By EssentialsMAG food critic SALLY ANGLESEA
11 Hill Street, Wrexham LL11 1SN
Cost for one course brunch, for two people, with non-alcoholic drinks: £20 - £25.
As a child, I was conned into believing that my parents were genuinely witty human beings.
They seemed to possess a kitbag of titivating characters and catchphrases that they would consistently draw on throughout my childhood. Granted, some of the gags quickly became tiresome, including Dad's inability to resist blurting our 'pardon you!' at the sound of a chair creaking, or his Tourette style instinct to always respond to 'thank you' with, 'no, no - thank me!' Nonetheless, they did have some strong chortle-inducing contenders.
It was only during my late teenage years that after watching 'Harry Enfield and Chums' and 'Father Ted', I started to realise how deeply I had been deceived...turned out 'Poor Lulu' was not an affectionate (albeit totally unfounded) phrase they had randomly created for me and that my parents sporadic implementation of the Irish accent was not a natural infliction.
Despite this outlandish deception, over the course of their years together, they have formed their own, more original sort of language, inspired by their memories together and the private jokes they've shared. For example:
'Minoo' means balloon because as a toddler, my brother was apparently a total idiot and thought that's what they were called.
By the same token, 'sprite' means sprout because upon returning home from my first Girl Brownies session, in which you are placed within groups named after mythological creatures, I confidently announced myself as being a newly assigned 'Sprout'.
And finally, 'baby cheeses' means Baby Jesus - and 'Lebanese' means lesbian - because...well, because my parents are immature.
With this in mind, they were delighted to find 'shrooms', a longstanding Anglesea abbreviation, listed within the endlessly tempting Lot 11 menu. 'I knew it would catch on!' Dad cried, as if he could now officially lay claim to the word and finally retire a happy man.
This coincidental use of an Ang abbrev wasn't the only comforting element of the 'cafe and hideout', however, and before even glancing at the menu, we were instantly made to feel at home within the relaxed and modern interior; which was made all the more welcoming by the toasty aromas of freshly brewed coffee and homemade cakes.
Lot 11 is a hot breakfast and brunch spot in the heart of Wrexham that prides itself upon using locally sourced ingredients as part of simple and satisfying plates of food; taken from a menu that caters to all dietary requirements.
Along with their regular menu, Lot 11 offer an equally tempting Vegan selection and they have gluten free bread available too - but before you immerse yourself within their beautiful world of brunch, you may want to put some time aside for beverage deliberations. From English Breakfast to Fruits of Eden, if it's a good brew you're after, you'll be spoilt for choice. For those of you who prefer your morning mug a little livelier, they also offer a satisfying array of freshly brewed coffees. In addition to these warming staples, the list of chillier thirst quenchers continues with juices, smoothies, milkshakes and after 11am, a selection of beer, wine, cocktails and much to my delight, speciality gin. (Gin, if you’re listening, you’re all special to me.)
In an attempt to instantly lose a stone post-Christmas weight gain, I resisted an early afternoon G&T and instead opted for a similar acronym that offered up slightly less of a punch: Green Tea - with a slice of fresh lemon. To congratulate myself on this health conscious choosing, I then proceeded to order the chocolate hazelnut milkshake. Of course, it was topped with lashings of sweet whipped cream and essentially, two halves of a chocolate bar. Ridiculously, I ordered one to share between four of us and as a result, the waitress brought four straws...which, upon tasting the creamy dream, I promptly cut up into confetti and burnt to eliminate any potential prospect of sharing. Once you visit Lot 11 and taste this obscenely delicious milkshake, you will fully understand and appreciate this reaction.
On to the food...
After pigs in blankets galore over the festive period, I decided to swerve the bacon and sausage and instead opt for the ‘Big Veggie’ breakfast - a magnificently meatless plate of herby mushrooms, grilled halloumi, ‘proper’ baked beans, poached eggs, vine roasted tomatoes, crisp sourdough and a mound of kale for good measure.
Now, I must admit, when my Dad’s pig-laden brunch arrived, I feared my vegetarian impulse had been a mistake. However, as I dipped charred halloumi into golden, oozing egg yolk and mopped up smoky, slightly spiced beans with fresh, toasted sourdough, meat was the last thing on both my plate and my mind. Forget tinned baked beans, watery mushrooms and veggie sausages that look (and taste) like they’ve been regurgitated; every element of this veggie triumph was deliciously satisfying.
If you’re a devoted carnivore with an impressive appetite and aren’t at all tempted by a bacon-less brunch, do not fear, Lot 11 also have just the thing for you... cue the Big Bagel: locally sourced bacon, sausage and black pudding with poached egg, tomatoes, mushrooms and proper beans, all overflowing out of a crisp, buttered bagel. Dad was mightily impressed with every bite and despite convincing himself the portion would be far too much for him, he heroically managed to polish off the lot. It’s made it to the Top 3 of my proud daughter moments.
As a more alternative choice, Mum opted for a Truffle Benedict: mushrooms, bacon and of course, poached eggs, smothered in a delicately flavoured truffle hollandaise. Luckily for Mum and despite my total adoration for truff, I HATE hollandaise sauce. I’d literally rather stick an entire pineapple up my left nostril than even sniff the stuff. So, I’ve had to take her word for the fact that it was: ‘beautifully creamy and rich with the perfect amount of truffle.’ Thanks, Mum. My left nostril remains in tact.
Before visiting Lot 11, it had been recommended to me on numerous occasions. In fact, only the week before, I was sat in my local hairdressers when Amy and Tonisha (my hair styling Queens) had been raving about the place, mid-ginger mane blow-drying – and now I absolutely understand why. Committed to cooking up local produce at reasonable prices, this lively and totally lush joint is exactly what Wrexham needs. The service is slick, the food is honest and the atmosphere is energised with a genuine passion for heartening hospitality.
In the midst of an era consumed by online orders and internet shopping, it’s easy to forget what independent wonders are waiting for us on our doorstep - but Lot 11 is certainly one of North Wales’. From smashed avocado to roasted tomato; pan seared steak to sweet pancakes; golden yolked poachies to simple sausage toasties; your only struggle will be choosing just one dish.
So, if you’re looking for a place that’s lacking in pretension and overflowing with character, I’d advise you to make a resolution you’ll gladly stick to this new year and visit this hidden gem in the heart of Wrexham - you will not regret it.
G'wan, g'wan, g'wan...
Late Loft - Lot 11 is open until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays! Offering wine, beer, cocktails and an impressive gin selection, it's the perfect place to kick start those weekend vibes.
Event Nights - Nab your tickets now for a Speciality Gin Evening that Lot 11 are hosting in May. At £25 for four delicious courses, including drinks, you may want to be quick!
Brunch in Style - Beautify your brunch experience to the max by visiting Lot 11's beauty bar. Located upstairs, the Beauty Boutique offers facials, nails and hair treatments. Open Mon-Fri, by appointment only.
For more foodie fanaticism and photos, follow Sally on Instagram: @gingernutsaboutfood