Celebrating The Golden Hour: Autumn Lunch Ritual

‘Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.’ Jim Bishop.

We don’t like to play favourites, but autumn has always had a special place in our hearts. There is something about the pace slowing down as summer comes to an end. As we journey into a new season, the summertime electricity leaves the air, and all that urgency is replaced with something lighter and softer. Autumn seems to ask less of us. It wants us to settle down, take a breath and question exactly what it is we need — or, more importantly, what we want. At GAIL’s, our answer to that question is always the same; something delicious to eat, a comfortable, bright spot to enjoy it, and maybe a familiar face or two to share it with.

Celebrating the Golden Hour, your new autumn lunch ritual…

Autumn lunchtimes at GAIL’s are your Golden Hour. We want lunchtime to shine again. To be a moment you set aside for yourself each day, where pleasure takes precedence and the flavours of the season flood in. More lunchtime joy, if you will.

It might not always be golden outside, but what comes out of our kitchens is. To us, autumn is the flecked flesh of a pear, butter melting on a piece of hot toast, gently spiced carrots, sticky overnight oats, sunny squash, apple cake straight from the oven. Breaking apart a loaf of freshly baked bread, and everything you can possibly top it with.

As autumn drifts in, the daylight hours start to dwindle, the tempo slows and the skies start to get moodier. But it also gives us the chance to reflect. We are starting to see the value in quieter, more inward experiences. We want to indulge in the smaller, more fleeting parts of everyday life. There’s joy to be found everywhere, as long as we carve out the time for it.

At GAIL’s, we’re finding those moments in the kitchen. We want to rediscover the joys of slowing down. A lot can happen in an hour. That’s why we want your lunch break to be less of a rush, more of a ritual.

Lunch is essential. The promise of it can carry us through the morning, and the pleasures of it should linger for the rest of the day. We need lunch to work well, to stay lifted, to give us structure. It is something to be cherished. Alone, with friends, or perhaps with a colleague (but only one you can truly sit in comfort with). Take a book to the table. Turn off your phone. Listen to that album you’ve been neglecting, or to the murmur of the lunchtime rush around you. The sounds of the kitchen and the whistling of the coffee machine. Sweet treats being pulled from the counter.

Autumn Lunch

Capturing the season on our lunch menu. Old favourites meet seasonal dishes that reflect the warming, earthy flavours of the moment.

All autumn, you’ll see the season reflected on our menu. It’s no surprise that this time of year is all about warming, comforting flavours that soothe the soul. At lunchtime, our savoury dishes come straight from the oven to your plate in all shades of golden brown. Every flaky pastry, sugar-dusted bun, little sandwich loaf and crumbly cracker.

We’re celebrating the earthy flavours of autumn. Beautifully simple, unmistakably seasonal dishes. Soup made with 'Iberiko' winter tomatoes or the sweetest British carrots. Earthy freekeh topped with sweet potato, pomegranate and spicy seeds. Golden butternut squash and sage crustless pie. Sticky honey loaf cake. Short pastry filled with mushrooms, caramelised onions, Dijon mustard and Devonshire red cheese from Quicke’s. Crisp, juicy apples from our friends at Natoora. Lunchtime indulgences that come straight from the earth. We’re using tried and trusted favourites like Union Coffee, baking loaves with the finest Shipton Mill flour, and sustainably grown Two Farmers crisps. Our fresh, perfectly ripened fruit and vegetables are sourced at their seasonal best. All the favourites are here for you — flaky pastries, classic sandwiches, the crackers you can’t get enough of, but we want seasonal ingredients to be the star of the show this autumn.

So come and sit. Savour the season. It’s just one hour, but it’s enough to fortify you. Chat with the barista you see every day, take your coffee strong and hot. Stay longer than you usually would. Autumn is about learning to wind down a little. Make lunchtimes joyful. Quiet moments, bright flavours, small but meaningful interactions. This is the time of year when we find warmth inside, not out.

Autumn is the golden season, and lunch is our Golden Hour. Find your new ritual today in your local GAIL’s, or shop seasonal specials and all the classics online.

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