Thursday, 17 April 2014

Bunga Bunga Brunch

For our first review in quite some time we bring you something rare and new. A cool bar for uncool people South West of Hyde Park Corner. 

‘What?’ I hear you cry! 'Why would we stray out of our comfort zone to spend time in a part of London where trends go to die? What could possibly draw us to the environs of Tarquin and Hettie?' The reason lies on Battersea Bridge Road, and particularly between the hours of 11:30 and 5pm on a Saturday during which the famous Bunga Bunga Brunch takes place. 

It is worth visiting at other times, it just seems that if we are going to be advocating needless drinking, we may as well give it a purpose and some lining. 
In fact it retains the atmosphere of unbridled fun, which is fully let loose at brunch, throughout the week; that is, if you can deal with the proliferation of garish corduroys and signet rings. Why, then, focus on the brunch? The first reason being that brunch is normally a fairly sedate and contemplative affair.

You’ll be struggling to finish a Bloody Mary or a Bucks Fizz wondering whether you actually like any of these drinks or are just battling through out of conformity. You’ll be struggling to finish a Bloody Mary or a Bucks Fizz and wondering whether you actually like any of the people sitting in your personal space in this cramped, open-brick-walled-furnace. Seriously, why do people queue for so long to go to the Breakfast Club? Or, if you’re a ‘real’ person you’ll be smugly reading the paper, sipping your macchiato while sampling some sort of hand reared quinoa omelette, and smiling occasionally at your besotted extension. Either way, it’ll be fucking boring. 

Bunga Bunga, however, manages to invigorate this normally morose affair. The second reason may have more traction. If you are to believe any popular nightlife or bar review site, from small blogs to industry leading websites, the average Londoner is so jaded with the standard bar or pub experience that they are aching to try anything and everything, so long as it’s different. So, like everyone else, we have settled on something a little more unique and peculiar. 

The joy of Bunga Bunga is that it fulfils these needs in such a reckless way: Step in from the searing light of Saturday morning to the dark, thick-pulled-curtain comfort to see long tables prepared with carafes of various flavours of fruit juice: the perfect medicine when mixed with a good dose of Prosecco. All proceeds at a fairly gentle pace until about the 4th or 10th glass when small talk becomes loud talk and chairs mysteriously turn into a disjointed collection of wood and metal (sorry). 

Sometime during this period ‘brunch’ is brought out. I say ‘brunch’ in its broadest sense, since pizza with a glass of Prosecco in the early afternoon seems about as far from brunch as Dr Oetker’s pizza is as far from being made by a real authentic Italian doctor. There are eggs on some of them though – so that’s a bonus. 

This sense of warped time adds to the growing feeling of excess and extravagance. Once all the food has been consumed, or at least put near a mouth and then on the floor, the real fun begins. Lights dim still further, the cross-dresser appears and the karaoke begins. All else is full of lights, sounds and other indeterminable flurries of sensation. 

The only issue is, what do you do once Bunga Bunga shuts its doors and you are flung out into the real world so early on a Saturday? Has your weekend just begun, or is it already over…



  1. I know the chances are slim, but is there anything cool-ish in the Finsbury Park/Crouch Hill / Holloway area? Probably not... But maybe??