Daytime drinking is a dangerous pastime. Daytime drinking in the low lit underground Gaucho even more so. You see, despite being bottle fed on gravy and real ale, I’m more Southern Softy that Notorious Northerner when it comes to booze. Give me three drinks and I’m giddy, four and you’ll find me fast asleep in the corner spooning a dog. The latter is not a metaphor for my relationship, my boyfriend would like to point out. The idea of bottomless brunch appeals to me, even more so when it’s the glorious Gaucho offering a two hour spree of unlimited dishes and drinks, but it’s also slightly terrifying.
As it turns out I did find myself tucked up in bed by 2pm sleeping off the Aperol Sptritz, but not before I had a pretty brilliant start to the day at brunch. They really know what they are doing here, with a menu packed with things I want to eat and a team of polished waiting staff happy to replace my empty glass at a seconds notice. Go on, fill me up again please.
Little croissant style pastries greet us at the table, along with an peanut butter dulce de leche which is about as addictive as crack and slightly more calorific. These disappear in seconds. From here it is a free-for-all of food with one rule; finish your plate before ordering the next one. I am ravenous. This is easy work for a pro like me.
Shocker; I eat almost everything, taking in a drinks flight that amounts to an Aperol spritz with every course. Steak and eggs are unsurprisingly brilliant, this being a rather brilliant steak house. The meat blushes pink, the egg oozes with rich yolk. I’m tempted to say I could have eaten twenty of these but I could have if I wanted and I never. I only managed two. Pathetic.
The Eggs Benedict, served with salt beef, is a triumph; the salty meat perfectly balanced against the creamy sauce and crisp muffin. Apologies for the Ainsley Herriot style innuendos. But it really was good. Next is a breaded chunk of gooey Provoleta cheese, with a caramelised onion chutney to cut through the richness. Cheese for breakfast should definitely be more of a thing.
A chorizo sausage sandwich with chimichurri is not that chorizo-y, but I’ll forgive that because it’s delicious. The beans on toast with chorizo is, for me, the only disappointing dish. There’s not enough chorizo and I make a much better version at home.
I’m stuffed by this point, but it would be rude not to try the dessert (and another Aperol Spritz). Banana pancakes don’t quite reach the highs of the ones I devoured daily in Indonesia, but that’s probably not a fair comparison. These did come with another hit of that peanut butter dulce de leche crack though, so let’s call it a draw.
We emerge, blinking, into the sunlight from the dark mouth of Gaucho. I have an exam four days later so it’s home for a nap I go; for others, it’s the perfect start to an all day drinking session. I can’t pretend I’m not jealous.
At £45, the brunch is certainly not cheap, but definitely worth it for a special occasion. The food is brilliant, the drinks free flowing and the service polished. Go hungry and thirsty – preferably with no exams scheduled – and worry about the waistline later.