I took the liberty of booking a table for myself and a friend at the (appropriately named) Hangover Club on a rooftop near London Bridge at the weekend. Having been to see The Stone Roses the night before I had anticipated our hangovers to be off the richter scale and wasn’t far wrong, on arrival we could quickly tell that we weren’t the only casualties but I think it’s fair to say we took the prize for the baggiest eyes. This wasn’t to last long however as these guys serve up a mean brunch courtesy of a street food stall called The Good Egg, and cocktails from the Gin Shed.
I’d heard rave reviews of The Good Egg before but never crossed paths with them so I was pretty excited to taste their eggy creations. They had on offer chorizo, egg and avocado toasted sourdough sandwiches, gigantic breakfast burritos, salmon and spinach omelettes, steak and eggs, and an interesting Tunisian dish called Shakshuka – a stew with eggs poached in a smoky, spiced tomato and pepper sauce, served with merguez sausages (my favourites!), yoghurt with lemon, and rustic bread for dipping.
I immediately opted for the Shakshuka which was thoroughly awesome, the eggs were perfectly poached amongst the spicy tomatoes (still a touch runny), the sausages were bursting with flavour, and the yoghurt on the side added an extra dippy dimension for dipping my face in, ahem sorry bread in. Merguez sausages if you don’t know already are from north Africa, they can be made with either lamb or beef and are spiced with cumin, chilli and harissa, I always bring a load home from visiting my brother in France as they can be hard to come across over here. All the elements of this dish work extremely well together, now that I’ve discovered it I will definitely be attempting to recreate it at home and I can see it becoming a firm favourite. It’s worth pointing out that the breakfast burrito cannot be underestimated either, I tried a mouthful and was like WOAH…hang on a minute, we have a showdown! Next time I’ll be ordering one of those to figure out which one I like best, it’s a tough call between these two…..
To accompany our brunch we each chose a bloody mary, mine was a bloody burro with chicken stock fat-washed tequila (not sure if I understand what that is if I’m honest!?), smoked chipotle, fresh coriander, tomato, achiote (?) and citrus. Anyway whatever was in it worked a bloody treat, having said that I thought my friend’s ‘Hangover Club Bloody Mary’ was even better than mine which is saying something. There are a few others to choose from and some more quirky breakfast inspired cocktails such as bacon n’ eggs which actually contains both, remarkably it even looks like a fried egg in a glass with bacon rashers sticking out of the top, I have to try one of these next time!
Whilst finishing our brunch we noticed a bit of commotion at a table opposite ours, everyone seemed to be downing cocktails with others filming it. Turned out they were doing Red eye cocktails (made famous in the film Cocktail); blood shot vodka, tomato, lager and a raw egg all downed in one go. Every time someone orders one a member of staff has to knock one back as well, in fact the barman seemed quite keen in persuading us to do one funnily enough. In chatting to him I was interested to know what else goes on in this place as we were having a great time. That evening they were hosting the ‘Picnic Club’, an evening of drinks and luxurious snacks such as scotch quail’s eggs from the Good Egg guys. The bouquets of flowers in the shot above were in fact all edible flowers for the picnic club, who knew?! This was just one of several projects taking place, it’s worth checking their website for more information on upcoming events.
Aside from the fantastic food on offer here, their bar (aptly named the Gin Shed) is stocked with a selection of fine gins. I’m not going to pretend to be a gin connoisseur but after this experience I could very well become one. The ever friendly barman kindly gave us tasters of some of their best ones and it was a huge eye opener for me, off the back of this we had to try a luxury gin and tonic before we left and we were fully blown away. Mine had red peppercorns and juniper berries floating on the top and had to be the silkiest smooth G&T known to man, the gin was called Cream. These guys don’t muck around when it comes to gin, or brunch, or anything else for that matter.
One of the highlights of our day came a little later when we became chatty with a well known style icon who had been there all day, he was super friendly and even mucked around behind the bar with us for photos. He also prompted me to do a Red eye cocktail by telling me not to be such a pussy when I said I was a bit scared of the egg, I couldn’t not do one after that really!
There is no pretentiousness in this place, just a bunch of really nice hard working guys who want to deliver the best possible experience for everyone involved, we ended up staying there for six hours before we left because we were made to feel so welcome. I recently asked my followers whether they thought I should give places scores from now on and the consensus was a definite hell yes, so I decided to give scores out of 10 but to reserve a special Spinal Tap score of 11 for anywhere that exceeded all expectations. I never thought anywhere would go up to 11 but you know what, The Hangover Club definitely DOES go up to 11. I can’t really say much more than that, go check it out for yourself and sue me if I’m wrong.
Don’t forget to head out onto the terrace for an amazing view of the London shard if it’s a nice day.
All the info you need is on the website http://thehangoverclub.com or follow them on twitter @TheHangoverClub
You can also follow the Good Egg guys on twitter @TheGoodEgg_