I often say, it’s not truly a weekend until you have had brunch. It was only a concept I came to terms with since I moved to London, a city that seems to think of innovative ways to make the most out of the limited two days off a week. Taking the best of both worlds, a lovely rested lie in before mixing it up with an acceptable boozy feast before falling into a food coma for the the rest of the day. Wandering around green parks, whilst working off the midday indulgence. I can’t see anything not to love about a weekend spent brunching.
On my recent trip to Lisbon, I stayed at the Four Seasons Ritz Hotel for a couple of nights, both which fell over the weekend. Lisbon being a cultured capital, it definitely caught on to the trend of brunch and it had to become a thing in Portugal. Four Seasons had launched their extensive weekend bottomless brunch a few years back and it’s one not to be missed. Even the Lisbonites wants a slice of this deliciousness, I think that says it all!
Set in the palatial Varanda restaurant, it literally is the setting that is fit for a king. From the minute you enter the restaurant, you cannot help but admire the modern yet classic decor, with floor to ceiling paned windows letting in lots of natural light with a beautiful sight onto the terrace. Four Seasons have added their luxurious touch on their brunch by offering up a range of delicious delights that is just too good to miss.
Start your brunch experience by popping the cork on a chilled bottle of Perrier Jouët brut or rosé. I’m a huge fan of the citrus and exotic peachy notes in the brut, so it was a no brainer for me.
After your choice of poison has been poured, you’re ready to make your way to the culinary delights that are on offer. Make your way to the entrance side of the Varanda restaurant to start but try not to be wooed to much by the array of savoury and refreshing amuse bouches, prawns cocktails and sushi offerings, because this is only the beginning.
Once you have lined your stomach with a glass of champagne and some light bites, it is time to steadily ease yourself into the tropical salads, noodle delights, and seafood medleys. By the time you reach the other side of the table where you find yourself amongst rich, mature cheese selections, crackers and sweet mixed grapes and a wide range of mouth watering pastries.
The next step in to head over to the chef’s cooking station, where he will whip up something for the main court part of your brunch. Heated on hot stoves, you will find fresh green vegetables, creme fraise filled potatoes, slow cooked, tender veal leg or a pan fried fish. However, the selection that is served on the cooking station changes from week to week.
If you haven’t hit the stage of food coma yet, there is a fourth and final course of dessert. You truly haven’t seen anything yet, with a fully decked out table with divine treats garnished with seasonal fruits made by Varanda’s pastry chef Fabian Nguyen.
If you have a bit more of a sweet tooth, there was the most indulgent chocolate mousse that was just dreamy, not to mention the fresh, soft, custard filled, sugar coated doughnuts.
However, if you’re not a pastry person, there is also an array of exotic fruits on offer or artisanal gelato to choose from too.
Even with so much to choose from, I was incredibly full but there were a few bits I just had to have, especially with a sweet tooth like I have got. Even amongst all the appetising treats on offer, I had to have some of the fresh mango. Having grown up spending a lot of time in Africa, I can never deny the chance to have some exotic fruits.
This is probably one of the best brunches I have experienced in a long time and what a real pleasure it was amongst all the lovely waiters and hosts, with my favourite champagne in one hand and an opulent view over the terrace. If you’re in Lisbon, you need to book yourself in for Four Seasons’ incredible weekend brunch at their Varanda restaurant.
Until next time…