Living in Dubai can definitely feel like residing on a different planet – (probably one in the shape of Michael Jackson’s white glove with suitably Swarovski ‘d finger ‘fronds’ where villas are made of spangled lurex and start at 40 Million AED… )
As we’ve all watched the hotels and attractions grow bigger and gaudier, and gain more self appointed stars … There is a shining beacon of certainty amongst the overpriced and under – delivering establishments currently popping up on every corner.
That certainty for me has always been The Jumeirah Group. I’ve never had anything but impeccable service with a smile wherever I have drank, dined or danced. As other Dubai hotspots crop up across the city , sharing the same attempt at minimal luxury, with a maximum price tag, Many have failed to recognise that if one wishes to charge 5 star prices, the service had better match.
And as the hotels grow more gimmicky, and more polished marble and , well ‘beige’, The Jumeirah Beach Hotel sits in the shadow of it’s seven star sister with the confidence of one who has seen it all. It’s not a particularly fashionable haunt, but from one who has stayed in the grey concrete confines of a ‘W’ hotel (complete with see through toilet cubicle) , trendy and ‘now’ are not words I’d want to associate with family dining.
Family dining is an oxymoron in our household. Any ventures into the outside world are taken with trepidation and very rarely include little more than a well timed trip to a food court after a deliberately exhaustive session on the soft play. Basically , any attempts at a family day out (unless they include a water park, it seems) are literally either a delight or a disaster, and no one knows which until we get there.
So, JBH. We’d heard great things about the family brunch, we’d heard the service offering was a cut above any other places promise of keeping the kids entertained and happy, (whilst mum and dad for once managed at least a few hot forkfuls before refereeing fights or supervising countless trips to the loo)
But you see, my kids, however much I love ’em, aren’t like many other kids. If they are bored, they are bored. the slightest anything can trigger a tantrum and we have left places before we’ve even ordered in the past.
But I’ve had enough, I want us to be able to go out together, socialise and spend quality time together after the lengthy summer and Ramadan, and I was convinced the Saturday Family Brunch at Latitude was the answer.
This ground floor, bright and airy casual dining restaurant is the hotel’s main buffet area and perfect for family dining. Floor to ceiling windows lead to an outside terrace overlooking greenery and tables are set away from the food serving area.
The welcome , as always was a great one, and our server showed us around the whole array of food before escorting us to our table.
And the food. Typically, every cuisine is catered for, with seemingly nothing left out. an extensive range of Sushi and oriental dim sum sits alongside every type of salad one could wish for. Then there is a pasta and noodle station, a stir fry station and a carvery where smiling chefs are waiting to make up your
At the very end of the long dining area is the children’s section. This
incorporates a small area with a number of staff on hand to supervise, the opportunity for face painting, balloon modelling, and a toddler height buffet full of the usual suspects.
Surprisingly, My lot were happy to partake from the main selection, (even though the boys ended up with sausage, beans and Yorkshire pudding (!) and H chose to make her own pizza .
Whilst quietly tucking in, we were visited by ‘Chef’ who came to say hello and warn us of the magic show that was taking place in an hour. In between finishing lunch, moseying down to the kids area, balloon sword fighting, face painting and ‘dancing’ to the startled band, this hour flew.
Can I just take this time to point out that we had been out in public a whole hour and a half without threats of Divorce and or having to leave, 2 hysterical small people in tow.
Nope, the angels were looking down on us on Saturday, in no small part to the planning of the afternoon and, actually the layout of the restaurant.
You see, apart from the dessert station, which is central, The kids are not near the food, so are not tempted to wonder, randomly prodding and picking. the band are in the centre of the long dining room and the ‘play area’ is at the bottom. Your kids will eat and not be distracted by the activities.
The friendly chef, who turned out to be the afternoons comedy juggling magician starts his show well into the afternoon giving all the chance to have eaten plenty before he starts.
You see it’s thoughtful touches such as these that make a big difference to our family outings, and I’m sure there are others in the same boat
The food is fab, but I’m sure you don’t need telling that.
The kids sat transfixed by the magician, who i have to say , really is pretty good, and dad, well lets just say, Dad enjoyed the cocktail menu as much as he enjoyed his dinner.
As we left after an absolutely delightful, stress free , almost 3 hours, we were all sated. there really had been something for everyone. I miss the whole British ‘Sunday Lunch’ culture and I really think I could go to Latitude every Saturday. Unfortunately, my finances don’t stretch that far.
As reliable the service and standards of The Jumeirah Group are, they also remain re-assuringly expensive. For a day like ours though – worth every penny.
No I can’t do it every week, but I wish I could, and I think the kids do too..
3 happy kids, one very happy ( amazingly relaxed and happily relieved) Mum.
Saturday Family Brunch at Latitude, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Timings: 12.30pm to 4.00pm
Price: AED 185 per adult (excludes alcoholic beverages)
AED 340 per adult (includes alcoholic beverages)
AED 85 per child (5-12 years old), under 4’s free of charge
For more information, please contact Jumeirah Beach Hotel Restaurant Reservations
Tel: +9714 406 8999