BEST FOR: FAM­ILY BOND­ING FUN The Ad­dress, Dubai Ma­rina

Friday - - Leisure -

What could be bet­ter for a child than eat­ing a de­li­cious cup­cake at a fun­for-all-the-fam­ily brunch? Ic­ing one, that’s what!

So that’s how I found my­self el­bow-deep in cho­co­late ganache and vanilla ic­ing with a five-yearold de­mand­ing that I make tiny marzi­pan-car­rot dec­o­ra­tions. “Let me try, Mamma, you’re mak­ing a mess,” she de­clared as I strug­gled to squeeze a swirl of ic­ing on top of a cup­cake.

The pas­try chef had made it look easy, pip­ing lit­tle clouds of ic­ing on top of her per­fect cre­ation, and top­ping it with dainty car­rots with pis­ta­chio ‘roots.’ My cup­cake looked like a pip­ing bag had ex­ploded on top of it and my marzi­pan re­sem­bled chubby or­ange fin­gers rather than minia­ture veg­eta­bles.

But my lit­tle girl didn’t care. “Look I can cover that all up with cho­co­late,” she said, ex­pertly ic­ing over my mis­takes and shak­ing on dec­o­ra­tive glit­ter. “Now we have a chance of win­ning.”

Sadly we didn’t get placed and I was sure I saw a glim­mer of a smirk on the chef’s face when she spot­ted our en­try, but it was a great start to the Satur­day ‘Gen­er­a­tion Cre­ation’ brunch at Dubai Ma­rina’s swish The Ad­dress ho­tel. We were one of eight par­ent-and-child teams who’d en­tered the cup­cake-ic­ing com­pe­ti­tion – each week there’s a dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­ity, rang­ing from flower ar­rang­ing to towel art.

The hard work over, it was time to eat. Af­ter all, we’d worked up quite an ap­petite. Luck­ily there was plenty on of­fer. The salad bar was ex­ten­sive and had lit­tle de­lights such as tiny cap­rese, or beet­root with cream cheese, and there was an oys­ter bar and live sushi sta­tion, which is a firm favourite. The main dishes were from across the world with In­dian biryani, Bri­tish roast beef, an en­tire fresh salmon, Span­ish paella and ex­otic dishes from Asia along with Chi­nese spring rolls and Thai crab cakes cooked to or­der. I went for the In­dian vegetable biryani op­tion, but my hus­band took a giant plate and asked for a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing.

“You’ll never be able to eat all that,” I chas­tised him. But I was wrong. He de­voured the lot and went back for more. Then the chil­dren raced off to the vast dessert sta­tion while I raided the cheese sec­tion. My son came back clutch­ing marsh­mal­lows that he’d put in the cho­co­late foun­tain whilemy daugh­ter asked the pas­try chef if she could eat the cup­cakes she’d dec­o­rated. “Mmm, de­li­cious,” she grinned, de­mol­ish­ing them.

The af­ter­noon was still young, and my chil­dren went off to play in the large su­per­vised chil­dren’s club which has a bouncy cas­tle, with slide, Plays­ta­tion and face paint­ing. There is also a giant TV with kids’ movies, an en­tire se­lec­tion of chil­dren’s food and – to go with the movie – sweets.

It meant I could eat my cheese and crack­ers in peace while they made friends at the movies, and I had an­other go at ic­ing a cup­cake in se­cret. With great food, fam­ily­bond­ing fun and even an el­e­ment of com­pe­ti­tion, this is one brunch where you can re­ally have your cake and eat it. De­tails: Satur­day from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Dh220 – Dh360 for adults, Dh110 for six to 12-year-olds and free for those un­der six. Call 04 4367777 or email dine.dubaima­rina@thead­

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