Archive | October, 2011

For Ladies Wot Brunch… At Automat

22 Oct

Saturday 15th October was the beautiful Saturday chosen for our second Brunch Club rendezvous.  Following the fabulous feedback on our Afternoon Tea antics, I decided we should go somewhere that would accommodate the barrels of laughter we were bound to have.

The venue chosen was Automat, a typically American Brunch spot, with its generous menu, open plan seating area and understated chic décor set in the heart of Mayfair.


Once the decision was made, I knew it would be best to book with plenty of advance notice.  Though I have not had any horrible experiences myself, I believe that Automat is best enjoyed when you have a guaranteed reservation.  Given the number of Ladies Wot Brunch confirmed to attend, I called the restaurant approximately 3 weeks ahead of the chosen date and made a provisional booking over the phone.  An email confirmation was sent out shortly afterwards, to secure it.   The restaurant manager was extremely professional and friendly, responding aptly to the million-and-one questions I had.  It was a pleasant surprise and welcomed alternative to the usual automated online booking system.  The personal touch and sexy continental voice on the other end of the phone brought a cheeky smile to my face and I knew from the moment I hung up that we were bound to have a great afternoon.


Is dating a hobby? 

How painful is an underarm wax?

What do you say to your boyfriend when he lambasts your new weave in front of all your friends? 

Is dating ok when your boyfriend lives abroad?

Yes.  These are real questions.  And YES!  These were questions laced and weaved into the hilarious conversations we had during the afternoon.

I couldn’t keep track of the topics we oooh’d, aaah’d, gasped and cried tears of laughter over.  From the story about an eager man who sought out one of our young ladies on public transport and desperately attempted to coerce her into going out with him, despite being told that she had a boyfriend, to the discussion about the various colours and textures of a certain part of the male anatomy… hair of course (!), the afternoon was full of hilarious and thought-provoking conversation.

When I caught up with each of the ladies after our brunch, the one thing that no-one failed to mention was the pain they felt from laughing so hard.  I must be honest – I was tempted to share the entire, somewhat explicit conversation trail, which had everyone in stitches.  But alas, there is such a thing as privacy, litigation *cough* and besides, the world we live in is too small.  So I’ll push my stellar idea to one side and share the hottest topics discussed:

Is dating a hobby?  …Or merely an activity which takes you to your desired outcome – being with that significant other?  The question arose when the ladies were completing their member profiles (yes, we are that organised!).  I believe that like a sport, dating is an official pastime: something you dedicate a sizeable amount of time to.  You mostly enjoy it and sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s gruelling, sometimes you want to kiss the person on the other team on the lips, and sometimes you want to punch the opposition’s lights out.  There are no rules in this game; you simply need to play in order to win and lots of us are currently playing.  These were my thoughts and the reason I included it as a hobby/interest on the profile form.   However, other members did not agree, believing that it was something you just had to do to get your guy or gal.  A transitory journey you embark on, learning plenty of important lessons and strengthening your morals along the way, until you reach your final destination.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  We never concluded and in the end our attention was swiftly diverted to the bellinis and freshly pressed juices which were brought round.  What are your thoughts?

Men who are later that a motherf*?!er:  This is a dead dog movement as coined by one of our effervescent members.  I recently had a very unsavoury experience with a seemingly nice young man.  Plans were made to catch up for some drinks in Central London, but lo and behold, the dude decided it was ok to be an hour late.  Yes, ONE WHOLE HOUR!  I was leaving, he was unapologetic, he grabbed my arm and then he nearly lost his eye.  The rest of the story is irrelevant.  And after the energetic rebuke I received from the ladies for even entertaining such a clown, I agreed that this is not to be tolerated. Ever!

WaXXXing:  A bit of a hairy topic (hee hee) for brunch, I know, but it’s an important one.  Plus, I was looking for any opportunity to show off my freshly waxed underarms (tee hee hee!)  Personal grooming is so important for both sexes and the more attention you pay to ensuring you present your face, body and odour appropriately, the better.  We all agreed that hairy legs and *other bits* were not the way forward, and regardless of the method you choose to get rid of your short and curlies, fuzz free women will always win in life.

Men who disgrace their women in public:  Or should I say dim daft dumb nincompoops who have no respect for their women.  I personally do not understand how any of us can stay with men who are so disrespectful and have no regard, instead choosing to humiliate us creatures of beauty and grace.  Boooo!  If you are reading this and are a woman who has accepted such treatment from a man, this is for you – SLAP!  Don’t let it happen AGAIN!  You are worth so much more than that kind of base behaviour.  And if you are man who does not see anything wrong with asking your woman in front of all her friends why she wasted £80 and the entire morning on her latest hairdo, because it looks awful, then this is for you – PIYOWWWN!  You deserve to be shot with the gun of common sense and sensitivity.  Don’t do it again!  Else my pistol will sniff you out boy!


Delicious.  Juicy.  Full of flavour.  Sumptuous.  There are many adjectives to describe the many dishes we ordered between us.   Contrary to what my expanding waistline and chubbying cheeks might suggest, I did not eat all the food, and so the following are accounts of the dishes by fellow bloggers and Ladies Wot Brunched – Remi of Low Radio FreQ and Esther of Diario de Esther:

For me (Remi) to be wearing makeup and heels before 6pm on a Saturday evening can only mean one thing…  I am going to be having a girly catch up with the wonderful ladies at Ladies Wot Brunch.  Having to unfortunately miss the last catch up, I was very much eager to make this one as we were brunching at the Automat in Mayfair.

