Tag Archives: Sunday Brunch

Visitors (at long last!!) and a sad Farewell….

Our children were so excited about their Auntie Kim and cousins, Harley and Ashley, arriving for a visit with us in Shanghai.  We had planned a whirlwind weekend site seeing in Beijing and Xi’an, plus lots of activities in Shanghai.  Ashley and Harley were mostly interested in shopping at all the fake markets!  They arrived on Saturday April 5th and after a brief nap at home, we were straight into Shanghai life.  Isabelle and Oliver were eager to play with Harley and Ashley!

Sunday April 6th was Jo, Scott, Georgia and Saskia’s last day in Shanghai and we had booked brunch at the Shangri-La to say goodbye.

Scott, Jo Sara and Owen - sad to say goodbye to good friends…...

Scott, Jo Sara and Owen – sad to say goodbye to good friends……

This was a great opportunity to introduce our family to the Ex-pat Sunday Brunch experience and the Shangri-La is a fantastic experience for this! Kim, Ashley and Harley really enjoyed the lazy lunch, endless food and booze!  The kids had loads of fun playing with their fiends for the last time in Shanghai….

On the stairs at the Shangri-La

On the stairs at the Shangri-La

By the beautiful water feature at the Shangri-La

By the beautiful water feature at the Shangri-La

All of us by the Seafood station.

All of us by the Seafood station.

Jo and I.  I am going to miss this lady :-(

Jo and I. I am going to miss this lady 😦

Saskia with Mum and Isabelle with Mum.

Saskia with Mum and Isabelle with Mum.

Scott, Jo, Sara & Owen - we had a lot of fun together in Shanghai.

Scott, Jo, Sara & Owen – we had a lot of fun together in Shanghai.

Owen and Jo posing on the displays at the Shangri-La

Owen and Jo posing on the displays at the Shangri-La

Cousins!  Harley and Isabelle, Oliver and Ashley.

Cousins! Harley and Isabelle, Oliver and Ashley.

After several hours of eating and socializing we decided to carry on the party at the Camel pub.  This has been a regular Tuesday night venue as they have a Quiz Night there every week and we have often met up to test our general knowledge and have some fun during the week!

The kids at the Camel pub - they all played pool here!

The kids at the Camel pub – they all played pool here!

A final farewell - I expect there were some sore heads the next day!!

A final farewell – I expect there were some sore heads the next day!!

The next day, Monday, was a holiday for me (Tomb Sweeping Festival) even though the kids were back to school.  So, after taking the kids to the bus in the morning, the rest of us set out to visit some Fake Markets and shop, shop, shop!

Our first stop was to Tai Kang Lu, a lovely shopping area that has little back alleys full of art galleries, shops and cafes.  We stopped at Kommune for delicious coffee:

Biggest latte I have ever had.  The mugs are very cool and you can buy them (so Kim and Harley did!!)

Biggest latte I have ever had. The mugs are very cool and you can buy them (so Kim and Harley did!!)

Chopsticks on display at Tai Kang Lu

Chopsticks on display at Tai Kang Lu

Entrance to Tai Kang Lu

Entrance to Tai Kang Lu

After coffee and shopping it was off to find Minging Mary’s.  This place is a legend in Shanghai.  It is a fake outlet in the basement of an apartment building.  You have to know where it is and be taken by someone who is known (the first time).  I had heard about this fantastic place (extremely high quality fake’s) but never visited before.  Luckily for us, Owen had been before and knew where to take us!  I did not know what to expect when we walked down some dingy stairs into a dark corridor in the basement.  But, moments later, a man appeared and unlocked 2 doors into huge rooms of merchandise.  Ashley and Harley thought they were in Heaven!!  I must admit, I could not believe what I was seeing.

After a little bit of bargaining, we left (full bags!) and went on the Fake Market at the Science and Tech Museum (the AP Plaza).  Kim, Ashley and Harley decided to skip lunch so they could maximize shopping time!  Good job we had eaten some snacks at Kommune to keep us going.  Once at the Fake Market – Owen showed Ashley and Harley how the bargaining was done and worked hard to get some good deals for both of them.  Ashley restocked his wardrobe in 1 day!!

