Food&Drink Writer Lucy Allen explores pros and cons of bottomless brunches, questioning whether it encourages socialising or binge drinking culture
Bottomless brunch, the booziest of all brunches, is the delightful combination of endless refills of mimosas (or other alcoholic beverage that is acceptable to drink at brunch-time), alongside your desired brunch food item. The rise of bottomless brunches likely stems from the bargain that is endless refills of alcohol with the comfort of a full-English all for roughly £20-£30 per head. Perhaps bottomless brunch is our attempt at trying to combine the night out and hangover recovery all in one meal?
The new brunch trend has faced some criticism by experts, who have warned that the meal is potentiating the growing alcohol misuse that is growing within the UK. With the standard weekly alcohol units being recently adjusted to 14 units/week, it is not hard to see how these meals can encourage excessive alcohol consumption far above these recommended levels if enjoyed regularly. Maybe the harmless brunch is more than meets the eye, and instead we should be putting a bottom back on this trend? However, is it already too late? In Birmingham alone you won’t have to go far before you see bottomless brunches thrust at you, with restaurants such as Gas Street Social, Dirty Martini and The Lost and Found all advertising the alcoholic meal. It’s not hard to see the appeal of this seemingly perfect combination. Psychologists have suggested that the rise of these brunches coincides with the British drinking culture and gives us simply more of an excuse to drink alcohol in daytime.
However, maybe there are positives to this trend. As an avid lover of all things brunch myself I can see the upsides of meeting and socialising with friends over a hearty breakfast/lunch combination, whilst allowing for the rest of the day to go about your business as usual. The popularity of bottomless brunches could be triggering a revival of more of the social aspects of our culture that has believed to have been lost to rising smartphone use. Perhaps these meals could be reigniting the social aspects of mealtimes, after all who wouldn’t want to share a bottle of prosecco at 11am with a friend? So overall, if you drink in moderation I don’t see the harm of enjoying a glass or two of fizz mid-morning, whilst socialising with a friend – there are worse things you could do on a Sunday…