When it comes to Mother’s Day, finding the right gift can be tricky. Do you go with the standard bouquet? Or do you take mum out for the day? And if so, where? Afternoon tea, light lunch, Sunday roast… the options are endless.
But for my mum, there was no question as to what the perfect treat would be – a boozy bottomless brunch.
We headed to Chapter, a pizzeria on the cobbled streets of Burgate, just off Canterbury High Street. It specialises in sourdough pizzas, paired with a menu of fizz and cocktails.
Mum and I were slightly concerned when we strolled up to the unassuming black-and-brick building and saw a police car parked outside – luckily it was simply waiting to drive further into town, meaning whatever was going on had nothing to do with our brunch.
We were both in an exceptionally good mood, especially as it was a beautiful day.
The sun was shining and the slight breeze was pleasant rather than chilly. It might sound dull to talk about the weather but, as the sun beamed onto our table through the open window, it really set the spring mood.
We took our seats in the spacious booth, which was in the perfect position to people-watch on a Saturday, and were immediately offered our first bottle of prosecco by the server, whose friendly manner only added to the restaurant’s warmth.
The wood-panelled walls, exposed brick and open kitchen gave the inside a cool, modern feel, while keeping the welcoming atmosphere of this more traditional part of Canterbury.
The restaurant filled up pretty quickly, mostly with groups of women who were also lucky enough to choose the nicest day of the year so far – lots of floral prints and pastels, as you can imagine.
Despite being fairly busy, we never felt crowded or rushed. When the server first came over to take our order, we’d been so busy snapping selfies and chatting about the sunshine that we hadn’t even glanced at the menu, and it wasn’t a problem.
I let mum choose first – it’s her treat, after all – and she opted for a small bottle of peach purée to accompany her bubbles.
I went for the orange juice, and we happily made our own bellinis and buck's fizz at the table. Oh, and we poured ourselves a sensible glass of water, of course.
Neither of us had never been to a bottomless brunch before so we were both questioning how truly bottomless the drinks would be – turns out, entirely.
We’d polished off our first bottle before the pizzas even arrived and, without asking, it was swiftly replaced by a second.
That reminds me – there was food involved at this brunch. We thought it’d be wise to soak up the booze with a hearty meal, despite it only being midday when we arrived.
I started off with the mushroom arancini, which was a little bit stodgy for my stomach so early in the day, but still tasty with a strong garlic dip.
Mum was thrilled that they offered one of her favourite dishes, crispy squid, to start, and it was cooked perfectly.
While we waited for our main course, mum decided she’d had enough of mixing the peach purée with her drink and went for the hard stuff on its own, so I had a little taste and I must admit, it was quite sweet – just right for my sweet tooth, but not for everyone.
Our pizzas then arrived and I think it’s fair to say our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.
In an attempt to protect our insides from our day drinking, we’d ordered two absolutely enormous pizzas loaded with toppings for ‘brunch’. We certainly got our money’s worth.
It took almost an hour to get through them – with mum eventually giving up and taking a couple of slices home – but they were delicious.
Mine was the veggie-friendly funghi pizza, with mushrooms, potatoes, rosemary and two different cheeses, while mum had the giardiniera, with artichoke, wild broccoli and olives.
It was listed as a vegan pizza but they kindly offered to make mum’s with dairy cheese (I suppose the squid starter was a bit of a giveaway).
Even though we couldn’t manage another morsel of pizza, there’s always room for dessert, and mum had eyed up a lemon cheesecake that she wasn’t leaving without.
My memory of the dessert is a little more hazy than the first two courses – no idea why – but I do know that the cheesecake lived up to expectations and my mango sorbet was light, refreshing and just right to finish off the meal.
In between courses, we chatted about all sorts – grandad’s new car, our summer wardrobe, mum’s plans for a new garden – just the usual mum-and-daughter natter that comes up over two hours of prosecco and pizza which, as we live in different towns, is a rare thing these days.
If you’re still scratching your head over what to get your mum for Mother’s Day and, like us, you’re both fond of a tipple or two, the boozy bottomless brunch at Chapter is a great choice for mouth-watering food, endless drinks and some quality time.
Ratings out of five
Food: Delicious and filling with lots of good vegan and vegetarian options *****
Drink: Despite the peach puree being a little bit sugary, the free-flowing prosecco can’t be faulted ****
Decor: Inviting and spacious, with huge open windows to let in the sun and breeze ****
Staff: Service was quick and friendly, and we didn’t have to ask for any refills *****
Price: Three courses cost £39 per person which is more than I’d usually spend on pizza but after tasting the food and downing the drink, I didn’t begrudge the money at all ****