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Weekends are made for indulging, and what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than having a lavish brunch buffet at one of London's finest 5 star luxury hotels.
Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, is located just a few minutes walk from Marble Arch tube station and Hyde Park, a calm and tranquil spot, away from the bustle of Oxford Street.
Chefs hard at work
The New York Italian Style Brunch is served every Saturday at The Montagu restaurant which offers delightful views over Portman Square garden. Guests who arrive early are also welcome to relax in the lounge with some drinks before proceeding on to the dining area. The restaurant is bright and airy, and the ambience is warm and inviting as natural light shines through the large windows. Glistening chandeliers hang elegantly from the high ceilings and long mirrors adorn the walls, further illuminating the vast space, embellished with modern and contemporary designs.
More Prosecco please!
The waiter came by our table and filled our glasses with prosecco, informing us of the other freeflowing beverages available upon request - white and red Italian wines, lagers, Bellinis, soft drinks, and speciality Bloody Marys that we definitely kept in mind for later on. As we toasted our glasses to mark a great start to the weekend, some live music started playing in the background, creating more of an upbeat atmosphere.
Selection of cold cuts
Towards the front of the restaurant is the cold food counter, with a display of mouth-watering sliced salami, a selection of cold cuts, salmon bagels and refreshing salads. The server behind the counter offered to make us a couple of prawn cocktails, which we accepted without hesitation. A generous portion of juicy prawns and creamy avocado, served on a bed of crisp lettuce and finished off with marie rose sauce - the classic retro starter that will never go out of fashion. On the table next to it, were some homemade foccacia, ciabatta, and Mediterranean bread, as well as a selection of cheeses and nuts.
Boozy brunches call for the obligatory Bloody Mary, a cocktail favourite amongst many and a well known New York icon. We beamed with excitement as the waiter made his way to our table with his trolley of ingredients. We tried one of the classic spicy Bloody Mary, as well as the sweeter Mediterranean version.
And of course, no trip to New York would be complete without a slice of pizza - maybe even two, or three, but who's counting? Depending on how big a pizza lover you are, most will find it hard to resist the varieties of freshly baked gourmet pizzas personally presented by each waiter at the table. I was particularly a fan of the aromatic porcini mushroom and truffle oil pizza. Other special offerings included a variety of savoury hot dishes which were made to order, including risotto, spaghetti and meatballs. Our waiter came by our table to take our orders - we went for the spaghetti with meatballs, and the delicious creamy risotto with mushrooms.
Risotto with mushrooms
At the opposite far end of the room where the open-plan kitchen is, there were some meat and fish dishes and baked potatoes.
With the wide selection of food available, it is important to pace yourself so that you have enough space at the end to indulge at the dessert bar. Desserts include the classic New York cheesecake, Grand Cru Maracaibo chocolate cake, dainty glasses of creamy tiramisu, pecan tart, and caramelized Sicilian lemon tart. And just in case you are still hungry, you can also order freshly prepared pancakes and waffles with your choice of toppings. We just about managed to squeeze in a pancake topped with blueberries, another brunch favourite amongst many.
Grand Cru Maracaibo chocolate cake
When we were finally finished with dessert, we ordered coffee which, instead of a biscuit, was served with fortune cookies containing quotes from the inspirational Sir Winston Churchill. "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference" - wise words indeed Sir Winston Churchill.
Coffee with Words of Winston fortune cookie
Thatmosphere is unhurried, and the staff attentive, always making sure that our glasses were never empty - one of my favourite things about bottomless brunches, a trend inspired by Manhattan that many London establishments seem to have embraced and honed over time. Food is plentiful, as you would expect from most buffet style brunches, so make sure you arrive hungry.
The Saturday New York Italian Style Brunch is served from 12:30pm to 3:00pm, and is priced at £49 per adult (VAT included), with children under the age of 12 receiving a 50% discount. An optional 12.5% service charge will also be added to every bill. If you decide to take your weekend up a notch, they also do their Sunday Champagne Brunch Pommery Brunch with unlimited Pommery Brut Royal champagne from 12:30pm to 3:00pm, priced at £65 per adult.
There is also the stylish Churchill Bar & Terrace if you are looking to linger on after a lazy, drawnout brunch, where you may seek pleasure in their signature Churchill Martini. Or for those who are afternoon tea lovers like myself, there is the Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea experience that will be taking place from 15 June to 8 September 2015.
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