ALL things considered, this was a most well behaved enterprise on our part; those “things” including bottomless, but not entirely endless (there is a cut-off time), bubbly. The potential for horns being given, and wheels coming off is plainly evident, but it turns out we maintained our composure and elegance throughout.
The Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel, hosts a jazz brunch in the Oasis every Sunday from 11.30am, and we arrived punctually. When bottomless bubbly – by Boschendal – is promised, one must take advantage of every minute. The feast is a buffet, and the music is soft, smooth and agreeable jazz by the Buddy Wells Trio. I’ve recently, among various interesting changes in my life – on purpose and by accident – discovered a keen appreciation for what Apple Music calls smooth jazz, and provides it to me in an infinite loop every night. To be clear, I do not like the jazz where every musician is playing a different tune in a different key and nothing matches. Also to be clear, this Sunday is jazz is not that jazz. It’s jolly lovely, and was much appreciated by us, and in particular the table of three colourful and exuberant mature ladies, who got up to dance with joy. “That’s us when we get old,” said my friend, smiling. That’s so sweet, bless her; she is 19 years younger than I am and I suspect I might already be old.
It was the autumn equinox last Sunday, technically at 5.30pm, so we were experiencing literally the last few glorious hours of summer. The only way the weather could have been better was if the temperature had been dialled down about three degrees, but that’s just me. It was bright, it was sunny, it was windless. Our patio table gave us a longing view of the glittering swimming pool, and it would appear when there are many guests splish splashing, the Egyptian geese are nowhere to be seen.
The food, the food…there is so much to choose from, and just about anything you can imagine. From the press release: “A huge array of breads, pastries, spreads and dips. Perhaps indulge in a delicious asparagus egg tart, a large platter of fresh fruit or some super healthy granola. Choose a dish from the salad station, go mad for mezze and antipasti, or savour smoked salmon, oysters and soft cheeses. Visit a number of to have sushi, eggs, carvery meats and waffles prepared to your preference.”
I had sushi, and a pastel de nata (which ended up being several pastéis de nata); carpaccio and a selection of Mediterranean nibbles; a build-your-own Caesar salad; and roast sirloin with gravy, Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes. My friend had the oysters for the team because I cannot, and I can’t remember what else because I was signalling the waiter for more bubbly. I know her son had a waffle with Smarties. If you bring your children, they can be sent to the Children’s Centre where a professional childminder will keep them occupied, which is a bonus for everybody.
The buffet is open and self service – apart from the chef-manned stations where you can get eggs and omelettes and have your sirloin sliced and so on – with perspex shields. You’re also required to wear your mask while dishing up, and I like to think the Nellie attracts the type of people who don’t fiddle inappropriately with the food.
This really was a fabulous and faultless day from beginning to end; the bubbly stops at 2.30pm but afterwards we wandered over to the lawn in front of the terrace for cocktails before we tore ourselves away to return to our dull and dreary lives. Nah, I’m kidding. Our lives are flipping awesome.
The Sunday jazz brunch is R450 per adult and R350 per child which includes access to the Children’s Centre; with unlimited Boschendal bubbly it’s R645 per adult, subject to all adults at the table being charged for this option. To find out more, or to make a booking, contact restaurant reservations on: [email protected] or call +27 21 483-1000 and ask for restaurant reservations.
PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©