Windswept mornings crept into mild afternoons, the pale yellow sun overhead. Brown and white polka dot dresses, white fedora perched nonchalantly atop a frizzy careless mane. Streets outpouring with spectators on the lookout for a Sunday treat, raucous laughter, the sound is oh so sweet. For it was Sunday Funday, the day of rest, where boozy brunch at Little Nan’s Bar Fitzrovia would commence, pitchers of cocktails awaiting to tend to dry lips. We would crumble moist chocolate cake in our hands, plunging strawberries into sandpapered throats, while absentmindedly dipping French Fries into textured hummus, falafel teasing at the edge of sensation. Crispy balls of deliciousness entered waiting mouths, and who could help but adore the First Lady Windsor who whetted our lips with readiness and delight, white rum waltzing with orange juice in an elegant facade. While more of an afternoon tea or snack fest than ‘brunch’ nevertheless the copious amounts of alcohol that swept into our worlds were very much boozy, as the sun grew in wondrous splendor outside.
Inside we were welcomed into a hodgepodge of interior styles; blue leopard print tablecloths adorned with boozy brunch specials, teal blue walls contrasted against coral jungles. At the back of the room lay a dimly lit cranny upholstered with tapestries and portraits, overhanging vine leaves trailing over portraits of the Queen. Welcomed to our seats by the window, we sat in anticipation, welcomed with ‘teacups of prosecco’ that bathed our mouth in a sea of bubbles. A novel idea, Little Nan’s Bar was famed for its eccentricity, clashing prints and colours not the only quirky trait that they possessed, teapots of cocktails adorned with bright neon cocktail umbrellas, afternoon tea stands with snacks delight. Quintessentially British, Little Nan’s Bar almost reminded me of Pat Butcher popping over from Eastenders, as maximalism thrived in a heavily printed patchwork of aesthetic prowess. Nothing about our boozy brunch was subtle but it was this ‘loud in your face’ decor and welcoming drink that proved why it’s famed for being the place to be to indulge in a Sunday Brunch.
But why Little Nan’s Bar, I hear you ask, when the interiors scream of an 80’s pop icon who accidentally fell into a jungle and met Pat Butcher along the way? Run by Tristian and founded in 2013 in honour of his late Nan Jojo, ‘Little Nan’s’ is a welcome homage to Jojo’s larger than life, quirky personality, with a cooler than cool Nan’s living room, with bunting, exotic plants, a zebra-patterned sofa and fairylights among other decorative touches, proving that Nana Jojo was far from boring. In other words Little Nan’s Bar is like a Typical Nan’s living room on acid, garish brights and gilted portraits making up her reputation as an eccentric,lavish party Queen. With that in mind, we were ready to re-live Nan Jojo’s eccentric world, prosecco cups knocked back, stomachs gurgling with hunger. After a reminder about my dietary requirements and allergies, a vegetarian platter was brought out to me, while Marie had her Little Nan’s Bar classics: crumbed scotch egg battled with sausage rolls, while coronation chicken slept with beef finger sarnies, which one would she choose first? And who could forget the vegetarian in the room, would my appetite be whetted, cucumber mayo mini sandwiches claiming ownership of said mouth against the quinoa salad sarnie? But could they be no match when lustrous falafel had come to town, paprika hummus wrapped around hungry lips?
From the start it was clear that vegetarian platters are not their specialty, quinoa and salad finger sandwiches dry and lifeless, it craved an addition of drenching dressing. But the blip was momentary for the cucumber sandwiches and falafel had saved the day, cucumber moistened with a garlic mayo, breaded falafel creamed with flavoured hummus. And even the little French Fries had come to play, popped into paprika hummus your eyes widened with smiled delight. Undoubtedly the cucumber mayo was the star of the show, so simple yet so delicious, you combed through them in a few seconds flat. And even the meat aficionado craved the vegan delight of hummus, plunged into boozy brunch mouths with sheer joy. Marie’s meat banquet proved to be a first time Scotch Egg chaser, what was this she decried, bemused by the hard boiled egg enclosed in sausage meat rolled in fried breadcrumbs. She liked it, she declared surprised, sucking on the crumbs until there were no morsels left. And while she did not care much for the beef which she stated was dry, the coronation chicken was a meat eaters kryptonite, licking her fingers clean as chicken escaped into her famished belly.
Our cocktails had arrived and we were ready to get merry, thumbing through a retro drinks menu with cocktails a’plenty. Settling on Queen Pat Butcher and First Lady Windsor, we drank heartily with gladness in our hearts , rum toying with our mouth in a sensuous Merengue. The Queen Pat Butcher was loud, spiced rum cascading with grenadine enriched by punchy lemon juice and tart bitter lemon, while the First Lady Windsor took a flight to tropical paradise, vodka, Malibu and white rum slipping into a fruity sea, orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and fresh lime begging to be bathed in. Both cocktails swooped into our consciousness and embraced us in their fun loving ways, caressing us with warming adoration, as we imagined the golden Caribbean sun stroking silky sand beaches, the foamy water lapping at our ticklish toes. The brunch was a hoot, a surprise, a booze fest that only Sundays were made for, as we giggled like school girls, recounting tales of lovers past. And what could be the more perfect addition to Sunday Funday than cakes galore, lined up in a row waiting to be gobbled whole. There was strawberry chocolate cake that spattered our lips with chocolate crumbs, while a chocolate Oreo brownie was chomped by ravenous teeth. And lest we forget the iced cupcake with vanilla swirls and strawberry curls, as our hands got sticky from eating all that cake.
Afternoon fled into early evening, alas we must bid Little Nan’s bar adieu, the sun had slunk back into the shadows, and our job here was done. But even later that evening, drinking dubious cocktails with a date, I still remembered the taste of First Lady Windsor in my mouth. Not like that, get your mind out of the gutter.
Have You Ever Been To A Boozy Sunday Brunch?
Please note we were invited as guests of Little Nan’s Bar for complimentary food and drinks but all opinions are my own and are not affected by complimentary services.