After months of isolation, never in my life have been more excited about brunch in my life. It is only fitting then that my return to the quintessential weekend brunch date was at Ham West Hampstead, because it’s the perfect neighbourhood spot that balances timeless brunch favourites with contemporary British twists.
Located in buzzy, charming (yet not too hectic) West End Lane, Hâm looks exactly like something from your ‘stylish brunch Pinterest board.’ Picture mint green banquettes, pastel-hued arts, exposed brick walls, low-hanging gold pendant lamps and gold-toned countertops. It is exactly what I pictured when imagining my first London brunch after lockdown.
The menu reflects the same kind of casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, offering simple but imaginative modern British cuisine. Don’t expect any fancy foams here, because each dish really allows each ingredient to shine.
Head Chef Matt Osborne creates a weekly menu with highlights including the Burrata, courgette, with pea and mint pesto; Buttermilk fried chicken with satay sauce and lime coleslaw; roasted monkfish with gnocchi; lemongrass strawberry and honeycomb panacotta.
For brunch, we sampled the Lambton and Jackson smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, fried potato and kale and also tried the signature Hâm breakfast. The breakfast is comprised of sourdough toast, fried eggs, streaky bacon, sausage, avocado and tomato relish, a healthier twist to the classic full-English. Both brunch dishes were perfectly executed, highlighting the rich flavours of each ingredient, and without overpowering you with a crazy portion too.
No brunch is complete without drinks and we recommend trying the ‘Skin Contact’ Cantine Rallo, Ciello Bianco, Catarratto ‘orange’ wine. It is a naturally cloudy, vegan and organic white wine that is perfect complement to Hâm’s delicious brunch offer. We will certainly be coming back, not just for the delicious brunch, but also for the casual yet vibrant neighbourhood vibe we’ve been so deprived of during this truly crazy year.