Searcy’s has been a stalwart of the British hospitality scene for over 175 years. The chain now has residencies at some of London’s most iconic landmarks such as The Gherkin, The Barbican and the oldest part of St Pancras International.
The original Searcys was opened in Tyburnia (now known as Paddington) in 1847 by John Searcy. It garnered such esteem, that the London outfit was commissioned to cater for some of the city’s most prestigious celebrations; including royal weddings and coronations. Over one hundred years later, Searcy’s name is still ubiquitous with excellent standards of service, well-cooked popular fare and of course… champagne.
The new offering from the St Pancras branch is an all-day brunch buffet served with bottomless champagne and a side order of live jazz. We arrive at 1.30 on a busy Sunday and it’s like stepping back in time, the band are playing John Coltrane and we are shown to our seat by a moustachioed waiter in a bow tie who immediately brings an ice-cold glass of Champagne.
What is advertised as a bottomless brunch, might be better described as a bottomless lunch. There are a series of very tasty starters including Rock and Native Oysters, Poached Loch Fyne Salmon, Chicken Caesar Salad and Seared Tuna Nicoise which, for me, is a real highlight – the tuna is cooked to perfection.
For the main course, there is a selection of roast meats; Leg of lamb, Beef Topside and Barbecued Chicken Wings. All are extremely well executed, but the chicken wings do feel a little out of place. The sides are great, particularly the Cauliflower Cheese, which has just the right amount of ooze and buttered greens are cooked to aldenté perfection.
My date is a meat-eater who tries to avoid dairy, so whilst there’s plenty for her here, we do notice that the vegan options are a little less exciting. There is a Gnocchi in Pomodoro Sauce and Roasted New Potatoes.
The desserts are delicious and come in miniature, so there’s no excuse not to try them all. I begin with a White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Mousse. It’s so good that I force my non-dairy date to have a taste and even she enjoys it. I then move on to a tasty Chocolate Brownie with a liquor-filled chocolate cherry on top. Lemon Meringue Pie is another highlight and proves to be my date’s dish of the day. The Fruit Plate is also generous with tropical delicacies such as physalis and dragon fruit – the perfect antidote to the five or six puddings we’ve consumed.
The wine list is plentiful and reasonably priced… however, the Champagne is bottomless… so we don’t deviate.
The clientele is a mix of weary travellers and out-of-towners celebrating – perhaps enjoying one last hurrah in the big smoke as they wait for a delayed train. One particular group going hell-for-leather on the bottomless champagne – we decide they must be Euro Star Crew finishing a shift.
In a Nutshell
The Searcys bottomless brunch is both great value for money and an unusual way to celebrate an occasion. I imagine that if you’re off to Paris to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, this would make an excellent start to the trip.
The Sunday Brunch Feast is served every Sunday from 12.00pm until 5.30pm and costs £65 per person including Champagne and access to the feast for 90 minutes.
St Pancras International, Euston Road