Normally when I go for a boozy brunch, I go the whole hog. Bottomless boozy brunch, a focussed attitude and an empty stomach – as a northerner it’s very important that I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. But this time round I actively opted for a restaurant that didn’t offer a bottomless selection of alcohol. Maybe I’m subconsciously detoxing, who knows (for those of you that scoff, having just one or two is possibly the closest I’ll ever get to an alcoholic detox). I was meeting a friend for a post-holiday catch up and needed somewhere decently priced, suitably airy and a stone’s throw from London Bridge. So, I turned to the ever-reliable Drake & Morgan Collection, a group that do decent food and amiable atmosphere in a fairly open place and relaxed setting – I often pop over to The Refinery, Bankside with work for a celebratory Friday (or indeed any day) drink. I was in luck this time too – The Folly was just over the river by Monument and seemed to have a fairly inoffensive brunch offering.
The D&M group do have similar looking restaurants – they seem to enjoy high ceilings, exposed beams and light wood choices. Open up the space between restaurant, bar & kitchen, throw in a facade of windows and you have yourself a winner – the feeling of breathing space in central London. If that doesn’t call for a celebratory Bloody Mary, what will? My friend Ellie went for the Bloody Mary – nice kick of tabasco (I know that my fellow Boozy Bunch writer Grant would have preferred more, but the balance was nice for me) and some cracked black pepper which was a welcome addition. I have to admit, I’m not often a fan of having to crunch on black pepper (I’d rather have it ground) but the texture was a nice change here. Personally for me, the only think the drink needed was some more lemon – I’m a big citrus fan. I decided to try one of their variations – the ‘Tomatini’ was Ketel one vodka, tomato juice, balsamic vinegar and lemon. Too much lemon ironically here, the vinegar didn’t come through enough. But still pleasant. £8 each for these is a bit expensive in my opinion.
After all this talk of tomatoes, I’m feeling rather peckish! So on to the brunch. Eggs Benedict & Full English were clear choices here and in my ind always good measures of a restaurant’s brunch capabilities. I was happy with slightly less food knowing I was going to be gorging on pulled pork that evening (and gorge I did, meat sweats!). Ellie isn’t a fan of eggs or mushrooms, so these were effortlessly opted out of – she didn’t request anything extra (mistake in my mind) but we were convinced they added bacon and toast to compensate, which is always a nice touch. The Eggs Benedict was satisfactory – yolks could have been slightly runnier and the muffins weren’t toasted, which I find a little bit lazy. But a nice, citrus-packed hollandaise (are you sensing a theme running through my review?) made the dish worth the £8. £10 for the Full English is a pretty decent price in The City as well.
Overall, Drake & Morgan have another successful place to while away a pleasant couple of hours. Despite being in The City, it did get busier as the day progressed and is in keeping with the brand. Did this call for a celebratory Prosecco? Well, of course it did.