Restaurant Review: Weekend brunch at The Balcon, Pall Mall in London
Our champagne flutes are filled and are as elegant as the Grade II listed surroundings that hosts The Balcon – a French brassiere that draws inspiration from the English backdrop of Pall Mall. Hues of gold and green with touches of purple and an interior that sets itself apart from the remainder of the property, The Balcon features double height ceilings with ornate guided columns set with marble, oak and ebony striped wooden flooring.
An attractive addition to the five star Sofitel Hotel, The Balcon is an all day dining destination and caters to both hotel and restaurant guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hopping on the brunch bandwagon with an air of five star sophistication, this autumn the classic French brassiere launched their new modern British brunch. Combining The Balcon’s signature French cuisine with British influences, culinary traditions have been merged from both sides of the Channel to offer the appropriately entitled ‘Le Brunch’.
Encouraging a glamorous all day dining affair with multiple dishes with sides and refreshments; this new menu reads as an indulgent introduction to our brunch, hinting at what is to come. Selecting from the ‘Eggs & Co’ list we order the chunky ham eggs Benedict and its highbred sibling, the poached lobster and avocado eggs Benedict. Both arrive under a layer of rich hollandaise sauce with perfectly runny yolks, presented upon large, white china plates. We share a number of sides including generous cuts of halloumi cheese, grilled chorizo and pork and apple sausages. A sweet finish – banana, coconut and blueberry pancakes with cinnamon mascapone and pistachio waffle with strawberry salad and Sauternes cream; both easily large enough to share.
More of a contemporary spin on The Balcon’s current French signatures, other dishes include Trealy Farm croque madame, raclette cheese and duck egg scrambled eggs with Hansen & Lydersen smoked salmon and truffle. With a sweeter edge are classic French viennoiseries and brioche French toast with mixed berry compote and lemon curd, while the ‘Grill’ section for those with larger appetites dishes up options such as an 800g Dexter Tomahawk for two people to share.
More so than free flow champagne and elegant surroundings, an English brunch is not complete without Bloody Mary’s. What can only be described as a ‘build your own Bloody Mary Bar’, a rouge rainbow of tomatoes, condiments, vodkas (including smoked and potato) and toppings from strips of bacon to olives, pickled onions and celery sticks, allow individuals to interpret creative twists of their own. My guest proceeded to pile high, sprinkle, splash and mix his own creation to that of the much loved classic in delight.
The Balcon really gives brunch lovers a reason to visit this French Brasserie and has seamlessly brought together all the components that make a brunch great with French elegance and English charm. A must try for Bloody Mary enthusiasts, the DIY bar arguably steals the show whilst for celebratory occasions, a ‘free flowing’ brunch option priced at £49pp is a boozy weekend treat.
Address: The Balcon, 8 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5NG, +44 (0)207 968 2900, TheBalcon.London@Sofitel.com, SofitelStJames.com