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7 brunch spots with an international twist

A bona fide excuse to drink before midday, plus, it's way easier to get a table booking for a morning slot. What are you waiting for? Bag brunch at one of these Leicestershire and Rutland gems and enjoy more than just eggs on toast!

Who doesn’t love a bloody good brunch? Pancake stacks, avo on toast, flat whites…and even unlimited cocktails! Plus, with tables booked up across the counties, brunch is a good shout if you can’t nab that sought-after lunch booking.

Whether it’s a Smørrebrød and coffee, naan wrap with a tandoori filling, or a Caribbean-inspired brekkie, here are some cracking spots that prove there’s more to brunch than just bacon and eggs.

SWEDISH: SCANDIMANIA, Uppingham

Quite possibly my fave place to eat in Uppingham, and while you currently can’t actually enjoy the decor inside, there’s a small seating area outside where you can sip your coffee and tuck into a cardamom custard and cloudberry doughnuts or Kardemummabullar – cardamom buns. For brunch you can grab a homemade coriander, cashew and chilli pesto Smørrebrød (open sandwich) topped with lime avo smash or a hot salmon one, finished off with a frangipane bun of course!

AMERICAN: KAI, Leicester

Open just for brunch at the mo, there’s no other place you want to go for fluffy pancakes. This cosy little spot in St Martin’s Square is always a buzz with hungry punters and when I’ve visited, pretty much everyone is ordering plates piled high with pancakes. Order a stack of three or five with sweet fillings including berries, bananas, maple syrup, strawberries and hazelnut chocolate sauce and the savoury ones sounds just as good; Red Leicester cheese, bacon, onion and maple syrup plus, they even do vegan ones. Hmmm decisions, decisions. Serving brunch Weds – Sun 9am – 4pm. No booking required. Reopening fully from May 17.

FRENCH: BISTROT PIERRE Leicester

Avez-vous faim? While this French restaurant doesn’t serve a dedicated brunch menu, there’s still plenty to tuck into from the main menu that you can enjoy including a variety of their starters like toasted sourdough topped with fricassée of wild mushrooms, deep-fried brie in a crisp rosemary crumb with plum chutney and freshly baked bread and from the mains, you can even try a traditional French steak-frites, chicken chasseur and more. Currently only takeaway but fully reopening from May 17.

CARIBBEAN, TURTLE BAY, Leicester

A long, lazy brunch served every day with 2 hours of unlimited drinks: sounds like a perfect way to catch up with your besties and, the food ain’t bad either: if you love food that packs a flavour punch, you’ll enjoy everything from the sunshine inspired Big Kingston Grill Down – a classic breakfast with a Caribbean twist, to the infamous Vegan Yardbird that comes with a soft bara roti stack, patty, topped with avo, maple syrup, refreshing watermelon and a slight kick of hot sauce or their version of avocado smash served with a homemade roti. We suggest booking as early as possible as it’s such a popular haunt for alfresco eating. Reopening May 17.

MEXICAN: BOWDEN STORES, Market Harborough

Pre-covid, the Specials Menu in this gorgeous village cafe changed daily, but for brunch I know their burrito wrap is always a winner. It comes with smoked salmon, bacon or sausage and don’t forget the chilli sauce. It’s all comes in a tasty tortilla wrap and can be enjoyed in their sunny alfresco seating area. We hope the veggie one is back on the menu when they reopen indoors this month. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed for the return of their Mexican beef hash with sour cream and chilli as well as their famous burrito bowl – a spicy mix of beans, fajita chicken and superfood rice in a crispy taco bowl with avo, cheddar and sour cream (pic above). Deliciosa!

ITALIAN: JUST SO ITALIAN, Market Harborough, Stamford and Leicester

You’ll be spoilt for choice at this family-run Italian deli. For brunch you can grab a homemade Italian sausage rolls, courgette and taleggio (an Italian version of Brie) tarts, fresh Sicilian cannoli, freshly baked focaccia bread with Italian marmalade. Is your stomach rumbling yet? Can’t decide between lasagna or meatballs? Order both! They also have baked bombolone (Italian filled doughnuts) as well as a variety of more-ish arancini not to mention, what is quite possibly the best coffee in town. Plus, they sell a range of delicious Italian goodies so you can stock up your pantry. If you can’t get to Harbs or Stamford, they’ve got a branch in Leicester too. Hurrah!

ENGLISH: ORBIS, Oakham

For a posh English brunch, try the beef and blue cheese on sourdough at this Oakham eatery. The place has a has a hearty, welcoming atmosphere and the food is great and you can dine here whether you’re with girlfriends or out and about with the kids. For veggies, the wild mushroom and tarragon risotto sounds sublime. They’ve even got a variety of sourdough sandwiches and most importantly, cocktails. All served in their outdoor area.

INDIAN: THE VERANDAH, Leicester

This fairly new-ish fusion cafe/bar opened at the end of last year over in Clarendon Park Road. They serve Indian food with a contemporary British twist and there’s plenty to choose from their new menu that you could have for brunch. Think Indian-inspired grilled cheese with masala chips and slaw – as well as naan wraps with a choice of tandoori fillings. They’ve also got tiffins, soft flat breads topped with masala potatoes, pickle, red onion, green chilli and pickle (if your stomach can take it so early in the day) plus, sides like mango salad, chowki chips – with a Verandah twist and punching with flavour. Use their web app to pre-order or reserve an outdoor table.

More eating out inspo…

Cocktail bars for outdoor drinking
Family-friendly post-lockdown pubs

And if you’re brunching at home…

Make chocolate waffle brownies

Find more ideas here

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