Want to turn your home into a veritable brunch party of dreams? Here’s how it’s done…
While cocktail hour is a classic and the dinner soirée is a British staple, 2019 is officially the year of the brunch party, and we’re not mad about it.
There’s a reason why brunch is this generation’s meal of choice. And in fact, a brunch party is a pretty genius way to socialise.
You get all the benefits of a delicious meal and seeing your friends, but with the added bonus of having the rest of the day to do as you please.
The other good news? You don’t have to be a pro chef to make the party a success, or even spend loads of money.
All you need is a solid recipe, some artistic table decoration and some fun extras before the compliments start flooding in – all of which we’re here to help you with.
1. Set the scene
You don’t need crystal glasses or yards of opulent satin to make a table look appealing – in fact, embracing a more rustic aesthetic is a sure-fire hit.
Getting a table runner is an easy way of making a big transformation, and one you’ll be able to use afterwards time and time again.
Even better, you won’t have to run all over town to find a store selling it; you can find chic and affordable options at the likes of Zara and H&M (which is also useful if you’re after a new outfit to debut at your brunch).
Once you’re all set with your table runner, grab some tea-light candles and drop them into old jam jars to add some atmosphere.
Handfuls of dried flowers and handmade name tags are two more touches that will look super-impressive on your brunch table.
2. Finesse your menu
Trying to whittle down all the possible options for your brunch spread can feel like a daunting task, but for cook and food writer Melissa Hemsley there’s one clear winner: baked eggs.
“It’s such a crowd-pleaser,” she explains. “I’d go for a kale version for a brunch party – the green looks so beautiful.
Put some black beans in there, too – they’re a real store-cupboard staple. Jazz them up with some mild Tabasco Green Sauce for a bit of warmth, then put the bottle on the table so your guests can have a little more if they want.”
If you’re not familiar with the mildest of the Tabasco pepper sauces, it brings a piquant hit with zingy notes to add some zest to your dishes whilst also being vegan friendly and sugar free. Win win.
It’s also the cupboard essential that transforms your avocados from good to incredible, and Melissa says that sides are key to upping your brunch game.
“Guacamole on the side, for sure,” she says. “I like to do a pea, chickpea and avocado mix so that you can get all the best bits of the guacamole while stretching it further to feed more friends. Finish it all off with some coriander – although that’s a controversial herb!”
3. Coffee up
What is brunch without coffee?
To avoid dashing off to boil the kettle every five minutes, having to remember whose mug is whose, who has non-dairy milk and who has no milk, set up your own bespoke coffee station.
Grab a side table and stock it with cafetières full of your favourite blend and surround them with milk, sugar and whatever caffeine-related accessories your guests could possibly desire.
4. Batch-prep your bevs
Let’s be honest, the food is likely to take up the bulk of your time and attention. After all, it’s the basis of your brunch party.
Don’t add unnecessary stress to your preparation by attempting to mix up a personalised drink on the hop for everyone.
Instead, make a large jug of your chosen cocktail – not forgetting a mocktail option if required – and let your guests help themselves.
“I usually make a massive jug of something like a Bloody Mary,” Hemsley advises.
And while the original red variant gives that classic kick to a Bloody Mary, Hemsley suggests mixing it up by adding some Tabasco Green Sauce for a milder, zestier flavour.
“Just garnish it with some celery and you’re good to go,” she adds.
If you want to go all-out in showing your guests that you’re the ultimate brunch-party host, you can even provide trinkets for your cocktail glasses.
So no more trying to find your glass based on the colour of the lipstick stain.