Ashley showing off his many purchases from the Fake Markets

Ashley showing off his many purchases from the Fake Markets

I had a few days of work to do before we were heading off to Beijing and Xi’an at the weekend (separate posts).  But, on Thursday before our train, we went to Kerry Parkside for a few hours of pampering at Dragonfly.  We had a leisurely adult lunch at The Brew and then all had massages, manicures and pedicures.  Aaah – relaxation!

Ashley's lunch at The Brew

Ashley’s lunch at The Brew

Happy New Year 2014 Brunch

With Christmas behind us and the New Year just starting, all our friends who had been away for Christmas were returning.  The new School term was about to start and we decided to get a few families together to celebrate all that.

We settled on returning to the Le Meridien because they not only have a delicious brunch selection, but they also have a good children’s area.  They have a mix of different Asian foods, fabulous seafood selection, traditional carvery station and the most yummiest desserts (salted caramel mousse is THE BEST!)

Jo and Scott with their 2 girls, Saskia and Georgia; Rob & Jen with their 2 boys, Freddie and Theo; Mike and Jane with their 2 girls, Ciara and Caitlyn; and Paul and Tracy with their 2 girls, Bethan and Imogen – it was quite the area in the restaurant!

The Le Meridien also has entertainment throughout the long, leisurely brunch.  The kids end of our sitting area was entertained by a rather good magician.

The magician making a rose for Saskia.

The magician making a rose for Saskia.

Saskia was special assistant and had to help with some of the card tricks!

Saskia was special assistant and had to help with some of the card tricks!

He even made his wallet light up in flames when he opened it to check for the missing card.

He even made his wallet light up in flames when he opened it to check for the missing card.

Saskia, Isabelle and Caitlyn

Saskia, Isabelle and Caitlyn showing off their artwork from kids club

The “nurses” were on call again for the margarita shots – all the males partook.  It was also Rob’s birthday so it was a double celebration.  We all sang to him to embarrass him!

Happy Birthday Rob! Cuddling with his boys - Freddie and Theo.

Happy Birthday Rob!
Cuddling with his boys – Freddie and Theo.

Owen getting "treated" from the nurse.

Owen getting “treated” from the nurse.

Mike's turn.  Scott is laughing at this, but he was next to go!!

Mike’s turn. Scott is laughing at this, but he was next to go!!

Scott finishes up this nurses round.

Scott finishes up this nurses round.

Paul, Imogen, Tracy and Bethan

Paul, Imogen, Tracy and Bethan

Scott, Saskia, Georgia and Jo

Scott, Saskia, Georgia and Jo

The girls: Caitlyn, Georgia, Saskia, Ciara and Isabelle

The girls: Caitlyn, Georgia, Saskia, Ciara and Isabelle

Freddie, Jen, Rob and Theo

Freddie, Jen, Rob and Theo

Ciara, Mike, Jane and Caitlyn

Ciara, Mike, Jane and Caitlyn

Family Jones

Family Jones

Welcome back to Shanghai and Birthday Brunch

Right before school started, it was time for yet another Sunday Brunch!  Everybody was back to Shanghai after the long summer break so it was time to catch up with everyone and also celebrate my birthday!

The Emerald gang headed off to an old favorite – The Intercontinental.  I absolutely love their chocolate lollipops!

Chocolate lollipops filled with delicious yumminess!  I think I ate at least 10 of these......

Chocolate lollipops filled with delicious yumminess! I think I ate at least 10 of these……

I also love their free flow champagne!  It was a leisurely 3-4 hours of eating, drinking, laughing, talking, and then eating some more and drinking some more.  It was just a shame that there was not enough time to really get caught up with everyone’s busy summer.

The food here is all good – cuisine from around the world so plenty of choice to suit every palate.  So many different buffet stations, you definitely need 3 hours to get around to each one!

Owen, Sara & Earoel in between Champagne courses!

Owen, Sara & Earoel – in between Champagne courses!

Jane, Sara, Jen and Emma

Jane, Sara, Jen and Emma

Scott & Jo

Scott & Jo

The boys were totally hooked on all their electronic devices!  We rationed their time on these as there is an awesome kids club at the Intercontinental on Sunday.  All the kids got to do loads of different activities, run around outside and get arty  crafty.  Great for the adults to extend their "adult time".

