I have a lot of great memories from The Bay Horse, the local Northern Quarter boozer which I was pretty much glued to for a full couple of years before lockdown.
Many of these memories took place on a Saturday morning, popping in because I had nothing else to do, grabbing a Bottomless Brunch and spending the rest of the day in a fizz-fuelled frenzy.
Well, I MISS IT. So I got in touch with the manager Rick, and asked him how I could re-create the experience at home. Here's what we came up with...
The Full English Breakfast
Unless you're on a diet, and in which case you probably shouldn't be smashing a Bottomless Brunch in the first place, you're going to choose the Full English Breakfast as your dish. It's the sanest choice and luckily for us all - the Bay Horse's version is excellent.
When re-creating this at home you're going to have to get it EXACTLY like they serve it there, so here's what you should be cooking up...
First, and some would say most important, are the sausages. The Bay Horse one's are FAT, meaty and juicy and they're always the classic Cumberland.
They're so good in fact that I once had a 35-minute conversation with a bloke from Wigan about them at the bar - he'd just finished his Full English and was ready to pop out with the wife to Primark. Not before he talked to me about them first though.
Anyway, I'd highly suggest you grab the outstanding Cumberland sausages from the guys over at Grandad's Sausages - who are providing a delivery service at the moment during lockdown. They’re great value and they're some of the best sausages you'll ever taste. Alternatively, pop in to your local butcher - they'll still be open.
Next up there's the bacon, of which you'll need two slices of Smoked Back Bacon, and then there's the Eggs, of which you'll need a couple of ‘em fried with a crispy bottom and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Ensure that the fried eggs still have a runny yolk - any deviation from that is a tragedy. Always.
Next up there's a big slab of Black Puddling (Bury of course) and a little tub of Baked Beans. I asked Rick if they did anything special to the beans at the Bay Horse and he told me that they didn't need to - beans are already perfect. He's right there.
The Full English at The Bay Horse is also graced with a lovely and crispy Hash Brown, Fried Mushrooms, Tomatoes and a huge slab of Fried Bread, something that you rarely see on modern brekkies these days but something that is sorely missed by us all.
Personally, I like to cut myself a big chunk of Tiger Loaf and use the bacon and sausage fat for the frying. It looks a bit savage, but it's the only way.
And there you have it - the perfect re-creation of the famed Bay Horse Full English Breakfast. So, what about the drinks!?
The Bloody Mary
They do, of course, offer a wide range of drinks on the bottomless option, including the classic Prosecco, House Wine, Bottled Beers and even a rather impressive Irish Coffee. The king of Saturday morning drinks though is the Bloody Mary, and The Bay Horse Tavern do a wicked one.
Even though I just used the word 'wicked', I'm still going to carry on, regardless of any or all respect you may have just lost in me. I'm talking about booze now so let me just crack on.
For a place that you would consider to be a 'traditional' boozer, The Bay Horse goes out on a bit of a tangent sometimes - much like that time that they were selling a brilliant Chicken & Chorizo Pie for a bit - and it always seems to work. Their Bloody Mary is certainly one of those tangents.
Obviously, it still includes the main ingredients of a Bloody Mary, so grab yourself some vodka, some tomato juice and some Worcester Sauce and you're ready to go.
So first of all, you're also going to have to get your hand on some Sriracha - not too difficult when you realise that everyone loves it and you can probably even buy it in your local Londis nowadays. This is a bold flavour in the Bloody Mary but it lends a great level of spice to it and also a slight hint of garlic.
Mix everything together in a glass with some ice and as a final touch - add in a few drops of Maggi Liquid Seasoning - a little dark delight that will bring out all of the flavours of the drink and round it off perfectly.
Garnish with whatever you have to hand, some capers, a stick of celery or just plonk a cooked Grandad's Sausage in there and enjoy.
With them being bottomless you're going to have to buy enough to get through around 6/7 of them, or if you're like me at drinking - 2.
So, there you go - how to re-create a Bay Horse Tavern Bottomless Brunch at home.
This should keep you going until the government finally decide when we can go back in and enjoy the real thing. Until then - keep safe and enjoy.