Weekends in Bahrain are slightly different than what you’re used to: Saturday and Sunday are so passé! Thursday and Friday are the way of the weekend in this island nation. What that means is that my favourite Indian tradition - Sunday brunch – comes a little earlier every week. Welcome to the Friday Brunch!
But before you can have brunch, you have to eat the most important meal of the day: breakfast. As most of you know, I am not a big breakfast person, which is why I told Hubby on Friday morning to go ahead to breakfast without me. “Come get me if it looks good,” were the vague directions I gave him as I snuggled back under the fluffy, white duvet.
Five minutes later I heard a knock at the door and Hubby came back into the room. “You’re coming to breakfast.” “Is it good?” I demanded sleepily. “Vegas good!” he declared solemnly.
Not only did Hubby not exaggerate about the huge breakfast spread but also we apparently didn’t sleep in. We lingered over our light meal and watched as family after family made their way into the dining room as late as 10:00 a.m. Nobody in Bahrain eats early regardless of the meal – breakfast at ten, lunch at two, and dinner at nine were all considered early sittings to most locals.
After breakfast we took a dip in the pool and lounged around enjoying the fact that we had no demands on our time other than relaxing and getting ready for brunch at the Ritz Carlton. Unbeknownst to us at the time, that would be our first and last lie around the pool. Who knew that the desert was so darned cold in December?
The Ritz’s Friday brunch was listed in several of our books as the best in town and other than a small seating snafu we weren’t disappointed. You see, we weren’t the only ones who read those tourism books and the main dining room was packed despite our reservations. I admit that I was initially worried and had my nose out of joint about being seated in the Indian restaurant down the hall. Hubby, as always, had faith and he was right.
The new seating arrangement gave us access to the buffet in the main dining room but we also had a full buffet of tasty Indian food to enjoy as well. The main buffet had everything from sushi, tacos, freshly prepared spring rolls, and the usual array of meats, pastas, and salads – just enough food to keep us coming back for more even when we thought we had had enough. Oh, and an unlimited amount of sparkling wine to wash it all down. The perfect meal from the first bottle of bubbly through the third (or was it four?)!
That evening, still full from our $50/person brunch, we decided that even though we weren’t hungry we still wanted to get out and do something. So we drove aimlessly around the main island of Bahrain and explored by night the city that we would experience by daylight in the morning. A relaxing end to a relaxing day.