Let me set the scene for you- it’s a Saturday afternoon, you have a friend in tow who’s never done a bottomless brunch, and the spot you’ve booked has waited until you’re seated to announce that they only offer bottomless brunch on a Sunday.
What is a crew of girls to do?? Enter here, our shining light and saviour, Grind Clerkenwell.
Part of the popular Grind chain that is scattered around London, Clerkenwell Grind offers a brunch menu topped up with bottomless prosecco for 1.5 hours for an additional £14. Firstly, before we get into the review, let me say: this is a BARGAIN of a brunch, and I would return just for this.
Set in cushy velvet interiors with oh-so-grammable neon lights throughout, this is definitely a bit of a girly paradise- so basically, right up my alley. The grammable nature continues with a quick peruse of the menu- offering your standards like full English or granola (side note- I intensely judge anyone who orders granola at a bottomless brunch) but also offering a breakfast salad and a sweet potato hash; this is a menu that caters for the more plain and the more adventurous palate, which is definitely something I appreciate.
We opted for a full English (of course) which was great- a hefty portion and “delicious” scrambled eggs- actual quote. Additionally, the hash brown was bougie as hell and ultra delicious.
The breakfast salad was exactly what you want when you’re feeling like you should have some veg to preemptively soak up your booze. A mix of quinoa, grains, greens, and a poached egg, this was tasty but to be honest it was a little bland. I was really into the creativity and the boldness of offering something so different, but it just didn’t quite hit the mark- a punchier dressing and a few more veg through the salad so it wasn’t so grain heavy and we would have been onto a winner.
We also opted for the classic smashed avocado with a poached egg- this was tasty, well seasoned, and looked good as hell but didn’t push the boat out too much with any bold flavours or anything to really set it apart from any other cafe. At the end of the day though, avocado, egg, and bread is always going to be a good mix so if you’re looking for a breakfast classic, this is one to aim for.
Finally, I opted for the sweet potato harissa cakes, which came with a poached egg, and I ordered a side of avocado. This was really tasty and I really enjoyed it- crispy, savoury little cakes flavoured with harissa, mixing fantastically with the egg. I would 100% recommend adding the avocado side- the extra creaminess was definitely an added bonus that tied it all together really well.
In terms of keeping us topped up (what everyone wants to know about a bottomless brunch) service was great- the glasses were never allowed to empty, which when you’re catering to a table of kiwis and a Northerner, is an impressive feat. There was a slight issue toward the end, where we had to request a couple more glasses of wine as our 1.5 hours hadn’t run out- we had arrived later than the seating but this hadn’t been taken into account so we lost out on 15 mins of booze. This isn’t a huge issue but a bit of an annoyance, and to be honest could have been dealt with better by the staff. One small blip in otherwise excellent service though, and in general, this was a great experience.
We ended up paying about £25 each for a decent plate of food, and a good amount of prosecco, and smiling staff. The atmosphere, decor, and extensive menu hit the spot for a bougie brunch on a budget, and I will definitely be returning. At the end of the day, all you can ask for is some free flowing bubbles and some tasty carbs to soak them up, and Clerkenwell Grind will for sure deliver this for you.
Glass topping up efficiency: 4.1/5
Clerkenwell Grind: 2-4 Old St, London EC1V 9AA