Facing Parliament and the London Eye is the London Marriott Hotel County Hall, where hidden inside is Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar. Paula and I visited to sample their new weekend brunch menu, which offers two courses and bottomless bubbles for just £41 per person.
The restaurant setting is as beautiful as you might expect from a five-star hotel. It still has some of the 18th-century decor, with grand crystal chandeliers and large windows across one whole side of the restaurant which overlooks the River Thames. The view was lovely and as you are based on the Southbank you can see the London Eye and Big Ben throughout the restaurant. To get to the restaurant you have to walk through the bar, which is very spacious and had some great detailing. Gillray’s bar has a great selection of gins and is a perfect place to spend a long afternoon or a nice cocktail or two for the evening ahead. We got there for 12pm and the restaurant started to fill up very quickly so I’d recommend booking.
The brunch menu has a wide variety and is broken down into various sections; eggs, cereals, meat, treats as well as your add-ons. As you can imagine as a foodie it was a struggle to know which to start with first. Even though Gillray’s is listed as a steakhouse the brunch menu also caters for vegetarians well with popular choices like avocado on toast and quinoa porridge with almond milk, alongside the timeless classics of eggs benedict and royale.
To start we were treated to a little sampler snack, Yorkshire puddings with cheddar cheese. The Yorkshires were really good, crispy and oozing with medium strength cheddar and on the side both the sour cream and horseradish complemented the puddings well, a good treat before the large feasts ahead.
I went for the One Pan English, Gillray’s take on the full English breakfast, which included two cumberland sausages, a large smoked bacon chop, both black and white pudding, a good serving of bone marrow, confit vine tomatoes, their own made baked beans, grilled flat cap mushrooms and a fried egg. As you might expect from a large plate this is for the hungrier amongst you.
The one pan was served on a larger plate and the sausages were cooked well as was the large bacon chop. The slightly spiced homemade beans went well with the black and white pudding which was a good size and not overpowering as some black puddings can be. The eggs were good and still had a runny yolk, something many other restaurants can struggle with on a busy brunch service. It pains me to admit I struggled to finish it and had to leave some room for my second course of waffles.
Paula chose the bacon chop for her first course, which is served with two eggs and triple cooked chips, the bacon chop was the same as in the one pan English, it was large and cooked well and delicately smoky with the eggs being perfectly fried. The triple cooked chips were definitely not fries, they were large, fluffy inside and crunchy on the outside. The serving was a good size and something you’d likely be happy with as just one course at a brunch.
If you are looking for the biggest course on the menu, it might very well be the 280g steak burger. Which is served with smoked cheddar, bacon jam, dill pickles and some giant very tasty onion rings.
We both chose our next course from the treats section of the menu. I had the waffles, they were sweet and crispy waffles cooked on a griddle and were American style so came with thinly sliced bananas, salted caramel sauce and three large swirls of whipped cream. I really struggled to eat more than half with the huge amount of breakfast I had already consumed but they were really good. If you like sweeter style brunch then definitely go for the waffles as they would be a slightly lighter selection that the one pan English.
Paula had pancakes to finish which were served with vanilla whipped cream, strawberries and warmed tiptree nut free chocolate sauce. The pancakes were light, fluffy and really easy to eat, although that’s depending on what your first course was I guess. The courses throughout the menu were all very generously sized, especially the burger.
Our bubbles were in the form of Codorniu cava and were definitely freely poured. I’m sure we didn’t go a few sips without our glasses being filled up to the top, a good sign if you are going for a boozy brunch. We were also constantly topped up with water, which I needed after the huge amounts of food and drink consumed. We felt quite relaxed and never really rushed.
You are definitely going to need a long walk or a nap after brunch at Gillray’s. All in all it was a very good brunch, the food was good large portions and served well by the waitresses who were very friendly and accommodating.