As with most of Atlantis, Bread Street Kitchen is a huge space. The wide, chequered flooring, high paned mirrors and subtle early 20th-century touches look lovely, but it is so spacious that when empty it can feel a little lifeless, so we ask to be seated outdoors. On our visit, after being cheerily greeted and presented with iced tea in dainty china cups, we are led outside, where the vibe is entirely different to that indoors.
The bougainvillea-lined lawn, drinks stations serving quintessentially British summery mixed drinks and the live barbecue (serving sizzling, juicy beef on humungous, pillowy Yorkshire puds) all make you feel as though you’re at a summer garden party. A live singer plays country-style acoustic covers of pretty much anything, and there are even rackets and shuttlecocks if you fancy a spot of badminton. With the full white marble tables, sunshine, trees, birdsong and mellow guitar, it’s almost quaint. Or a far cry from the hordes of tourists at Aquaventure next door, anyway.
The buffet selection inside is concise, with stations for cold and hot appetisers, desserts and cheese in each corner of the room. Hot appetisers include nibbles such as flatbreads, soft-shell crab sliders, eggs Benedict and ricotta pancakes with cinnamon sugar and caramelised banana (a highlight).
On the other side of the room you’ll find vibrant seafood such as oysters, some of the freshest lobster we’ve tried, and salads and ceviche. Mains are served to the table to share in ideal portion sizes that are neither too big nor too small, accompanied by rosemary potatoes and roasted pumpkin. The braised beef with carrot purée and mushrooms is fall-apart tender and the pan-fried catch of the day has perfectly crispy skin. Only a few dishes from the whole brunch miss the mark – a limp salad or two and a dry chicken with chimichurri – but everything else impresses.
For pudding, cut yourself a sizeable slice of fluffy Victoria sponge, order a cup of tea (if you want to go all-out, grab a cone of signature bread and butter ice-cream, too), and Bob’s your uncle. A positively delightful afternoon.
Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Over 21s only. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 200004 426 2000).
The bottom line A lazy and laid-back brunch with plenty of tasty and traditional British food and drink, that’s best enjoyed outside.