Food and drink
As well as the main menu, Brown’s offers brunch and a pre-theatre menu. There are also 'varsity' and 'cathedral' menus available for large groups. For starters there is a good value meat platter and vegetarian platter.
Cocktails include Brown’s own Champagne cocktail with Cointreau and Courvoisier and the Brown’s bellini. The 'pre- and post-theatre” menu is good value at £10.95. And although I’ve never been to the Christmas Day £60 four-course feast, I know a lot of families who make it part of their annual celebrations.
I find it difficult to think about Brown's without noise and clatter. It's very much a "happening" place where the staff seem to be recruited for the buzz that they can contribute. That said, I have walked past some sunny mornings and seen people reading the papers in a very relaxed fashion, so it's quite likely the ambience shifts depending on when you go and what you are going for. Students living it up because their parents are paying might be noisier than north Oxford gents with their copy of the "Indie".
Browns used to be famous for the shortness of the skirts worn by its waitresses. I first came here in 1980 and was enchanted. These days Browns is much more of an equal opportunity employer and recruits handsome young men too.
Browns is part of "food corner" - an agglomeration of great places to spend money on food at the top of St Giles where the Woodstock Road begins. Its immediate neighbours are Patisserie Blanc and the twin Taylors either side of Little Clarendon Street.
I never get out without having paid around £40 per person, and that's excluding drinks. Of course these days I am the parent and my children are the students.
There are now six Brown’s in London and seven around the UK, all located in historic buildings.
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Travellers with pets
- Special occasions
- No fuss