“If you aim to drink all day, you’d best start early.” UNKNOWN
Friday’s in the UAE are made for brunching and I can’t lie we’ve become quite partial to them, it’s almost a waste of a Friday if you haven’t over indulged at one of the capital’s vast alters of food and drink, as my ever-expanding waistline can testify! With our latest visitors in town and the weather a tad windy for outdoor activities or a jaunt on the boat, we decided to indulge in a fabulous 2-for-1 brunch offer at the St. Regis Hotel on the Corniche. With so many establishments offering brunch each one is vying for diners attention with a unique ‘hook’ or offer, such as a foodie brunch, a poolside brunch, a buffet that offers pork or even a table brunch and the St, Regis’s is attracting customers with its distinctive Bloody Mary Brunch. Ironically originally a hangover-cure rather than the cause of one, the Bloody Mary Brunch honours the signature St. Regis cocktail, first created at The St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar back in 1934 by French barman Fernand Petiot (at the outset considered quite a titillating name for a drink, it was renamed the Red Snapper but its original name has stood the test of time). From the minute I entered the St. Regis Hotel, I was captivated by its sheer elegance and old world charm, a complete contrast to its modern exterior. Talk about first impressions, this grand hotel lobby is adorned with stunning glass chandeliers and an impressive double sweeping staircase, both of which have embraced a bygone era of style and the hotel chain’s rich heritage, which certainly set the scene and sense of occasion. Launched in the capital at The Terrace on the Corniche restaurant (which intriguingly replaced the Rhodes 44 restaurant) back in October to commemorate the 80th anniversary of this famous vodka and tomato juice creation, The Bloody Mary Brunch celebrates the love of this cloudy, some may say somewhat acquired tasting beverage. It’s certainly been tweaked over the years by various bartenders and this signature version comes complete with a dash of horseradish and hot sauce, topped off with a stick of celery garnish. The beautiful decor continues through the hallway to The Terrace restaurant, which is sumptuously decorated in dark wood and rich and vibrant velvet upholstery, all complimented by large colourful canvases and stylish lighting. The restaurant has an outdoor garden terrace and bar and the dessert/cheese room located in the adjacent St Regis Bar library area (the bar beyond oozes old world charm) is probably the most decadent I’ve seen, both in decor and selection of food. If Bloody Mary’s are not your thing don’t be put off as there’s free-flowing Laurent Perrier champagne (all different packages available), wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks too. With regard to the food on offer there are all the usual brunch favourites including probably the biggest selection of seafood I’ve seen along with entrées, roasts, salads, soups, colourful pastas and a rather attractive looking whole salt-encrusted salmon as well as bbq meat section and a huge bread selection, just about every type of worldwide cuisine and flavours all in one restaurant.
The aforementioned dessert room was ridiculously tempting with so many options even my sweet tooth was overwhelmed. Every possible connotation of tasty sweet treat from around the globe was on offer in miniature form including lemon meringues, panacotta, chocolate mousse, fruit, cakes, cheesecake to name a few…..and that was before you even started on the many, many different kinds of cheese on offer. From the glamour and old world charm of the early 1900 interior, diners can take advantage of free post-brunch access to ultra modern Nation Riviera Beach Club opposite the hotel complete with pool, beach and bar as well as access to Asia de Cuba and Catch restaurants for refreshing sun-downers. If you fancy an unforgettable gastronomic experience in stunning location with faultless service, then I urge you to try The Bloody Mary Bruch at the Terrace on the Corniche at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi as soon as possible, I assure you will not be disappointed. Don’t forget if you go before the end of March you will avail of the fabulous 2-for-1 offer, it would be so rude not to right? The Bloody Mary Brunch
The Terrace on the Corniche Restaurant, St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Every Friday from 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Telephone: 02 694 4553
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stregisabudhabiBrunch inclusive of soft beverages – AED 255
Brunch inclusive of Bloody Mary’s, wine and beer – AED 365
Brunch inclusive of Champagne, Bloody Mary’s, wine and beer – AED 450
Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. Exterior photo of the St. Regis used courtesy of The National.