It was our last day in London and we’d just met some of Jonathan’s friends for brunch in Hampstead. I was still sulking that we weren’t going for crepes at the Hampstead Crepe Cart, but then again…it doesn’t open until 12pm. LAME! Don’t they know those crepes are like crack and I need my fix? Guess not.
Cote in Hampstead Village
Anyways, we had brunch at Cote in Hampsted Village with some of Jonathan’s ex-patriot friends Julie and AJ. He knows them from when he lived and worked in London and they had the most amazing stories to tell about the Paralympics (which we didn’t get to see in the US. That’s almost as lame as the crepe cart not opening until 12pm).
The brunch was just ok. In fact, uninspiring. But the restaurant scene was a little hilarious and terrifying at the same time…either way, worth a deeper look. You see, since we’d met right after school drop off, all the wealthy mommies of the area met for coffee and brunch before heading out to run errands, go shopping, or find themselves back at their homes, alone, rearranging pillow shams while their stock trading hubbies throw money around for a living. I’m obviously making a lot of assumptions here, but you would have done the same.
It was crazy. We walked in the doors and had to climb our way through the stroller pileup in the entranceway. Each one just a cart used as a coat rack for leather jackets with real fur collars and designer shopping bags. Every table was full of mom’s sipping their coffees and teas, sitting in jodhpur pants crossed, and wearing designer wool sweaters that were made to look hand-knit. Most of them had newborn babes dangling out from under their armpits suckled on their mothers’ teets for dear life while they gossiped about the frumpy mums who weren’t invited to brunch or the sexy French piano teacher they’d all hired for private lessons, knowing their kids don’t possess musical ears or the slightest interest in playing the piano.
Being one of the few men in the room I felt like prey (and no, they couldn’t tell I was gay just from looking at me, because I had a totally manly scarf on that morning and it’s the UK….most guys look gay in the UK!).
So I ordered the eggs benedict since that’s what I’ll always order when I see it on a menu and I haven’t tried it in that restaurant before. We chatted a little longer while unattended children on the verge of walking tried crawling up my leg with their noses dribbling with snot and pudgy hands with a tattered piece of bagel and cream cheese. I don’t think someone could have created a better contraceptive if they’d tried. I almost cried a little with freight.
Jonathan got the scrambled eggs and salmon….which is what he got so I don’t have much to say about it.
I’ll just say this about the restaurant. The food was overpriced, and this is all I got. No sides, not even a slice of orange as if to say, “we would have liked to give you some hash-browns with this, but we’re in a recession.” Maybe I just have greedy American expectations when it comes to a $18 brunch plate (then again, we didn’t pay….thanks Julie and AJ). But from the reviews online, I don’t think this chain of restaurants in London is worth the effort.
So we moved on to a stroll of the Islington high street from Angel Station. The day was clearing up and by the time we’d finished a tour of my uncle’s medical practice (I’d never seen it before), I was hungry again since the brunch was so….minimal.
So I suggest we get some “good ass fish and chips!” And that’s what we did. Check out the next post about The Sea Shell of Lisson Grove. Quite possibly, the best fish and chips in London.