What’s your favourite place in the world? Tricky question you might think? For me, it’s easy…it’s London in the summer. Beer garden vibes in the sunshine, good music playing in the background and a big pile of roast dinner or fish and chips on my plate. And if I’m feeling super indulgent, a sticky toffee pudding with custard for dessert, if I’m feeling less indulgent…I’ll share it with friends.
As someone who lives in Dubai, finding the perfect English beer garden is as likely as seeing a Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth (probably the second rarest animal in the world, I could have chosen the first but this one sounds better). Anyway, the search might be over, because something amazing has happened. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai has re-created my most favourable of havens in the back yard of their Caravan restaurant.
Craft beers? Gin cocktails? Live Music? Sausage and Mash? Check, check, check and check! Now, that would be enough to make me happy but there’s a lot more going on here.
Every Friday between 1pm and 4pm, Caravan restaurant looks like London has thrown up in there (in a good way). From the classic red telephone box that welcomes you at the entrance to the tube signs representing London areas that hang over every food station, think: Brixton (jerk chicken and the like), Banglatown (curries from Brick Lane), Little Italy (pizza and pasta delights from Clerkenwell) and my favourite station, albeit a little tenuously-named, Pudding Lane (you guessed it…puddings).
You’re welcomed in by cabin crew, to add to the feeling that you’re taking a journey abroad, and as soon as you land at brunch the English feels come over you, especially as you walk past the craft beer station and the fishmongers (incredible seafood and sushi options) and take your seat. I would recommend booking an outside table, while the weather is still cool enough, to really get that beer garden atmosphere. Choose from a number of packages (see below) and settle in for some rather delicious food and drink while the band cover tunes from English legends like Oasis, Paul Weller, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Oh and if you David Gray there’s a fair bit of that too.
Once you’ve sampled the delights of the indoor stations it’s time to wander over to the grassed garden areas and sample the pork options as well as the rather delightful gin cocktail bar with everything from fruit-infused to Prosecco-filled concoctions.
Although, I’m not a huge fan of buffet style brunches, I must say that London Social has concentrated on quality over quantity. There’s not a hugely gross amount of food to choose from but rather a well-curated sample of culinary delights that cover all tastes…a special shout out goes to the roast dinner and seafood stations. But the piece de resistance is Pudding Lane: the desserts are made to perfection. Choose from Victoria Sponge, Apple pie, bread and butter pudding, sticky toffee pudding, scones, cupcakes, Bakewell tart and so much more…special shout out to the jugs of custard on standby to drown the lot of them in. Still not enough? Grab a bag and help yourself to the pick ’n’ mix station to eat there or take home with you.
The food, drink, music and atmosphere are all spot on but as we all know good service can make or break a brunch, I can happily report that drinks are refilled before you can ask and all done with a smile on the face of very helpful staff.
Would I go again? I think it’s safe to say that London is Calling.
When: Every Friday from 1:00pm until 4:00pm from October 27th 2017
Where: Caravan Restaurant and Lawns, Ritz Carlton Dubai
Bubbles AED 590
House AED 495
Non-alcoholic AED 395
Children AED 150