Dukes Dubai hotel has that wow factor, especially if you enjoy classic décor with a modern twist and real food.
Stroll through the lobby area, bedecked with paintings of English nobles, dogs and the like, and you’ll come to the Great British Restaurant, a bright, airy space offering up great views and – we hope – a Great British brunch.
It’s here that serves up the ‘Best Dressed Brunch’ every Friday. We’re not sure if it refers to the punters or the food, but both are impressive.
Executive Chef Martin Cahill and his team aim to provide a truly modern British dining experience at this high-ceilinged, panoramic-windowed brasserie, with a focus on sourcing top-notch, seasonal produce, direct from the UK.
And it doesn’t disappoint. The venue is long and high, with black and white floor tiles giving a nod to classic design. There are a number of tables, large and small, offering diners the chance to sit close to the windows and enjoy the view, or closer to the kitchen to enjoy the food more.
This is a place that feels more like a long, relaxed Friday lunch than a (sometimes terrifying) no-holds-barred Friday brunch affair. The buffet is festooned with bunting and British flags, creating an almost summer street party feel.
Get your exercise strolling from one end of the buffet-style layout, where you will find a wide range of top British food, including beef, lamb, fish and chips, a host of seafood, salads, hot and cold starters and a pork station. Desserts include a chocolate fountain, sticky toffee pudding, a cheese stand, and a beautiful display of tiny individual desserts.
Dust off your zoot suit or your pearly king and queen outfits, because “The Best Dressed” theme is for guests – whoever is declared the best dressed at the brunch receives a free night’s stay at the stunning five-star Palm property.
We were impressed with the bread selection, a whole area dedicated to fresh bakery items – we noted homemade soda breads, sourdough, baguettes, focaccias and rolls. A salad bar offers a decent range of leaves, individual potted salads, terrines and miniature pies. There’s a variety of starters including prawn cocktail, Severn and Wye salmon, Colchester oysters, crab salad and pates.
Probably the heart of the brunch – other than the bar and the Hennessey trolley – is the rotisserie section.
The chefs will carve up your favourite meats here, such as beef, lamb or chicken, served with roast potatoes, grilled vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and all the sauces, pickles, mustards and condiments you could ask for. There’s even half a dozen different salts on offer. I’d like to say it’s as good as my mum used to make, but it’s better.
A live band plays classic and contemporary hits throughout proceedings. When we visited there was simply a guitar and a keyboard, making the music appropriately sophisticated for this well-dressed crowd.
The venue is renowned for its large G&Ts, and Bloody Mary’s, and there’s a sophisticated cocktail lounge upstairs for the discerning drinker to head post-brunch. While the Brest Dressed theme seems fun, there’s no obligation, and on our visit, it seemed to be a variety of people from ladies dressed up to the nines, to families who might have just come from the beach. Anything goes, we suppose!
If you’re looking for a taste of good British food – sadly much maligned in the past – then this is the brunch for you. Brits, if you are missing home, this will give you a true taste of the food you are probably missing, in a classy, sophisticated venue.
Best Dressed Brunch runs every Friday from 1pm to 4pm.