Breakfast, most days, is a functional meal. A bowl of soggy cereal, a few slices of wholegrain toast and we’re satisfied enough to set off on our day.
Brunch, however – not the Ulster Fry type, but the one with avocados and quinoa and poached eggs and chia seeds – has blossomed in Belfast. Stroll around the suburbs on a weekend mid-morning and you’ll find queues of young families and couples awaiting their flat white and avo-on-toast.
It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy lazy weekends – but what if you combined it with the fine Northern Ireland tradition of day drinking?!
Horatio Todd’s in Ballyhackamore has introduced “Bottomless Brunch”, a relatively new concept to the province, which we’re informed is huge in Dubai. It consists of a £27.50 brunch menu, which you can wash down with unlimited Prosecco, mimosas or Bloody Mary’s.
We are seated in the restaurant, which feels very dark on this sunny Saturday morning and I’d suggest they find a way to seat customers around the huge windows at the front of the bar instead (not least because Ballyhack makes for superb people-watching).
The menu is impressively diverse, with everything from eggs royale, filled croissants and French toast to huevos rancheros and an Ulster fry.
There is chargrilled minute steak, asparagus with poached eggs and – how could they not feature it – smashed avocado on Zac’s bakehouse sourdough.
I plump for the breakfast taco, assuring myself I’ll need something filling to ensure I’m not rolling home after a few glasses of bubbly.
Crispy potatoes, chorizo, soft fried eggs and pico de gallo (Mexican salsa) are generously heaped on top of a tortilla. It’s dangerously moreish – and on its own it’s priced at a mere £6.50 which is great value considering how big the serving is.
My friend goes for French toast with bacon and maple syrup. It’s tasty, but while bread should ideally be slightly stale for perfect French toast, this is a little tough to chew.
Our glasses are topped up throughout, so we’re happy and we enquire about the house rules. Diners can avail of one drink at a time and will have the table for a maximum of two hours from when the first drink is placed on the table.
The price certainly won’t disturb the regulars. The only problem is you’ll need an afternoon lie down to recover.