9AM. The sun glitters orange through the trees. Weird hours, these: you’ve never really been up this early on a Saturday, and everything has a wholesome glow about it, a late-to-school silence and illumination. Aren’t there lots of couples out, here, with red faces and matching climbing jackets? Isn’t there a large queue out of the one bakery near you that does good coffee? Look: young parents with a pram throw bread to grateful ducklings. Normally right now you are still twisting sweatily in bed, trying to process out the beer while you sleep. Normally you are still three hours from waking up and making an immediate Domino's order. But now look at you! Up! Out! Dressed! Sober!
Not for long. Three weeks ago a whole separate WhatsApp group was set up to plan this prosecco brunch, which for reasons beyond your comprehension you agreed to participate in ('It sounds fun,' you genuinely thought to yourself. 'Aha.') Then someone texted you telling them you needed to Monzo them twenty-six quid or they’d lose the table, and so here you are, a week before payday, bright eyed and determined to squeeze every drop of prosecco out of this brunch. You haven’t eaten since lunchtime yesterday so you can have three mains. You are going to make this place regret the very day it invented the concept of a brunch without an end.
The waiter approaches and asks you your order. For the two-hour seating of this pre-booked prosecco brunch, you are about to make their life hell. Do you ask for: