Saigon tapas in South Ken? Bot­tom­less Belli­nis in Bore­ham­wood? Not on my menu, says Will Hersey

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

OK ,so brunch is an easy tar­get with its an­noy­ing port­man­teau name and heav­ily en­trenched smug­ness, but you have to ad­mire it for the chutz­pah of at­tempt­ing to add a fourth meal­time to the three that have served homo sapi­ens since the days of arable farm­ing. Not to men­tion the fact that it also rep­re­sents the ac­cept­able face of morn­ing drink­ing, am I right?

Ex­cept that while it used to be just your most an­noy­ing friend (the one who also uses the word sup­per with a fre­quency that makes you want to join the anarchist party) who would try to make brunch a “thing”, now even your dad’s throw­ing it about, while every­one in the food busi­ness seems to be push­ing the idea of some buzzy he­do­nis­tic brunch scene as if this was New York in the Fifties.

Ex­cept this isn’t New York. And while the food scene here is ar­guably just as good, we’re still Bri­tish. Which means we spend an above av­er­age quota of our days — in­deed lives — hun­gover. Es­pe­cially week­ends. And buzzy means busy, and as every­one who was out the night be­fore knows that’s pretty much the last en­vi­ron­ment on earth we want to be ex­posed to be­fore mid­day on the week­end. We cre­ated the all-day break­fast for this very rea­son.

Brunch is ba­si­cally an in­ven­tion by needy peo­ple to fill ev­ery sin­gle hour of their week­ends with ac­tiv­ity, and by restau­rants to ex­ploit hun­gover peo­ple into pay­ing way too much for some eggs at a time when they might oth­er­wise be closed and we should oth­er­wise still be in bed (or at least on the sofa).

Han­govers should be soli­tary af­fairs spent psych­ing our­selves up to put on a hoodie to go down the road for a can of Coke and some cor­ner shop ba­con, not guf­faw­ing over crab cakes with the kind of peo­ple who freely use the word brunch in the first place.

And any­way, what the fuck’s wrong with lunch?

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