It has recently been claimed that brunch is the opiate of the masses. This was in response to Bernard Salt’s claim that, if millennials spent less money on brunch, then we’d be able to afford houses. With this (and the slim prospects of me buying a house in the near future) in mind, it seems like an entirely appropriate time for me to post my first brunch-based review.
Brunch has become an extremely popular thing in recent years, becoming (for some people) almost an ever present weekend fixture. As something of a brunch novice, I ventured towards the simpler (and ultimately better value) end of the spectrum: bottomless brunch. Bottomless brunch often means bottomless bubbles, but a limited amount of food – feeling disenfranchised by such a notion, I went for one step further: bottomless booze and bottomless bites. This is harder to come by, but it’s something that Drink, Shop & Do champions on a Sunday.
What do they do?
Drink, Shop & Do refers to itself as a cafe by day. bar by night. Indeed, as the name suggests, one can drink, shop, and do. The bottomless brunch costs £20, and encompasses two hours of prosecco, Bloody Marys, and a cracking selection of bagels.
What did we have?
Unsurprisingly, we went for a combination of what was on offer. We started off with Prosecco, which was surprisingly drinkable – we certainly didn’t feel as though there had been a cop-out, quality-wise, on that front.
Mike later opted for a Bloody Mary (see below), which received his (lofty) seal of approval. I gather that it wasn’t the strongest cocktail in the world, but be under no illusions: the enthusiasm of the staff in terms of refilling our drinks made it clear that they were fully in favour of ‘vast’ consumption.
The food was, if anything, an even more pleasant surprise. Expecting some fairly bland options, we were very impressed with what was on offer. I started with the Sun-dried Tomato and Tapenade Bagel – there was a solid layer of tapenade, packed full of flavour (and aiding the lining of my stomach). Indeed, I couldn’t resist having a second of these later on. Mike went for the Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel, which was met with similar delight – again, there was no stinginess with the topping!
This was followed up by the Avocado and Pickled Onion offering – this was another hearty helping, with levels of avocado that’d leave Bernard Salt foaming at the mouth (but not owing to a gluttonous swig of prosecco).
During all this, we kept ourselves entertained with various card games (and excellent chat), courtesy of Drink, Shop & Do’s selection of games (the vast majority of which were versions of Scrabble). Whilst these games degenerated alongside the demise of our sobriety, this was a nice addition to proceedings.
Value for money: 5/5 – can’t really argue with £20 for two hours of unlimited booze and excellent bagels. Would definitely return. Only complaint would be that the Ham Hock ran out before we could get at it. Shame.
Pretentiousness: 2/5 – refreshing and simple. Everyone there (staff included) seemed keen to just have a laugh, without any great concern over the place being something otherworldly.
Atmosphere: 4/5 – very relaxed, and enhanced by the provision of playing cards/widespread inebriation.
Drink, Shop & Do lived up to the hype and we shall certainly return. At £20 plus tip, it doesn’t break the bank, and is probably not going to be the difference between ever becoming a home-owner, and forever renting. Sorry, Bernard.