A recent Sunday morning, bright, clear & crisp – the perfect autumnal day; we grabbed a quick take out coffee and wandered along Grafton street, on our way to look at the Brown Thomas Christmas windows which had been unveiled a few days before. The windows are undoubtedly very beautiful, with a theatrical theme, celebrating all the glamour of theatre life…they are just not very christmassy though and I’d prefer to see the theme made a bit more festive. Onwards we walked, onto Dame Street and around the side of the Central Bank. Our destination, 15 Crown Alley and the Vintage Cocktail Club.
The entrance is a small doorway with the letters ‘VCC’ on it – all there is to identify you are in the right place. When we arrived, a couple had just rung the bell and were waiting along with another couple so we waited with them. A minute or so later, the door was opened and we all entered, led up a dimly lit staircase. Arriving on the 1st floor, the couples ahead of us were seated and then it was our turn. We had booked ahead and were seated at a little table, along the wall. The room is quite dark, mostly lit by candlelight and quite atmospheric. I’d definitely like to try it next time at night! But Brunch is what we were here for… the menus arrived, for food and more importantly cocktails! It was 1pm, we could justify a cocktail or two!
The brunch menu is reasonably varied, pancakes, french toast, bacon & eggs, eggs benedict. What caught my eye was the colcannon cake and fried egg but it was a toss up between it and the smoked haddock and poached egg; in the end I went for the colcannon cake. My husband was hungry so decided on the hanger steak and eggs served with shoestring fries. The menu has most dishes, including the colcannon cake priced at €10 with the haddock and poached egg and a tasting board of eggs benedict/french toast/colcannon cake at €14 and the steak at €19. Fairly reasonable and well priced for a brunch menu we thought.
Food decided on we turned our attention to the extensive cocktail menu. Given it was relatively early in the day and we were out for brunch, we wanted something citrusy or fruity so the ‘White Rose’ fit the bill – gin, lemon, orange and maraschino with a lovely frothy top and a sprig of mint. It was so good, we ordered the same again for our second round. The cocktails are priced at €11.95 each which at night time I think is ok (still fairly pricey so for a couple of drinks it would be fine, all night could be a different story!)…it would be nice to see an offer for cocktails earlier, perhaps they could select a couple of cocktails that are priced lower with brunch. That would definitely have me back quicker! (A note on the photos, as mentioned earlier, it was quite dark, so photo quality for iphone pictures isn’t good)
The food arrived, presented beautifully, and looked so appetizing. We dove in, and I really can’t say enough good things about my dish. The colcannon cake was served with crispy ham, tomatoes and a mustard mayonnaise. It was perfect, and on a return visit I wouldn’t hesitate to have the same. The hanger steak had 2 fried eggs on top and a mountain of shoe string fries (I tasted them… delicious). Both were excellent. We saw some of the other dishes coming out to diners around us and every single thing that came up from the kitchen looked pretty fabulous.
Our total bill not including service would have been €80, primarily made up of the cocktails! The food was €29 of this total. We finished with 2 coffees, served in the prettiest vintage tea cups, a nice touch. So here’s a disclosure… the bill of €80 is what it should have been, VCC very kindly offered brunch for 1 with a cocktail in response to a twitter competition they ran. So we paid less than that on this occasion. We thoroughly enjoyed the vintage cocktail club, the place itself is quirky and unique, the brunch was incredible, the cocktails lovely (but expensive)…If you’re looking for a place to spend a decadent weekend afternoon, with nice food and amazing cocktails this is definitely the place for it.