Whilst my ladies had a sweet tooth and opted to get yummy pancakes with scrumptious toppings, I went for the scrambled eggs with salmon on toast and was not disappointed with my choice! The eggs were cooked just right, not too runny and not too dry.  It made a wonderful combination with the salmon, beautifully fusing with the saltiness of the salmon.  The toasted bread was lovely, not being overdone which could have killed the whole dish, but instead gave the meal the substance it needed.  Another bonus for me was the fact that I didn’t feel the need to add pepper or salt as the ingredients used were just right.

This meal is definitely something to have if you want something hearty but on the lighter side on a Saturday afternoon.

(Esther) Once again the classy and beautiful ladies of The Brunch Club had a rendezvous. We ate at Automat and I ordered one of my favourites, the buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and strawberries, I couldn’t resist: it always does it for me and thinking about it right now is making me crave them all over again! *SIGH*

The pancakes were so light, fresh, warm and sweet all at the same time, complimented with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.  Yum!  Every bite gave the same sweet taste in my mouth and I didn’t want the contents on my plate to finish, I could have easily had another plate. But you know what they say, “a minute on the lips… blah blah”. If you’re not salivating right now, there’s clearly something wrong! :-p  Automat are very generous with their portions and I always feel satisfied once I’ve ordered this.  All in all it was another successful brunch date and the food and company was AMAZING!

I (Deborah) opted for the blueberry pancakes, my ultimate favourite and on this occasion, they did not disappoint – The fluffy stack of sweet griddled batter, the blueberry coulis artistically drizzled on top and all around, the decorative ripe blueberries which were carefully tossed across the plate, and the dusting of icing sugar to finish, which made it look like an angel had kissed my pancakes just as they arrived at the table.  The dish was hearty enough to satisfy any Saturday morning hunger and yet expertly assembled to avoid it being stodgy.  My pancakes were mine: sweet, wholesome and the perfect accompaniment in between fun infused conversations.  Loved ‘em!


The vibe at Automat is professional and yet cool.  We were welcomed with a smile and led to the chef’s table which had been reserved for us, before our coats were collected and in exchange, we were each given a cloakroom ticket.  During the several hours we spent at the restaurant, our drinks kept flowing, and our waiter was attentive, ensuring special requests were met for the more particular eaters amongst us and food came out as promptly as possible for the ladies who arrived a little late.  There was no pomp and ceremony involved in the service rendered, just good old fashioned table waiting.  The icing on the cake was when our waiter secretly popped into our photo at the last minute and actually blended in.  Unfortunately, For Men Wot Brunch doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…


In line with our inherent tradition, the Ladies Wot Brunch did not disappoint – the outfits, make up and accessories on display were pretty amazing.  We had an afternoon full of friendship forming, gist loving, purchase admiring and of course eating and drinking.  It is so important that as women we celebrate each other and encourage and support our individual endeavours.  As the newly coined iya oloja (saleswoman in Yoruba dialect) I was very pleased when every single lady supported my initiative and not only purchased some bad ass pieces but also ordered even more.  Aside from the fact there were some beautiful bargains not to be missed up for sale (!), the purchase power hour illustrated the beauty in wonderful women breaking bread together, having a laugh and discussing interests and side gigs.  We identified several business ventures around the table and going forward, I really hope we can continue in the same vein reaching out to our fellow Ladies Wot Brunch to acquire the next big thing on our shopping lists.

Business aside, I think the best thing about this month’s meeting was the smile on my face that I left with.  I had spent an afternoon in the presence of some absolute gems, immaculately dressed, with the most precise eyebrows in town (For true!  Check out the pics!) and we discussed some light and not-so-light but insightful topics.  What started as a few hours set aside for brunch turned into a whole day of fabulousity, which I believe speaks volumes.  The Brunch Club has so much in store…   Watch this space!

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Brunching Abroad

14 Oct

I recently went on holiday to Dubai and Bangkok and what an experience it was!

I had an amazing time with my Mummy, exploring the best of what the Middle and Far East had to offer.

What struck me in Dubai, aside from the plush luxury provided in all table services and the vast amounts of money which have been ploughed into the amazing Emirate, was the similarity in fast food choices with both the UK and USA.  Chains such as Nandos, PF Changs and Popeye’s Chicken were in abundance, ensuring the large expat community would never feel too far from home.

In Bangkok, food itself was an entirely different experience.  Despite the crazy chaos which engulfs the capital, food was a stable and respected fix to be found everywhere.  Street vendors were rife, providing a bevvy of fresh, fried, boiled and baked fruit, vegetables, pulses and meats.  The choices were numerous, and despite my reservations at the beginning, I was persuaded to try some of it…  Two chicken drumsticks, bespoke special fried rice and a cup of pineapple later, I was hooked!  

In short (though it wasn’t strictly brunch 😛 ) eating abroad, trying both the local and more familiar foods went hand in hand with my amazing oriental fortnight.


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