By its nature, brunch should be a relaxed meal, and that means the cook, too! Don't go overboard with your menu, choose one main protein-based dish, one fruit-based one and then serve with some pastries and warm bread.
If you are cooking for a crowd, poached eggs are a definitive no-no. Instead, go for a frittata which can be served at room temperature in wedges at the table.
Step away from the coffee machine! Brew a cafetière of coffee and encourage guests to serve themselves. If you want to be extra fancy, whip some cream and encourage them to add a dollop to their cup.
If you are serving cocktails at your brunch party, consider making a jug of one or two drinks. Bloody Mary is always a winner, and Darina Allen favours Sarah Raven's recipe, which serves four:
- 175ml vodka
- a dash of dry sherry
- 500ml tomato juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp fresh grated horseradish
- Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- Celery Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pour all of the ingredients into a jug, mix well and add ice.
The key to a successful brunch is to serve everything on the table at the same time and allow everyone to help themselves at their leisure. Make sure that butter is at room temperature and spreadable, that you have an array of jams and condiments (hot sauce is always welcome) and something sweet, for brunch dessert.