I'm a virgin... a boozy brunch virgin. Yes, I’ve finally said it and Lord it feels good. Although I’m not proud of this little confession, I have, however, decided to mend my silly ways by heading to London’s most notorious brunch party Hip Hop Brunch. The ticket price for Hip Hop Brunch is a very reasonable £40 and your ticket guarantees you not only bottomless drinks between 12pm – 1pm, but delicious food and a freaking great time.
Determined to keep things fresh, Hip Hop Brunch is held across various London locations and you only get confirmation on where you're to head the Tuesday before the event. Pretty secret, huh? With firm instructions to head South, we landed outside Fu Manchu in Clapham.
Stepping inside the venue, dim lighting and smoky vibes set the scene and to my absolute delight, inflatable pieces of musical equipment were dotted around the joint (including a microphone that I might, or might not have, held onto all night). The venue itself had plenty of seating and a large dance area perfect for lingering between.
Come the second flow of dim sum baskets and half way through the event, everyone was pretty merry. How could they not be - the cocktails were so good, the tunes were banging and the atmosphere was electric. Although I'm sure I masked my merriment very well by 'singing' into my inflatable microphone for twenty odd minutes, everyone was in the same boat, a lovely drunken one.
The two quirks that stood out about Hip Hop Brunch? Their wild karaoke sessions and crazy tattoo artists. With booze well in tow and spirits high, the glamorous crowd jumped at the chance to belt out some hip hop favourites like 'Baby Got Back'. Seeing as I tired out my vocals with my inflatable toy, I opted to get inked instead. Thankfully these guys used coloured markers and not actual needles (that would have been an interesting phone call to Mother).
Food and Drinks
I’m not 100% sure if the bottomless drinks are Mimosas at every Hip Hop Brunch event, but on our visit they were. And I couldn't have been any more delighted with our fizzy, alcoholic breakfast drink. We made the rookie mistake of thinking these guys would go easy on the prosecco and hard on the orange juice. Boy, were we wrong. It was all fizz and little juice.
Feeling quite tipsy (and very excited about losing my brunch virginity) myself and my boisterous buddy actually managed to stay in our seats for the first course to arrive. Being in Fu Manchu we were, of course, served steamed baskets of dim sum for starters and fried and baked dim sum baskets for our second course. My favourite bite had to be Har Gau – King Prawn Dumpling in Translucent Skin. Yes, it’s simple choice, but the flavour was powerful. In a very admirable second place were the Duck Spring Rolls. They were so light and crispy that all I wanted to do was order portion after portion. But with the DJ spinning absolute whoppers that obviously wasn't an option.
I like to exaggerate just as much as the next guy, but the crew behind the boisterous Hip Hop Brunch turned what should have been a normal Saturday into party hearty haven. It’s ultimately an invitation to leave the real world for theirs… and who could say no to that? Not me, that's for sure. If you do one thing this year, let it be a boozy brunch with these hedonistic heroes.