In the last year, I’ve really... really got into brunch. I’ve eaten my fair share of smashed avocado, and moved from Americanos to Flat Whites, but the only wild thing about my brunches is dosing up on two coffees. After living in London for 7 years, and working for DesignMyNight for 4 of those, I still hadn't been to a ‘Bottomless Brunch’, therefore it seemed only right that I headed on down to The Schoolhouse in Battersea for a proper lesson on how to brunch the London way.
The Venue and Atmosphere
On a wet Sunday afternoon, The Schoolhouse was packed and buzzing. Some indie-folk music was playing throughout the venue and the only table available was ours. Groups of friends sat throughout the venue, drinking coffees, smoothies and of course... bubbles. Our table was in the middle of the room, next to a wall of old school board games as our neighbours were finishing up their eggs whilst playing a round of Trivial Pursuit - The Disney Edition.
I’d done my homework and knew that The Schoolhouse offers some of the best craft beers in Clapham – but that was for my next trip, today was for brunch. For £30, The Schoolhouse offers a main brunch menu item and bottomless Mimosas, Kir Royals, Bellinis or Bloody Marys for two hours. We started off with two mimosas as a refreshing way to start the sure-to-be-messy session.
The Brunch Experience
Their brunch menu offers the textbook dishes, as well some extra-curricular options like the 'Fat Boy Slim' with smoked salmon, avocado, poached eggs and asparagus with more greens. Creatures of habit, we both did our standard brunch orders: for me it had to be a fry up courtesy of 'The Headmasters Big Breakfast' with Cumberland sausage, bacon, fried eggs, sautéed potatoes, kale & hazelnut pesto mushrooms, TSH beans and sourdough toast. My boyfriend opted for the 'Smashed Avo' - on toasted sourdough with poached eggs, crumbled feta and pomegranate.
From the description, I knew my dish was going to be the perfect equation of a breakfast. You could tell the meat was good quality – thick cut bacon, and flavour-some sausage. The veggie bits were spot on too with herby mushrooms, crispy potatoes and The Schoolhouse beans swimming in a delicious smoky, paprika tomato sauce. Whatever you order at The Schoolhouse, make sure you get a side of those bad boys. If smashed avocado is your thing, then you’re right to order it here. The smooth and creamy avocado wasn’t bitter and we could have eaten tubs full. Topped with perfectly poached eggs, tangy feta and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, it was clear that my boyfriend's plate was an A* brunch dish.
After one more Mimosa each, we decided to mix it up and move on to Kir Royales. Rich with blackcurrent liquor and orange rind, they were the perfect tipple to have whilst we mulled over the dessert menu. This isn’t included in the bottomless brunch deal, but we were feeling both tipsy and greedy.
This is bad to admit, but when I was 11 having school dinners, I would trade everything I had to offer for portions of Jam Roly-Poly or Treacle Sponge. I loved those puddings, even though they turned me into one. With The Schoolhouse’s homemade dessert menu a nostalgic one, I knew I was in for a treat. After my big fry-up, I opted for the Fresh Strawberry & Vanilla Bean Sunday, the vanilla ice cream was smooth and tasty, resting on top of freshly cut strawberries and drizzled with a strawberry sauce. Our next dessert, the Apple Crumble, was a big ramekin full of cinnamon apples, topped with chunky crumble and yellow custard. It was spicy, warming and sweet - the perfect Sunday afternoon pud.
We pulled ourselves away from The Schoolhouse having had an amazing two hours of delicious food and drink. And although a restaurant bar, the venue’s relaxed atmosphere made you want to spend the whole day in there. Their fun old-school theme along with rich dishes and a great drinks menu means you’ll be back again and again - the perfect way to relive your school days (or at least the best bits).