What Is Bottomless Brunch? Your Guide to this Iconic (and Intoxicating) Experience

From fluffy pancakes and endless mimosas to novelty experiences like ABBA brunch, what could be better than a bottomless brunch in London? Bottomless brunch has been beloved for many years now, but it’s recently picked up steam in the UK. And it’s not just a British phenomenon – particularly post-pandemic, bottomless brunch has soared in popularity all over the world, from NYC to Sydney to Tokyo!

Simply put: bottomless brunch makes life more fun. But what exactly is bottomless brunch, and what are the golden rules of attending one? Here, we’ll break it down for you – from the absolute essentials to lesser-known brunch etiquette – to ensure your next bottomless brunch is nothing short of fabulous.

What Is Bottomless Brunch?

First off, let’s define the term itself. Bottomless brunch is a brunch during which guests can order unlimited alcohol (and in some cases, unlimited food as well!). There’s usually a specific time frame – typically 1.5 or 2 hours – and of course, there’s also a base fee for all that food and drink (usually between £20-£40). But other than that, all bets are off!

The most common types of bottomless brunches – at least in London – are bottomless Prosecco brunch and bottomless mimosa brunch. Walk into any reasonably popular brunch spot on Saturday or Sunday and, odds are, they’ll be offering one of these two types of brunches! Of course, there are plenty more niche bottomless brunches to try in London (check out our list at the end of this post). But if you’re a bottomless brunch beginner, we’d recommend starting with mimosas or Prosecco – or maaaaybe sangria if you’re feeling adventurous.

Along with their featured libations, most restaurants will also offer mocktails (at a reduced price) and an extensive menu to soak up the booze. You can get eggs cooked any way you like, crispy bacon, chicken and waffles, syrupy pancakes, a rainbow of fruit… we’re salivating just thinking about it. On that note: let’s get on with the rules so you can book your next bottomless brunch ASAP!

The Golden Rules of Bottomless Brunch

1. Dress for success

Because bottomless brunch is so Instagrammable, attendees often take the opportunity to go all-out with cute outfits and group photos. Don’t get us wrong – bottomless brunching is one of our favourite things to see on the grid! However, let this be a lesson to those who have never gone to bottomless brunch before: don’t put cuteness ahead of comfort.

We’re not saying to show up looking like a slob. Just be mindful that you’ll be consuming unlimited drinks – and possibly quite a lot of food! – in a relatively short period of time, and the circumstances demand some sartorial flexibility. Make sure your waistband is stretchy or loose (if you’re a dress-wearing person, you can’t go wrong with a flowy skirt) and the rest of your clothing is fairly stain-proof. This is not the time for your tightest jeans, your brand-new white top or, God forbid, high heels… unless someone is giving you a piggyback ride out of the restaurant. In which case, have at it!

2. Take post-brunch plans into account

Some experts would advocate for not making any post-bottomless brunch plans whatsoever. We wouldn’t go quite that far – weekends can contain multitudes, after all! – but do exercise caution, and plan accordingly. Obviously if you tend to fall into a coma after a big boozy meal, then yes, avoid making major plans. But if you’re trying to pack more social time into your Saturday or Saturday, just remember to time your brunch exactly right.

For example, if you’re heading to family dinner later on, opt for an earlier slot at bottomless brunch so you have time to sober up (and maybe take a catnap). But if you were hoping to have a big night out, going straight from brunch to happy hour to pub-hopping, it’s in your best interest to have bottomless brunch as late as possible (so you don’t lose momentum)! In this case, look for a bottomless brunch that lasts until 4pm or even 5pm – plenty of London restaurants offer late afternoon slots for those of us who aren’t morning people.

3. Order a decent-sized meal

Now, onto the food portion of the rules. Though you can order granola or a croissant to pair with your bottomless drinks, we’d strongly advise against it – not only because this is a time for indulgence, but because you’ll need a sizable meal to keep you grounded. Going too light on the food is a recipe for disaster at bottomless brunch!

So even if you want to “save room” for as many strawberry margaritas as possible, don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s possible. The truth is, if you don’t eat some proper food beforehand, you won’t even make it halfway through the pitcher. On that note, consider reviewing the menu ahead of time so you can plan the perfect order to balance out the bevs. Whether that’s a hearty omelette, a stack of pancakes or even a dozen pastries, we have no objection as long as you’re consuming enough calories.

4. Keep it courteous

Relatedly, a decent meal will not only help you feel better, but also act better. Because let’s be real: the more sloppy-drunk your party is, the more relations are going to deteriorate between you and your server. And when it comes to interacting with the staff at bottomless brunch, you should aim to be unfailingly courteous! None of this changing your order five times, or getting annoyed when your drinks aren’t served immediately, or (worst of all) snapping your fingers at your server to summon them like a dog.

Indeed, if your chosen bottomless brunch is anything like most London brunches these days, the restaurant’s going to be packed and the staff will be overwhelmed. So remember to be empathetic and polite, and consider adding a few pounds into the service charge if you can swing it – especially if you love the brunch and want to come back!

5. Know your limits

Our apologies for the mum-like final rule, but seriously: there’s nothing worse than overdoing it at bottomless brunch. Not only do you end up feeling physically bad and embarrassed, but it’s all happening in broad daylight – nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

So yes, have a brilliant time! Enjoy the food, drinks and your friends’ company. But as a crucial rule of thumb, don’t drink any more than you would on a moderate-to-medium night out. If you start slurring your words or spilling pornstar martini everywhere, it’s time for a spacer. And while many restaurants allow you to mix-and-match different cocktails on their menu, try to avoid doing so, especially if they’re made with different liquors; as we all know, that’ll put you right on the express train to Hangover Town.

Okay – parental moment over! We hope these Golden Rules of Bottomless Brunch will help you have a 10/10 experience every time, whether it’s a relaxed day out with friends or a spectacular hen do brunch. And now that we’ve covered these essential rules, you might be wondering…

Where Are the Best Bottomless Brunches in London?

We’re so glad you asked! Like the drinks at the events themselves, there’s basically no limit to the number of bottomless brunches in London. Fortunately, we’ve collected some of our favourites for your perusal – and even divided them by types of alcohol, so you can enjoy the tipple that’s just to your taste.

Check out some of London’s best bottomless brunches below: