LONDON EATERIES – Enjoy live music and the perfect brunch at Verdi Italian Kitchen
There are a number of beautiful buildings in London, and even a native can’t help but marvel at some of our architecture. One of the most incredible buildings we have to offer, in my opinion, is the Royal Albert Hall. The stunning round concert hall has hosted countless events, including the BAFTA awards this year, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
The Royal Albert Hall hosts Live Music Brunches in their stylish Verdi Italian Kitchen restaurant on selected Sundays, with a range of talented musicians. The Sunday I attended, we were treated to a set by the Southern Cone Quintet.
Placed in the central location of Kensington, and not far from South Kensington tube station, the Royal Albert Hall isn’t difficult to reach, and the relatively early timing of the brunch meant that we were easily able to head off into London for more activities after a perfect start to our day. In fact, this would also be a lovely treat for anyone visiting London – not just for locals.
From the moment of ascending up the impressive staircase and into the building, we were assaulted by Royal Albert Hall history, which I found fascinating. The portraits of adorning the walls of musicians that had previously performed there especially caught my attention.
The Verdi restaurant was just as stylish and impressive as all other aspects of the building, with well-spaced tables and fabulous modern décor. We were greeted by exceptionally friendly staff members and lead to a table close to the stage.
Immediately, we were offered a choice of orange juice, a virgin mary or a bloody mary (for anyone with a stronger stomach at 11.30 am!). For an extra price, you could also get cocktails. Shortly afterwards, we were also offered either tea or coffee – with all re-fills included in the price. The staff was wonderful; friendly and polite, and throughout the two hours we were never left forgotten.
From the extensive brunch menu – which took a while to choose from, since everything sounded so appetising – I chose the classic eggs benedict, which came with 2 poached eggs, Canadian bacon, toasted muffin and hollandaise sauce, while my friend chose the smoked honey roasted Yorkshire ham dish, which included scrambled egg, toasted muffin and hollandaise sauce, along with the ham. It’s also worth mentioning that the menu had even more to offer, along with a vegetarian option.
The food was delicious, with both the poached eggs and scrambled eggs cooked exactly to our liking, and it was one of the best hollandaise sauces I’ve tried. It was the perfect portion size to fit as both a late breakfast and light lunch. The only downside was not being able to try the entire menu out – but it’s a definite incentive for me to return in the future!
We were sure to leave room for the desserts of that day – one being a tiramisu, and the other, chocolate cake with ice cream. We chose one of each, but the tiramisu proved so tempting from across the table that I had to try some (and wasn’t disappointed). The chocolate cake had a lovely, brownie consistency with plenty of rich chocolate flavour, which was cut perfectly by the creamy vanilla ice cream.
The music provided throughout the brunch by Southern Cone Quintet was fantastic. They are said to ‘embrace the musical traditions of Uruguay, Argentina and Chile’, and as a total stranger to a lot of music from that part of the world, I loved being educated. The group played the accordion, violin, double bass, guitar and woodwind and were a great accompaniment to the brunch. However, they were so good, I probably ended up concentrating more on them than my food sometimes!
Overall, we would recommend the Live Music Brunch highly to absolutely anyone who is a fan of music and food, and with the entertainment, food and drinks on offer, along with the atmosphere, it is most definitely value for money.
Find more information on upcoming brunches and tickets at The Royal Albert Hall:
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP
Heart London 5 * Rating:
Laura Kasim, Heart London Magazine