Brunch can mean different things to different people. When Marge Simpson innocently enquires as to what brunch is, her French fancy man Jacques replies: "It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don't get completely what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal!" A teacher friend told me about overhearing some girls in his class at Broughton Primary discussing what brunch is exactly - they decided that brunch is just breakfast but with chips. For me, brunch is sometime on a Sunday between 10am and 3pm, somewhere with an all day breakfast menu and involves orange juice, a coffee and the weekend papers. I'm very lucky that one of the closest places for me to go for brunch is also one of my favourites, Porto and Fi in Newhaven. Located by the Newhaven Harbour, there's beautiful views of the lighthouse and across to Fife.
Brunch times at Porto and Fi are 8am til 12pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday (10am til 6pm). The brunches are incredibly popular but the service rarely suffers for it, nor does it ever feel crowded. It's a great place to nurse a hangover (their bacon rolls are perfect for this) or to start off a healthy weekend (porridge and yoghurt with granola) and everything in between. My favourite is an eggs benedict with smoked salmon (£6.35) and they happily accommodate fusspots like me who want the hollandaise sauce on the side. I find poached eggs quite rich anyway and I like to dip away at the sauce, which has an excellent lemony taste and consistency. Other specialties are french toast with bacon and maple syrup (£6.95), scrambled eggs and parma ham on toast (£6.45) and a black pudding and tomato roll (£3.45). There's also good old croissants and toast with jam on the menu too. There are some rather excellent drinks available - smoothies, Bundaberg ginger beer, Luscombe juices and coke floats! Hangover bliss. They're also licensed and often have specialty beers available.
Porto and Fi have a fantastic main menu too, separated into Light Bites and Usual Suspects. The light bites range are all fairly substantial, and the mains are divided into sections From the Sea, Butcher's Choice and Standards. All of the mains are available for £5.95 as smaller portions. Highlights from the main menu are the fish and chips - fresh fish goujons with curly fries served in a pail and the chicken ciabatta which comes with crazy amounts of coleslaw and salad.
For afters there is a wide selection of yummy traybakes and cakes - specialties are their chocolate & beetroot cake and the banana tart. A small selection of organic and specialty foods is available downstairs and you can order hampers for a wee picnic - all part of Porto and Fi's local charm.