Urban Picnic at 3in1
Charm, character and style go hand in hand at this picnic4/5Best for:
Chilling out with friends
Head downstairs from the chic white lobby of the Vida Downtown and you’ll come to 3in1, a bright and airy restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows that open out to a small courtyard pool. It has the same whimsical, dreamy decor as the rest of the hotel, but for the brunch it’s dressed up in a quaint and tasteful picnic theme. Outside are wooden picnic tables and cabanas, which can be booked for an extra fee, and from where you can lounge beside the pool on bean bags.
The picnic theme carries through to the food, and buffet tables are laden high with cheese, bread, mini sandwiches, pizza, toasties, little jars of crisp, fresh salads and seafood ceviche. The best part (especially for cheese lovers) is the fondue station; fill a dish with creamy, gooey, cheesy goodness and enjoy with beetroot and carrot batons, bread sticks and crunchy slices of toasted baguette. Steak, lamb chops and a seafood basket are also served to the table, along with potatoes and vegetables. A fun dessert selection includes cheesecakes, crumbles, mini chocolate milkshakes, macaroons and grasshopper cake – a mint and chocolate fudge mousse-like dessert that’s light and fluffy and tastes like an Aero.
Fruity iced teas and lemonades are served in jars with stripy straws. There’s a drinks package inclusive of grape and mixed beverages as well as a bubbly package. As a nice touch, bottles of grape can be selected buffet-style from a display of bottles and glasses.
Mostly families and large groups celebrating birthdays, but on the whole the atmosphere is laidback and civilised. The venue itself is quite small, and tables aren’t packed together, so even when booked to capacity, it doesn’t feel crowded or busy.The dress code:
Light and summery – think a picnic at Ascot (minus the fascinators).
Nothing to complain about – all the staff are cheerful and accommodating.
Extras & entertainment:
A spirited and talented singer whose covers strike a perfect balance between jazzy, upbeat and mellow.
Highs & lows:
The concept of collecting food from the buffet in picnic baskets is a nice idea, but quite impractical, and only really works for the bottles of grape (hardly a complaint). The seafood basket, on the other hand, is a definite high – grab all the Alaskan crab in sight before anyone else catches on; it’s truly outstanding.
The after party:
At Vida, chilled lounge bar Stage2 has a happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, and nearby Souk Al Bahar is full of popular watering holes such as Left Bank and Karma Kafé.Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (selected beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Poolside cabanas can be booked for an additional Dhs100 per person. Fri 1pm-5pm. Vida Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, www.vida-hotels.com (04 428 6888).