Brunch. Such an innocuous word. Before I came to Dubai it conjured up images of a good old English fry-up, usually on a Sunday, with friends dissecting the antics of the night before. It took about an hour or so in one of Manchester's many cafes and greasy spoons.
Now, well. Brunch has a whole different meaning since the infamous beach incident here (see my previous posts). Lots of braying ex-pats draped in streamers drinking straight from the bottle and dancing on tables.
My reasons for bringing up these pre-conceptions....well, we went for brunch this Friday. But before you jump to the wrong conclusion, if the brunch you had imagined was as above, (let's call it the Ford Focus of brunches) you're wrong. We went to the Bentley of brunches, at Nineteen, a restaurant within the most stunning golf club. And I don't like golf.
The golf club in itself is a marvel; so much greenery, in the desert! The restaurant was divine. Quite intimate, dark wood and very grown up. In a refined, not boring way. If the Lowry did brunches then this is what they would be like.
So much food to choose from, and all in little taster dishes so you could try everything. A salad station (and if you can't choose from the hundreds pre-prepared, the chef will create one especially for you, naturally), a cheese/deli station, a seafood station with fresh fish, shellfish, sushi, and then an a la carte main course which you choose from an actual menu.
The food was divine, the service was wonderful, the atmosphere was just right. Free flowing wine, beer and cocktails for three hours, and yet everyone managed to get just the right side of 'refreshed'. No one danced on tables, or performed any indecent acts. Perfect!
I really can't understand why no-one has thought of introducing the brunch concept to England. Then I think of Brits abroad and it makes sense....