tipple of choice) and coffee, but juices and smoothies are always a winner. I have a Philips juicer that can turn any fruit into nectar of the gods, but if you don’t want to go that high-end, I’d recommend an electric orange juicer and serving simple fresh orange juice (add in some grapefruit for a bit of zing). Mine was a steal from Amazon (see here), and mornings have never been the same since!

Get ideas for juices here, or if you’d like to go down the smoothie route, I’ve got some suggestions too. And if all else fails… just pick up a bottle of innocent and palm it off as your own!

Pineapple and mango juice with a hint of ginger

2. Victorious vitamins

I adore having fruit in the morning, and so my brunches never fail to involve a variety of vitamins. Berries, apples, melons, pineapple… the easiest thing to do is just to chop them all up and make a gigantic fruit salad. This bit of the brunch is also easily customisable – if you have friends who don’t like certain fruits, you can keep each in a separate bowl, and then it’s like a ‘build your own fruit salad’ station! I then keep yogurt (I love Yeo Valley) on the side, plus nuts for sprinkling, and if you want to add a little something extra, I highly recommend the Meridian Foods nut butters (my favourite is the hazelnut and cocoa butter), which are guilt-free, as they contain no added sugar or palm oil. Just stir a teaspoon or two into your fruit and yogurt bowl, and enjoy!

Nectarine, sliced almonds, and hazelnut/cocoa butter

3. Hot stuff

You want the brunch to fulfil both the breakfast and lunch requirements, so I often make some simple scrambled eggs, but with a twist, such as sriracha, smoked salmon, or cheese – the recipe for that is here. Another option is pancakes – feel free to use my foolproof recipe here. I’ve yet to crack the secret of perfectly poached eggs, but hey, no time like the present to learn a new skill, right?

If you’re feeling ambitious, try some overnight French toast or bread and butter pudding, and serve with fruits, maple syrup, and yogurt on the side.

I also firmly believe that you can never go wrong with a side of bacon – I usually get the streaky kind, and roast the rashers it in the oven until nice and crispy. It goes well with pancakes, eggs, and bread, or just to nibble on the side. Do get the good stuff – trust me, it’s worth the extra couple quid.

Pancake, bacon, fruits

4. Seductive sides

Other little extras that are always worth indulging in…

Smashed avocado – of COURSE. Get some ripe avocados and smash them to your heart’s content. Add salt, pepper, lime juice, a bit of fresh coriander or parsley, some chili flakes, and voila.

Other dips: If the guacamole isn’t enough, whip up some hummus, or any other type of dip. One of my recent favourites is a feta and pistachio dip that titillates the senses (you can find that recipe in Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana).

Go continental: Salamis, hams, smoked salmon, and a variety of cheeses always go down well – they are the cornerstones of a good Swiss brunch. Of course, you’ll need real bread – try and get it from a proper bakery if you can, or even make your own.

And there you have it – you’re now a brunch maestro. So the next time you don’t feel like shelling out £10-15 for some smashed avocado on toast, just combine all the above ingredients to your hearts’ content, and no two brunches will ever be the same!

Here are some of my recent brunch wins… happy brunching, and I’d love to see some of yours!

Olive bread with smashed avocado and smoked salmon, mozzarella with truffle oil and balsamic cream, berries with a sprinkling of nuts, coffee, and fresh grapefruit juice

Bagels with cream cheese, smashed avocado, smoked salmon, and dill, feta and pistachio dip, plus a few olives and morning reading

Toasted fruit loaf, mozzarella with truffle oil and balsamic cream, fresh orange juice, salami and ham, sliced melon

Do you host brunches at your house? What are your favourite dishes? 

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