It’s no secret that we’re great fans of an indulgent Sunday brunch; there’s something about eating far more than we usually would at one sitting, and washing it down with far more champagne than is probably decent, so finding one that offers more than endless food and fizz, as with La Dolce Domenica Brunch at Bvlgari Hotel London, has gotten us oh so very excited.
Founded in 1884, jewellery and luxury goods house Bvlgari expanded into hotels relatively recently, and it’s no surprise that they chose affluent Knightsbridge as the location for their UK property. Unassuming, though by no means unattractive, from the outside, the Bvlgari hotel is elegance personified within, polished black granite floors, mahogany panels and silver accents echoing its brand’s heritage.
Il Bar, where brunch is served, maybe the hotel’s chic bar every other day of the week, but on Sundays it transforms into one of London’s most glamorous lounges. Taking a seat at one of the comfortable low tables, we are first offered a choice of a Bloody Mary, Mimosa or glass of Prosecco, before choosing from a mouth-watering menu of main courses which include familiar classics like Eggs Benedict and Italian favourites like Vitello Tonnato – thinly-sliced cold veal in a tuna sauce.
While waiting for our hot dishes to arrive, we help ourselves from the superior array of freshly-prepared antipasti lining the bar-top. Cleverly, and perhaps in a deliberate nod to the way jewellery is displayed in Bvlgari’s boutiques, most items are individually plated in perfect portions – no cutting, scooping or spooning here, just a seamless select-and-go! There’s glossy charcuterie including bresaola and prosciutto, chargrilled roasted vegetables, seafood galore, Italian cheeses and plenty of artisanal breads to slather them on, too.
Once our mains are devoured, a myriad of desserts await, jewel-box pretty in their presentation. Traditional tiramisu and panna cotta vie for attention with multi-coloured macarons and masses of perfectly-ripe fruit, not to mention various tarts and sweet pastries.
Throughout, Moet et Chandon Champagne flows freely, unless you’re abstaining, in which case there’s a range of freshly-squeezed juices and smoothies.
The icing on this particularly beautiful cake is that after you’ve eaten and drunk your fill, you can sit and digest it all while enjoying a film in Bvlgari’s private 47-seat cinema. A different film is chosen each week from a 200-strong library that’s been curated by film-maker Lord Puttnam; we sat and watched The Shawshank Redemption but it could just as easily have been Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or MASH. If there’s a more civilised way to round off an afternoon of perfect indulgence we’re yet to find it!
La Dolce Domenica at the Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London is priced at £58 per person and at £39 for children. Unlimited Möet & Chandon Champagne is offered for a supplement of £17. Two screenings will take place each Sunday at 2pm and 4pm. For reservations please contact: 0207 151 1025.