It seems like having brunch in hotels is now the done thing in London. More and more cool hotels are opening which, aside from perhaps a ‘fine dining’ restaurant, also tend to have a more laid back, casual, all day dining restaurant. One which is accessible to to those with average salaries like me; with fair prices and excellent brunch menus. I name but a few when mentioning the Hoi Polloi at the Ace Hotel, the Sea Containers restaurant at the new Mondrian Hotel, the Boundary’s Rooftop (with their fab ‘Elevenses’ menu) and of course the all Firmdale hotels, which also obviously rock a good brunch.
The Hoxton Hotel (part of the Soho House group) in Holborn opened a couple of months ago, and with it Hubbard & Bell, their Cafe/Bar/Grill. The lobby of the Hoxton Hotel is a hive of activity when you walk in, feeling little like a hotel and more like a social meeting space. It also feels very American hipster. It’s filled with (trendy) people lounging on sofas, of people typing away at their laptops, of groups of friends sipping coffees and laughing. It is a warm, welcoming place, where staff instantly smile and greet you.
The bar is apparently well worth a visit for one of their gin-based cocktails, and there were queues at their coffee bar for one of their seriously delicious smelling coffees.
Tucked away in the back you’ll find the Hubbard & Bell restaurant. Another open space, with lines of wooden tables, leather booths on the side and exposed white-wash brick walls. We adored their large off blue lamps hanging above the tables. Again, more smiles from helpful, denim clad staff who swiftly usher you to your sturdy wooden table, and fill your glasses with water from pretty bronze jugs.
The best bit about the menu for me were their juices and smoothie options. It took me a good 10 minutes to decide that the H&B (blueberries/bananas/spirulina/chia/almond milk) was the one for me. And then I enviously watched my sister sip her refreshing Citrus House Press (their Green House Press also really appealed). Prices are so reasonable for these cold pressed juices and smoothies, especially considering their ‘drink in’ and not take away.
As it was 2pm when we got there it was more lunch than brunch time, so I steered away from the very delicious sounding egg dishes and opted for a lamb burger. Mol also went for the meat option, preferring the beef burger. And the father wanted a combination of eggs and meat, so went for the Eggs & Steak. And aioli fries on the side of course. The burgers were served one small floral plates, the fries in what looked like metal cocktail shakers. It all just worked so well.
Throughout, service was faultless. We were served by a super charming Spanish girl, who made it her business to fill our water glasses every so often, to check we were ok, to recommend the best dishes and to bring the food through as quickly as possible. When the bill came my father tipped our new friend on top of the already included service charge. She deserved it.
Hubbard & Bell is cosy, fun and good value. But it was the service there which really stood out for us, and will mean that returning is a given.
It’s location in Holborn is a little random, but you’re on the edge of Covent Garden and Soho and we actually walked there from the Tate Modern. It’s not more an a 30 minute walk, across Blackfriars Bridge and the views are fantastic. Plus, it is really worth checking out the Conflict, Time, Photography exhibition in the Tate Modern (on until the end of March).
199-206 High Holborn
London WC1V 7BD
Photos mine and Hubbard & Bell’s