If you follow me on Instagram stories you’ll know that I’m a sucker for a bottomless brunch. Prosecco? Love. Breakfast food after 11am? Adore. Value for money – SOLD. And thus the love affair began. Being a somewhat seasoned bottomless bruncher now, there are some observations I’ve made that I feel I should share with you. Tricks of the trade if you will. Here’s how to do bottomless brunch like a boss:
1. Be A Picky Eater
Never one to restrict myself at a restaurant, a bottomless brunch is the one time when I’ll consider forgoing my first choice of food. Brunch is, hands down, my favourite mealtime. I’m a sucker for a thick, American pancake stack or the ‘Grand English Breakfast’ but I’ve learnt that these dishes don’t exactly go well with an abundance of carbonated alcohol. Nothing adds more to the feeling of self-loathing knowing you’ve overdone it in on the prosecco than dealing than a 10lb food baby on top. It’s one thing self-consciously stumbling out into the daylight and trying to feel like a normal, respectful human being. It’s another having to do it with your jeans unbuttoned. Instead, now I pretend not to see the ‘Big Plates’ section of the menu – those are for sensible Sundays with the bf. Instead, I go for something smaller like a salmon and avocado on rye. Still boujie and far more faffy than I could ever be arsed to cook for myself, thus ‘a treat’ but with enough carbs to soak up some alcohol – a must.
2. Ask and You Shall (Often) Receive
There’s usually a time limit at a bottomless brunch, after which not a drop more free alcohol shall be issued. No ifs, no buts, no super late friends driving you nuts. Thanks to particular rather brazen (and often inebriated) friends of mine, I’ve come to learn that actually, if you smile sweetly you can often score some extra time. After all, rules where made to be broken. It’s a good idea to make a note of the time that the first bottle arrives so that a conveniently slow service doesn’t eat into your time allowance. If it does, you can then politely make your case and have the missing drinking time added on.
Even when you’ve had your full window of time though it’s still worth the ask. The truth is that each bottle of bottomless prosecco costs the restaurant just a few pounds – they’re hardly going to be giving out ‘the good stuff’ for free but, hey, it’s bottomless! So if you’re the waiter/waitress what would you rather do? Give your table an extra bottle worth £3 knowing it’s likely to result in a much larger tip for you overall (drunk people tend to tip very generously) and they’ll come again or piss them off right before they pay the bill? You do the maths… That being said, this by no means that it’s ok to hassle staff for drink you’re not entitled to BUT there’s no harm in politely asking if it’s a possibility.
That’s ask not demand. I’ve actually sat at a brunch table where people, elegant young women I might add, have literally, actually banged their fists on the tables and football chanted for more bottles to be brought out after the cutoff. In fairness, it worked (if only because the bemused staff were desperate to stop the degenerate behaviour that had descended upon their fancy establishment) but I can confirm that the side dish of intense shame that came with the incident was certainly not worth the extra glass. Which brings me nicely on to my next point.
3. Retain Your Dignity!
Remember when you emerge out of your bottomless brunch bubble at 2pm that the majority of the population aren’t actually drunk. They’re doing the food shop, running errands or perhaps on their lunch break. ‘Tis a very different experience being blind drunk and disorderly at 2pm as it 12 hours before. There is no safety in numbers, no reassuring sights of guys vomiting into gutters allowing you to think ‘well, at least I’m not like that‘. At midnight there’s always someone worse off than you but at midday – well in London, it’s quite likely that at 12pm there will be someone worse off than you but these people are no benchmark against which to measure yourself. Sudden self-awareness can be very sobering when stumbling onto the train to a low chorus of tuts and sniggers. What a waste of good prosecco that would be.
4. Don’t Overdo It
If you had five bottles of free prosecco lined up at home and someone told you that they’d all disappear in 90 minutes, you wouldn’t panickedly glug down all five ‘just because’ would you? If you disagree there are some meetings I think you might need to attend. Seriously. It may be tempting to down as much as you can for the sake of ‘getting your money’s worth’ but is that really the best reason to binge drink? Today it’s downing prosecco. Tomorrow it’s extreme couponing and all visible surfaces of your flat are stacked with loo roll because Tesco had a BOGOF offer you just couldn’t pass up… Don’t be that person.
Even when your prime intention isn’t to get plastered, remembered that it’s still really easy to polish off a bottle to yourself without even thinking about it at a bottomless brunch. Particularly if you have a good server with a keen eye for a dwindling glass – I’m looking at you Laura at Brighton’s Six Cafe, you babe. But, ask yourself this – what’s the need? Do you even want an 8th glass or are you just downing it because someone yelled ‘3 minutes to go!’ across the table? Is it going to be worth the hangover from hell tomorrow? If so, crack on. If not, put it down, ask for a tap water and bask in the glory of your wisdom and the smug knowledge that your best friend is going to be feeling a lot worse than you in the morning.
5. Water Baby!
Speaking of water, you’ll want to do some pre-emptive hydration beforehand so that your body is prepped and primed for the prosecco-based punishment you’re about to put it through. The day before your brunch make sure that you get your full 2 litres in. A huge part of a hangover is dehydration so topping up your body cells with water beforehand makes this less likely. Sip water all throughout the morning of too but stop about two hours before the meal so that you’re not too full in order to avoid nausea. After the brunch, continue to drink water throughout the day and night to dilute your blood alcohol and flush toxins out of your liver before the hangover hits. Your skin will thank you too.
Do you have any useful tips when it comes to eating/drinking out? If so please do tell us in the comments section below!
Did you catch my last post? Introducing: Rich Little Poor Girl