When I heard that the newest hotel on Palm Jumeirah was due to be called Dukes Dubai I had to do a quick Google search to ascertain its heritage. The reason? One of my Favourite boutique hotels in London is Dukes in Mayfair. Inside this gorgeous, quintessential hotel lies Dukes Bar which was purportedly one of Ian Fleming’s favourite watering holes and thanks to their award-winning martini’s supposedly where James Bond got his love for the classic drink. Not only that but it is claimed that it was within this cosy bar that Mr Fleming penned the famous line “Shaken not stirred”. Pretty cool huh?? I wouldn’t say I’m a fountain of knowledge, far from it in fact, but now and again I do manage to pull out a blinder!
Anyway, I digress… the point of the above was to let you all know that my Google search did prove that lo and behold Dukes Dubai was from the same family as Dukes London. Yippee! This gave me great cause for excitement and even more so when I discovered they’d just launched a brunch in their Great British Restaurant (GBR). Not just any old brunch either, it is aptly the named the “Best Dressed Brunch” and the best dressed guest on the day is awarded with a night’s stay at Dukes Hotel.
You enter Dukes grand lobby to the sight of a jaw-dropping Swarovski chandelier, stunning floors and a sweeping staircase but with some quaint British touches which I loved and saved the hotel from feeling too-Dubai. GBR is at the back of the lobby and is a lot bigger than I was expecting. With a beautiful bar as its centrepiece, ridiculously shiny chequered floor, huge leather booths, classy artwork and ginormous drapes the restaurant has some major wow factor going on.
This is a buffet style brunch and boy is it a good one. Many people have different tactics when it comes to approaching a buffet. My personal style is to never jump in right away and begin with a reccie of everything on offer. This puts you in a strong position to make a strategic decision on how to hit all the best dishes without filling up too soon. The selection starts with stunning salads, gorgeous prawn cocktails, pates, dips, breads and plenty of fresh seafood. You absolutely cannot miss out on the burrata trolley! I am a HUGE fan of burrata (shocker!) and so spied this almost as soon as I entered the room. There are literally mounds of the stuff piled high on the trolley and the helpful chef will quickly whip you up a beautiful burrata and heritage tomato salad while you wait, drizzling it with some fine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Trust me when I tell you it was one of the highlights for me.
Once you’ve finished here there are two large areas for mains (see why I told you to be careful not to fill up to quickly!). I’m talking chicken tikka masala (the classic British dish!), mini fish and chips, sliders, braised meats, a pasta station; the selection just goes on and on and on. The best part for me had to be the roast and Yorkshire pudding section. Are you even British if you don’t love a roast dinner?? They had a huge roast lamb and roast beef ready for slicing with a mound of fresh Yorkies ready for devouring. Now, I’ve done a few roasts in Dubai and my biggest gripe is that they tend to overcook the meat, but not here. The beef was literally melt-in-your-mouth perfect and still pink on the inside. I was in heaven!!
Onto desserts and yet again where to begin?! There were cupcakes, Victoria sponge, Battenberg, lemon tarts, mini trifles and cute little apple crumbles. The selection was plentiful and they were all very well executed. There was even a white chocolate fountain (sorry, I know it’s a bit cliché but my inner-child just loves a chocolate fountain!) with a huge selection of fruits and marshmallows ready for dipping. If you have a sweet tooth this is going to make you very happy.
So by this point in the day, after all of the above the only way to finish brunch is to go out with a bang and indulge in some delicious cheese and a glass of red. Can I hear a hell yeah? The cheese section was gorgeous and stinky (my fave kind!) with loads of condiments and incredible fresh bread to go with it. The only thing I thought slightly odd was that most of the cheeses were French, but who’s being picky?
In terms of drinks at GBR’s brunch, think serious British tipples with a dedicated Pimms and Bloody Mary station. On top of this you can order wines, spirits and beers at your table (house beverages – 395 AED), sparkling wine (445 AED) or French bubbles (545 AED) depending what package you are on. Our waiter was on a serious mission to ensure we enjoyed ourselves and was back and forth with Pimms, Cosmopolitons, mojitos, etc. without us even asking as well as ensuring our wine and champagne glasses were never less than half full. The best was yet to come however… towards the last hour or so a gin trolley is wheeled out where the lovely waitress will be happy to mix up your favourite gin cocktail or make a recommendation to try something new. They even had Fever Tree Tonics which filled me with so much joy. I love how they are becoming so much more popular in Dubai.
So after all that we were literally ready to burst but very happy with our feed and amazing drinks. This is definitely a brunch to visit if you like a buffet but with seriously good quality British food on offer. The whole ambience was fab, it was rammed to the rafters and the incredible live music really kept the place buzzing in the classy way which is missing from some brunches.
For more info go to: https://www.dukesdubai.com/offers/best-dressed-brunch/ or call +971 4 455 1101