We don’t know about you, but we often feel that driving down the trunk of Palm Jumeirah on a Friday afternoon is akin to shedding the stresses and strains of a busy week, one speed bump at a time. And then you sweep up to the foyer of your favourite five-star hotel for a few hours of gloriously decadent, brunch-filled indulgence. Happy days.
Our pick this weekend is the Flow Kitchen brunch at Fairmont The Palm, where the décor is most definitely luxurious but the dress code is that easy mix of casual and no-fuss – and the focus is all on the family.
After an initial hiccup stemming from promised children’s entertainment that doesn’t actually materialise, we are relieved to find the kids’ buffet area is enticing enough to entirely distract our mini brunchers. The beautifully manicured lawn at the foot of the terrace also happens to be spacious enough for cartwheels and roly-polies interspersed with frequent top-ups from the chocolate fountain. Who needs manufactured fun when the vibe is so relaxed they can just make their own?
As for the grown-ups, there’s cuisine from the Middle East, India, Asia and the Mediterranean, that we thoroughly enjoy tucking into while overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf, swapping stories of already-failed New Year resolutions (three trips to the dessert station and there’s still an hour to go) and hopes and dreams for the rest of the year. One of which will now absolutely be returning here – the fresh seafood and deep curries especially demanding a repeat visit.
And you know you feel really at home somewhere when you realise you’re the only table left and it’s gone so dark you’re sending a search party out to hunt down the kids. Feeling relaxed now? You bet.
The bottom line
A chilled-out brunch with something for everyone. Recommended.
Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Dhs255 (adults, soft drinks only), half price (kids aged 6-12), free (kids aged five and under). Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).