Brunch takes on an entirely new meaning in the UAE. It’s not just the meal between breakfast and lunch. It’s 3 hours of foodie bliss, depending on where you go. As a visitor, I never really brunched, back then I was more into looking like Nicole Richie circa 2010 than I was into food (but that’s another story for another day) however since living here - and as my love for food and the hospitality industry grows daily - there's really no better way to kickstart your Friday. As any seasoned bruncher will tell you, things do have a tendency of getting slightly out of hand so here are some dos and don’ts for surviving your first brunch for visitors and fresh expats.
* Do some research. There are so many options available. Not just the food on offer but various brunches also come with sunbed, pool or afterparty access for when you've had enough of stuffing your face and want to reflect on your food coma or you just want to relax by the pool after getting black out drunk (kidding!). Also some brunches are more focused on the party side of things like the DJ lineup than the food and some are all about the feast with lobster, grills, stews, paellas, yorkshire puddings, bbq stations and towers of desserts and cakes. I'll update my list of favorites soon.
*Do book a table inside. Unless it’s between December to Feb when you are less likely to melt into a puddle of lipgloss and suncreen.
* Do say yes to flowy loose fitting sundresses and kimonos. For the guys I’d suggest a collared, short sleeved shirt, like this polo shirt and not a tshirt partly because some venues who have a brunch that then becomes an afterparty will enforce a stricter dress code for the evening so why not be prepared from the start. Some people do finish up their brunch and then go home to freshen up and then go all the way back but who has that kind of time? Best is to call ahead and check. The looks below are the kind of outfits I'd recommend. These still look fairly elegant even after smashing 2kgs of shellfish, half a roast of lamb and a dozen mini desserts drenched in caramel washed down with litres of prosecco. Don't judge me.
*Don't neglect breakfast on the morning of the event in an attempt to "save the space" for brunch time, even more so if you're planning on taking full advantage of the drinks package.
* Do wear comfortable shoes. Wearing flats are a great way to not wake up not hating yourself after brunch turns into a 8 hour long party adventure. Espadrilles are perfect or pop a pair of stylish flats into your handbag along with some glam earrings to go from day to night in anticipation of the next party destination.
* Do take the traffic from your location to your destination into consideration especially if you're brunch begins at a peak time. You don’t want to spend the first hour of your brunch stuck in Marina traffic.
*Handbag essentials : sunscreen, double sided tape for lowcut dresses, sunnies, gum, powerbank or a charger (some venues do not have them).
*Don't upload any photos/instastories after your third drink. Just trust me on this one and learn from my experiences.
*Do pace yourself on the drinks and step away from the shooters. Remember if you are driving and you're caught with even 0.00000001% of alcohol in your system, you will face serious consequences so why even risk it? I would highly recommend cabbing or just using an Uber.
*Do read my article on how to sober up fast so you know what to do if you find yourself in a situation.
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