BRUNCH

WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: AM

Can there really be anything better for the weekend ahead than a long leisurely brunch? That perfect combination of breakfast and lunch, brunch has so many things going for it that it is easy to see why its popularity never fades, the gloriously beautiful combination of both sweet and savoury, an excuse to indulge a little, enjoyed at the perfect time of day - not too early and not too late. A time for friends and family to eat, drink and spend time together, catching up after a long week.

Brunch is just so much fun but without the monumental effort of a dinner party, of course you could easily get carried away, but don't as the emphasis is on easy, low key, relaxed and that should include the cooking - not to mention that it allows you to sleep in a little later.

We have always liked a good brunch but during our years in New Orleans this got elevated to an outright love affair - impromptu pavement gatherings outside Joe's Atelier, lazy afternoons whiled away on Dana's porch with mimosas in hand and stacks of pancakes after one of those nights, eggs any which way and glorious baked treats at Elise’s, not forgetting the delights of Lindsey's comforting grits bar - that delicious Southern soulfood, made from stone ground cornmeal and cooked into a creamy heaven with milk, cheese and butter, topped with bacon and a little splash of maple syrup - delicious.

Continuing this love affair, these days we pair our soft cheesy and buttery grits with freshly picked nettles, smoked pork belly lardons, onions and yellow peppers gently sautéed with a little nutmeg, a salad of fresh tomatoes and chives and some delicious sour cream. Perfection - that sadly never leaves any left overs for our lunch boxes.

Whether you enjoy your brunch spread at home or go out, above all you need time - I cannot stress this enough, a good brunch takes time, its about sharing, its about community, coming together, free flowing freestyle, cheerful, sociable, you don't have to be on your best behaviour, be informal, be casual, be yourself.

Finally we recommend a nap in the afternoon followed by a leisurely walk - ideally along the water's edge - to round the day out perfectly.

AUGUST 2017