As the sun makes it’s first appearances of the year, Emma Filby seeks out a long and leisurely al fresco brunch…

A few years ago, I returned from living in Dubai with only one regret: no more brunch. In Dubai, brunch was an institution for all ex-pats and an opportunity for us to discuss both business and pleasure. It was never a case of if you were going, but where.

We would all put on our new clothes and obligatory sunglasses (the bigger the better, as if we were extras from Sex and the City) and totter to that week’s chosen venue. Brunch was part of our way of life, a great excuse to get together with friends, and an even better excuse to start the weekend with some great food and a few delicious drinks.

I thought that my glamourous long brunches in the sun had been left behind, across oceans. That was until I discovered Brace and Browns bottomless brunch on Whiteladies Road. I can appreciate that Bristol isn’t quite Dubai or Manhattan, and I am certainly no extra from Sex in the City, but it is in a stunning part of Bristol and I’d already heard rave reviews of their food. Could my brunch-weekends be rekindled in Blighty? I jumped at the opportunity to book a table for my friends and I to see what the fuss what about.

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We were lucky with the weather, the first proper day of spring and, although only 13 degrees, after months of the cold and rain, we eagerly picked a table outside and dusted off our Ray Bans.

Situated at the bottom of Whiteladies Road, Brace and Browns is an establishment already highly acclaimed for its food. Most city dwellers have eagerly booked a spot for their famous, award-winning Sunday lunch, so I knew we were going to be in for something special.

Bottomless brunch at Brace and Browns runs every Saturday from 10am to 1pm, or on a Sunday from 10am to 12pm, and for only £20 you can choose unlimited freshly cooked brunch dishes and as much Prosecco as you can drink (there is also a non alcoholic brunch for £ 13.50).

The menu boasts dishes such as wild mushroom, truffle, spinach and scrambled egg on toasted focaccia, bubble and squeak with bacon, halloumi and poached egg, and all-American classic, pancakes with candied bacon.

The owner, David, was a fantastic host and came over to greet us to explain that he had personally made the pork and apricot sausages himself the day before. David provided us with blankets to keep the chill off (remember that though the sun was shining, we were still in early March) and told us to order as many dishes as we liked, but it was advisable to order two at a time so that the food didn’t get cold. I must admit I was a little sceptical at first. Surely for £20 the food isn’t going to be that great, or the Prosecco will resemble something that would remove gloss from your skirting boards – how wrong I was.

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The food was exceptional, as you would expect from Brace and Browns, and the Prosecco was smooth and easy to drink. We sat there all morning ordering dish after dish and supping Processo, discussing the events from the week and watching the world go by. It really was a wonderful day, and just proved to me that you don’t have to be in Dubai to sit in the sun, dine all day and sip a good fizz.

I can’t recommend highly enough the bottomless brunch experience at Brace and Browns. With summer days on the horizon, I suggest booking a table now – and don’t forget to tell them that Emma Filby sent you.


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