With my feet firmly based south of the river, it takes something special to drag me away from the market village of Brixton or the rooftop bars of Peckham on the weekend but I recently experienced a brunch that will keep me travelling the Northern line again and again.
The Q Grill in Chalk Farm is hosting their special Blues Brunch every Sunday, handpicking a range of exceptional musicians to come and croon to their lucky diners over a relaxed brunch or lunch. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s bursting with up and coming musical talent. Camden is a real musical hub, with the notorious Roundhouse and countless live music venues, the Q Grill have perfectly placed their regular Sunday event.
The Sunday we visited, Mark Sullivan was entertaining the Grill punters with his acoustic guitar and soulful voice. He sung bluesy classics and modern chart songs and his beautiful music was the perfect accompaniment to the delicious food served up by the Grill.
The restaurant has an old Americana feel to it; a rustic, gritty, very cool interior, which sets the tone and matches the meat-heavy, hearty menu. Everything on the menu looked extremely tempting but I settled for an avocado and bacon burger which was served perfectly pink in the middle and sandwiched between a smooth brioche bun. It was an exceptional burger. Every element was spot on; the salty bacon was perfectly crisp and melted into the creamy avocado, the bun was sweet and soft, the beef was a quality cut, minced and cooked medium-rare. Their slaw and fries were also great. My partner went for the pig cheeks served with grits. The deep smokey meat fell apart on the fork and the creamy, smooth grits complimented it well. It was good honest, grill food; a more refined version of what you might expect to be served in an southern states diner.
The event is the perfect antidote to a hangover. The soulful, smooth music alongside a delicious menu of brunch options, sensational burgers and grilled cuts of meat is bound to shift even the most stubborn of hangovers. On the day we visited there was also a very eclectic crowd, which strangely enough always feels like a rarity in London restaurants. There were families, with younger kids, big groups of friends enjoying a Sunday roast, music loving young couples and even the odd solo diner enjoying the atmosphere.
We lingered for a while drinking coffee, beer and enjoying the music. Mark played Coldplay hits and Van Morrison classics with a good mix of old and new, but each was performed with his own signature style, which happened to be a heady mix of heavenly vocals and bluesy guitar notes.
The Blues Brunch takes place at the Q Grill, Chalk Farm, every Sunday with live music from 2pm.