Long, lazy Fridays eating and catching up with family and friends sounds like an idyllic weekend treat, but, for little ones, it can seem like a bit of a chore. Because what four-year-old wants to sit at the table for hour after hour, no matter how many jelly bear-infused ice creams they are allowed to scoff? So, we’ve had a look around to find some brunches to please the whole family. Dealing with the sugar rush afterwards is up to you, though...
Aqua (Rosewood Abu Dhabi)
The intimate culinary affair that is the Friday brunch at Rosewood might be what excites the adults, but the kiddie extravaganza inside the Rose Buds Kids’ club just down the corridor is what will have your tots clamouring for more. They even get to wear their own kid-sized chef outfits to keep them clean, and the monster pick ‘n’ mix station and cookie and doughnut decorating station to keep them sweet. In the meantime, you can savour everything from the carvery stations to the curries, and relax!
Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs350 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly), Dhs125 ( Kids six to 12 years, under sixes free). Rosewood Abu Dhabi (02 813 5550).
Located on the first floor of the Four Seasons, this is a feeding frenzy that suits both big and small. A very well thought-out brunch, the stations have been carefully chosen to span every palate. While you enjoy the tastes and flavours from the oyster bar and salad section, the kids will love having their own buffet to choose from. Main courses include mini koftas, magnificent ribs and flavoursome turkey, with a fine selection of cheeses. Round it off with a dessert section filled with cupcakes, truffles, candy floss and ice cream. Top tip, sit near the terrace so the kiddos can enjoy the bouncy castle.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs595 (bubbly), Dhs125 (Kids aged six-12), free (kids to five years). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi (02 333 2222).
This one calls on you to enjoy everything that is decadent as you enjoy some seriously tempting culinary creations at The Big Brunch at Ingredients. With five open kitchens to choose from, this is an extravaganza that won’t be forgotten.
Dhs220 (soft drinks), Dhs310 (house beverages), Dhs480 (bubbly), 12.30pm-4pm. Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara (02 656 1000).
Take the little princes and princesses to a laid-back brunch at the Palace and you will win some serious brownie points. Because this one is jam-packed with salads, seafood, sizzling meats and curries to delight the taste buds. Little ones will love the sweet breakfast options to give them energy before they head off to the myriad activities on offer in the supervised (yes, no need for Mum and Dad!) children’s area. With seats scattered among the palm trees, it’s a lovely way to catch some winter sun.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs350 (house beverages), Dhs145 (kids aged ten-12), free (kids under ten), Friday 12.30pm-4pm. Las Brisas, Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road (02 690 9000).
Friday Fairmont Brunch
With the ‘Fairmont Five’ offering up top nosh, this is a brunch you won’t forget in a hurry. Cedar Lounge, Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, Frankie's Italian Restaurant & Bar, Sports Café and CuiScene all jostle for favour on your plate and smaller diners will love choosing from their own buffet and getting creative with the crayons in the kids’ corner.
Dhs279 (soft drinks) Dhs369 (house beverages), Dhs168 (Kids aged six-12), free (kids under five), 12pm-4pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3333).
Simple, wholesome food, served up with some dulcet strains of jazz make for the perfect lazy afternoon. The food, split across five courses, is brought to the table to share, which works really well for families out for some weekend reconnecting time. Kids’ favourites such as the juicy meatballs, dough balls, pizza and pasta ensure clean plates and full tummies. And colourful salads add the five a day. A lovely way to start the weekend.
Dhs129 (soft drinks), Dhs199 (Italian bubbly). Dhs65 (kids aged six-12), free (kids to five years). Fri 12pm-4pm. The Hub, the Mall at World Trade Center (02 444 7752).
Service with a smile is what is offered up at Nahaam, where you can eat on the terrace overlooking the pool. The food is a delight, with choices from all of the restaurants within the hotel, from Lebanese to Italian, pasta to sushi, so it’s almost like going on a globetrot, without the stress of all that packing and remembering the passports. Live cooking stations add to the fun and the little ones can enjoy kicking back on the beanbags scattered in the lounge area. Free access to the pool and beach adds a little splash to the day.
Dhs342 (soft drinks), Dhs462 (house beverages), Dhs594 (bubbly), Dhs171 (kids aged four-12), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30-3.30pm. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).
Pitstop brunch at Viceroy
Taste some of the finest food from the most famous motor racing tracks in the world from Monaco to Shanghai. It’s a clever campaign by the Viceroy to capitalise on its pole position on Yas Island, and it really works. If you eat on the terrace, you can enjoy views of where all the high-octane action takes place, while enjoying a delicious international buffet and live entertainment.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs480 (bubbles), Dhs112 (kids aged six-12), free (kids to five years). Fri 12.30-4pm, Yas Vicreroy, Yas Island, (02 656 0600).
“Bring in the clowns,” they shouted, and that’s exactly what happened! This is a brunch that will wow the wee ones with clowns making animal balloons adding to the magic of the day. And with the home-made ice creams, three types of chocolate fountain and six types of churros with accompanying sauces, they will be more than happy to brunch for hours.
Dhs285 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly), Dhs143 (kids aged six-12), free (kids to five years). Fri 1pm-4pm, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 509 8555).
Terrace on the Corniche
Indulge in a massive buffet packed with colour and flavours which will sate even the heartiest appetites. With a mouthwatering selection of the freshest seafood, sushi, foie gras, fine grilled cuts and more to choose from, every member of the tribe will be kept busy. The dedicated dessert room can be used as a bribe to keep things moving along.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs385 (house beverages), Dhs525 (bubbly), Dhs138 (kids aged six-12), free (kids to five years) Friday 1pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Al Khubeirah (02 694 4553).
The Sportsman’s Arms
There is no room for picky eaters at this brunch, because every taste bud is catered for, even the most fastidious. Children can pick from four main courses, which include penne pasta, chicken fingers, beef burgers and pizza and the promise of popcorn and ice cream for pudding will ensure those plates are scraped clean. Meanwhile, you can settle into a delicious range of traditional roast dishes, fish and chips or zingy salads with seared salmon amongst others. And the play area will keep them smiling while you watch the world go by (or stuff your face with sticky treats!).
Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs250 (house beverages), Dhs350 (mixed drinks), Dhs60 (kids). Fri 1pm-4pm. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).
Brunching Lebanese style, this is an afternoon where appetites are well satisfied with succulent meat skewers, mezze plates and smaller bites ready to wow. The hot stations entice with plenty of choices including a very popular pasta station. Candy floss and popcorn machines keep little brunchers happy, as does the well-stocked kids’ zone and wandering clown. Definitely one for the must list.
Dhs95, Dhs45 (kids aged four-11), free (children under four), Fri 12pm-4pm. Al Matar (02 447 4489).