A few weeks ago, some of my friends and I decided that we needed to plan a lazy Saturday brunch to get us through the damp and chilly days of March. I consulted my London restaurant spreadsheet (yes, I know) and pulled together a shortlist of five or six places and The Lockhart was the near-unanimous victor.
Located in the south-western corner of Marylebone, The Lockhart is only a few blocks from my old flat, although I was long gone by the time it opened. There are many lovely independent shops and restaurants on that stretch of Seymour Place and although The Lockhart's pistachio exterior was hidden by scaffolding on my visit, the pretty interiors more than made up for it.
The main dining room on the ground floor is light and wonderfully airy (the reflective ceiling helps), with exposed-brick walls and rustic wooden tables. On the wall next to our table was an Instagram-ready selection of decorative plates. We arrived around 11 am and there were still a few empty tables, although they soon filled up. There is more seating — and a bar — downstairs.
The brunch menu is filled with southern American classics — luckily, we had a couple of Americans in our group who could translate "grits" and "biscuits" (the latter, which come with sausage gravy and a fried egg, are a far cry from your soggy Digestive). I was tempted by the eggs Benedict (£10.50), especially when I heard that it came with bacon instead of ham, but in the end, I went for the fried chicken and waffle (£14.50). I also made good use of the bottomless Union filter coffee (£3.50) and drank three or four cups over the course of the meal.
Once I'd absorbed enough caffeine, it was time for a cocktail. There were only two brunch cocktails on offer (the evening menu has a more impressive cocktail list) and I ordered a gin Bloody Mary (£9), which came with celery bitters and an okra garnish and was suitably spicy.
As for my food, it was great. There was a generous serving of fried chicken and it was beautifully crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The waffles were also huge — slightly softer than I was expecting, but still tasty, especially with a large helping of maple syrup. I was very happy and the Americans also agreed that the food was very authentic (the chef is Mississippi, so it ought to be!). If you're an American in London, check out the events page for special evenings for US holidays.
The Lockhart. 22–24 Seymour Place, London, W1H 7NL (Tube: Marble Arch). Website. Twitter.