Lots of people hate brunch. Luckily, I have only the scantest interest in other people. But I personally am one of them. (I have an inordinate amount of interest in myself. It's a wonder I'm not more popular). I also hate breakfast. The only breakfast I like is when you are allowed to wake up whenever you want, eat as much as you can get your hands on, and start drinking. Yes, I like lunch. And I hate breakfast. Or any meal served before 12pm. But seeing as post-Homeland* and the new Anchorman coming out at some point, we're all trying to be more like Obama**. And suddenly 'brunch' is everywhere. I'm wise to this, however, and so readily agree to 'brunch', as long as it's no earlier than 12pm. Luckily, the few friends I have are fairly stupid, so I have managed to get away with it.
'Brunch sounds lovely,' I lied blithely to my friend. 'But I just want to pop to the gym first.' (Well, might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, no?) 'Where's your gym?' My friend asked mildly. 'Soho,' I replied proudly. 'It's really terribly inconvenient. It's not at all where I live.' My friend politely refrained from asking why I had joined a gym I was even less likely to go to, and suggested that we meet at Randall and Aubin. (http://www.randallandaubin.com/restaurant.html)
'Ooh,' I said once I had google mapped it. 'That's just around the corner from my gym.' (The thing with lying is, you need to stick to it. Against whatever evidence and so-called-facts the opposition might be throwing at you). 'I'll see you there at 12pm.' My friend agreed. (See? Not that smart).
Annoyingly, Randall and Aubin is really great (That's not the annoying part, just hold your horses for a second please), despite having a 'Bloody Mary Brunch with Belvedere' menu on at the moment. This, to my fury, is a specially designed brunch menu, made in collaboration with Belvedere, who have just brought out a Belvedere Bloody Mary vodka.
I checked, diligently. Perhaps a little too diligently, my friend might have thought. This is not a Bloody Mary mix- where you shove vodka in before serving. This time, all you need to add is the tomato juice. It's the vodka itself which holds the Bloody Mary flavours. It sounds like magic, especially because the vodka is still clear, but when I got our (beleaguered) waiter to explain, he said that each flavoured ingredient is distilled separately, and then the flavored vodkas are blended together. So the Belvedere Bloody Mary includes seven different distillations: fresh tomato, black pepper, horseradish, bell pepper, chile pepper, lemon, and vinegar. I'm pretty sure that was it, anyway. It didn't really occur to me to ask until well into our fake brunch.
And it's not just Bloody Marys, either. (As I realised and pointed out loudly, to my friend's chagrin). Randall and Aubin have made these unique Belvedere Bloody Mary cocktails- things like the Cucumber Fix, or my personal favourite, the Spicy Apple, which has Belvedere Bloody Mary, cloudy apple juice, Fever Tree Ginger Beer and a dash of fresh lemon juice. (You know, it's things like 'a dash' that make other people's cocktails a completely different drink to my own cobbled together affairs).
Annoyingly, the stupid brunch menu looked equally delicious. It was filled with things like muffins with asparagus, bacon and maple syrup; or a scotch egg with anchovy mayonnaise or omelette Arnold Bennett and chips. 'I'm eating this because I'm hungry after my energetic workout,' I lied to my friend. 'Because you know that I hate brunch.'
*The TV show now airing on Channel 4, not the Department of Homeland security*
**Factually inaccurate. I have here lazily used 'Obama' as synecdoche for 'cool Americanisms'**
Some info, for other anti (and pro) brunchers:
The Bloody Mary Brunch with Belvedere will be available exclusively at Randall & Aubin 16
Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F 0SQ from April 30th 2012 until May 30th 2012 on Saturdays
and Sundays from 12pm - 4pm