Review: SIX at the Varsity Hotel

Image credit: Jessie Mathewson

The Varsity Hotel is not the obvious student brunch location. Tucked away on Thompsons Lane, it’s a far cry from anything you'll find in college – even by Murray Edwards’ standards. The hotel's restaurant, SIX, is (unsurprisingly) on the sixth floor, and the view – which takes in St. John's, Trinity and Jesus Green – is probably one of the best in the city. Its panoramic perfection lifted the TCS team out of the claustrophobia of ‘The Bubble’ for a lazy Saturday morning meal (or maybe that was the cocktails). 

SIX’s brunch menu is small, but well curated: firm favourites like pancakes and bacon, or eggs Benedict sit alongside a few more unusual options. I tried the turkish eggs, a satisfyingly combination of poached egg and yogurt, dressed with chilli and olive oil, and served with sourdough toast. Like most of the food on the brunch menu, it is simple, relying on an unusual twist and perfect cooking to make it special. The full breakfast played on British tradition, with cumin and miso spicing up the vegetables, and boar sausages replacing pork. Eggs Florentine boasted the shiniest hollandaise I have ever seen, and the pancake stack also lived up to expectations, even by the standards of my American co-editor.

Drinks with brunch might feel like a decadent option, but if you’re going to go all-out, the cocktail menu is tempting. Champagne was an obvious choice, and their Taittinger unsurprisingly hit the spot. Peach bellini, made with fresh juice was zingy and fresh, and the delicately spiced Bloody Mary was refreshing with the food. 

SIX also offers the full-on option of puddings with your brunch, and in the spirit of thorough reviewing, we gave them a go. The apple pie, creme brulee and brownie we sampled were all deliciously moreish – the brownie slab in particular lived up to its name, and the rich salted caramel and hazelnut combination proved too much to finish after the first course. I am still living with the regret. 

SIX is not your typical student spot: the sumptuous restaurant screams functional adulthood, and the price tag matches. With options ranging from £9 to £12, it might be better for your budget to wait until a friendly relative pays a visit. But for the experience – delicious, thoughtful and high-quality food and drinks in a remarkable setting – it’s certainly not exorbitant. 

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