Using alcohol as an antidote to the ravages of the previous night’s bingeing is counterintuitive at best and masochistic at worst. As a remedy for a hangover, however, the consumption of alcohol does have a numbing effect and sounds more fun than the medically approved ‘electrolyte replacement’ approach to recovery. So when Beef & Pudding invited me to the Sunday morning launch of their Bloody Mary Buffet, I jumped at the chance.

On the morning of the launch, a helpful bar-person walked me through each step of making a Bloody Mary at the buffet – not a buffet in the crap wedding-food sense, but a row of ingredients used to craft the perfect Bloody Mary. Each station on the buffet had an abundance of choice: different types of flavoured salt; fresh or bottled tomato juice; a range of other flavourings and ingredients that I hadn’t previously associated with making a Bloody Mary; and, most importantly, the booze – lots of it. Fantastic!

The preparation of a Bloody Mary is a personal affair. I was keen on trying Beef & Pudding’s own super-hot ‘Howling at the Moon’ salt, but my chosen combination might be too spicy for some. Luckily, the Bloody Mary buffet has lots of ingredients to experiment with.

Morning alcohol in hand, I set about the business of ordering from Beef & Pudding’s brunch menu. I wanted to try a bit of everything, so I ordered the Brunch Plank to share: a combination of minute steak & egg, kedgeree, corned beef hash, gunpowder smoked salmon, bacon, sausage, grilled tomatoes, Portobello mushroom, Heinz baked beans, and toast. More than enough for two, but I panic ordered a side portion of black pudding, just in case.

My favourite was the gunpowder smoked salmon, which had a great texture and a pleasing kick of chilli; my least favourite, the corned beef hash, which had a thin consistency and was quite salty. That small criticism aside, each individual item of the Brunch Plank was well prepared, tasty and used quality ingredients.

I was invited by Bread & Pudding on this occasion, but I have been a fan of their food and atmosphere since they opened. I can’t wait to go back – and not just to nurse a hangover at their Bloody Mary Buffet.

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