Brunch in Roma? Babingtons, of course!
Let us begin with the name: Brunch, saying it aloud will surely bring something to mind? Brunch is a portmanteau word, a blending of two words to create a new one: breakfast and lunch, brunch. This is neither a quick breakfast on the go nor is it an interminable Sunday lunch!
When it’s too late for a croissant and too early for a plate of pasta, when we are suddenly and inexplicably peckish for an unspecified something, be it sweet or savoury, or when we just feel like a little something outside our usual timetable and without feeling too guilty! Hey presto! We have brunch!
The brief history of brunch
Most people assume that brunch is a product of America, they are wrong! Brunch came about during the Victorian era , some say the concept of brunch can, in part, be traced back to the British tradition of the hunting luncheon, or shoot lunches. In between galloping about the countryside rousting foxes or waiting for the beaters to drive up the pheasants these men and women gathered for decadent early lunches, complete with endless amounts of meat, egg dishes, chicken gallantines, cold sliced head cheese, port wine and other alcoholic beverages! While this was a far cry from our more familiar eggs Benedictine and Belgian waffles we enjoy today, it was the first time breakfast and lunch foods were combined into one huge meal.
However, it wasn’t until the end of the century that the term brunch was first bandied about. According to Punch magazine the word “brunch” was first coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for “Saturday night carousers”. They refer of course to the illusive article written in the Hunter’s Weekly magazine by Guy Beringer: “Brunch: A Plea: A Plea” in which he refers to brunch as being: “cheerful, sociable and inciting” and then goes on to say: “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” He suggests that rather than a heavy and indigestible post church Sunday lunch made up of heavy meats and savoury pies, why do we not have a meal that is served around noon and starts with tea or coffee, toast and marmalade and other longstanding breakfast features, to be followed by the heavier fare, thus eliminating the need to get up early on Sundays making life for the “Saturday night carousers” brighter and happier.
Brunch at Babingtons
Hands up those of you who have never had brunch! In the Eternal City there are no end of choices for brunch varying from buffet to table service to American brunch to fusion! But there is only one place where you can enjoy a truly English brunch, and of course that is Babingtons. How could it possibly be otherwise? Babingtons IS the Victorian era , it is where our roots lie from the time Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria babington arrived in Rome and opened the first English Tearooms.
Babingtons Special Brunch
Warmth, relax, colour, taste. Upon entering Babingtons you are immediately greeted by the scents and atmosphere of Victorian England, taking you back to the brunches if long ago. Forget about queues and struggles at the buffet bar! At Babingtons you are invited to await your brunch comfortably seated in our beautiful Tea Rooms. Not only are you surrounded by comfort but unlike other brunch bars in the capital, because at Babingtons it is never too early or too late to sit down to a moment of culinary happiness, we serve brunch all day long!
Our menu consists of eggs Benedict on homemade English muffins , served with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. For those of you who are unaware, eggs Benedict are poached eggs served on English muffins with hollandaise sauce. Unlike the ordinary muffins you are probably used to, these soft and exquisite muffins are made using beer dough and cooked on the griddle, once they are cooked they are then toasted and filled. We have three fillings to choose from, ham, spinach or Scottish smoked salmon, topped with our smooth and delightful hollandaise sauce.
This is followed by a sweet chosen from our delicious and colourful array of desserts all home made from scratch: cakes, scones, biscuits and pastries. To drink we offer freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, a choice from our vast range Babingtons blends, be it tea, coffee, tisanes or cappuccino. And for those who prefer to add a little bubbly to the occasion, well why not a glass of champagne?
English brunch seems to us to be synonymous with a steaming cup of tea, after all what would brunch be without it? But perhaps you have to be truly English to think that way, please feel free to choose from our many and varied choices! And since we enjoy advising you, here are our choices for brunch:
Babingtons Special Blend
This is our most special , and number one tea. It was first served by Isabel Cargill back in the day, we returned to it in the 1950’s and recalibrated it in 2016. It’s a classic breakfast tea, slightly lighter than your traditional teas because we have blended Darjeeling, a more delicate fragrance with which we replaced the sturdier Assam. Darjeeling harmonises beautifully with the slightly citrusy flavours of Ceylon tea and the sweet scents of China Keemun.
Babingtons Royal Blend
We created this tea especially for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and gifted it to her on her last visit to Rome. A majestic blend, powerful and aromatic, enriched with hints of honey and fruit from the China Keemun and Darjeeling teas, and regalized by the flowery scents of Formosa Oolong.