The boys were totally hooked on all their electronic devices! We rationed their time on these as there is an awesome kids club at the Intercontinental on Sunday. All the kids got to do loads of different activities, run around outside and get arty crafty. Great for the adults to extend their “adult time”.

Oliver and Isabelle love Miss Earoel!

Oliver and Isabelle love Miss Earoel!

The Prestons, Steeles, Davis, Jones, Bartons, and Kennedy!

The Prestons, Steeles, Davis, Jones, Bartons, Rhinds and Kennedy!  Plus Kids!

 

Birthday Girl – Brunch at the 2nd tallest tower in Shanghai

On May 20th last year, we enjoyed the Lobster Sunday Brunch in the tallest tower in Shanghai – the SWFC (Shanghai World Financial Center), AKA the Bottle Opener.   When we asked Isabelle where she would like to go for her birthday lunch out, she said the Bottle Opener as she wanted Lobster, Crab, Shrimp and Prawn “on top of the world”.  (I cannot think where she gets her expensive taste from!!!)  Well, this year we had to make do with eating this in the 2nd tallest building in Shanghai as the “Shanghai Tower” is now officially taller!

The Shanghai Tower, the SWFC (Bottle Opener) and Jin Mao Tower.

The Shanghai Tower, the SWFC (Bottle Opener) and Jin Mao Tower.

Scott, Jo, Georgia and Saskia joined us and we had a lovely leisurely time.  All the kids had fun too!  Brunch is in the Park Hyatt hotel which occupy the 79th – 93rd floors of this tower.

Georgia, Oliver (in Isabelle's shades!), Saskia and Isabelle

Georgia, Oliver (in Isabelle’s shades!), Saskia and Isabelle

The view across the top of the Jin Mao Tower to the Oriental Pearl Tower.

The view across the top of the Jin Mao Tower to the Oriental Pearl Tower.

The view of the Shanghai Tower - construction is still going on the upper levels.

The view of the Shanghai Tower – construction is still going on the upper levels.

Saskia, Oliver, Isabelle and Georgia posing by the statues in the lobby.

Saskia, Oliver, Isabelle and Georgia posing by the statues in the lobby.

Saskia, Scott, Isabelle, Jo, Georgia, Oliver, Sara & Owen - a fab lunch out!

Saskia, Scott, Isabelle, Jo, Georgia, Oliver, Sara & Owen – a fab lunch out!

The most important thing is that Isabelle really enjoyed her birthday meal out!  Happy Birthday to my sweet girl xx

Fathers Day Brunch celebration

Father’s Day sneaked up on me this year and came around very quickly!  Nevertheless, I managed to find a card, which is no mean feat in China!  The kids made beautiful cards for their Daddy.

To celebrate, we went out to the Kerry Parkside Hotel for brunch with 2 other families.  This was a new brunch location for us, and it did not disappoint.  All of the food stations were marvellous – I especially enjoyed the noodle soup station.  All of the kids loved the pasta station (plus the fantastic kids club area).

Georgia, Isabelle, Ava, Saskia, Ethan and Oliver at the children's area of brunch.

Georgia, Isabelle, Ethan, Ava, Saskia, and Oliver at the children’s area of brunch.

In the photo above you can see the abundance of sweeties and goodies for the chocolate fountain behind the kids!  The kids area also had a big screen tv, beanbags, face painters and other activities.

Isabelle getting her face painted at the Kerry Parkside Brunch - children's area.

Isabelle getting her face painted at the Kerry Parkside Brunch – children’s area.

The end result!

The end result!

Ethan and Oliver chilling out on the bean bags!

Ethan and Oliver chilling out on the bean bags!

All of the girls getting pampered.

All of the girls getting pampered.

Shanghai can be such a small city sometimes!  While we were at Brunch with Jo, Scott. Emma and Matt, we bumped into Rob and Jen who were out with their boys.  After we had all eaten, they joined our table to socialize!

Jen, Matt, Jo, Scott, Emma. Owen, me and Rob

Jen, Matt, Jo, Scott, Emma. Owen, me and Rob

The Fathers on Father's Day - Scott, Matt, Rob and Owen

The Fathers on Father’s Day – Scott, Matt, Rob and Owen

Georgia, Saskia, Ava and Isabelle - good friends enjoying a lovely day.

Georgia, Saskia, Ava and Isabelle – good friends enjoying a lovely day.

After a very leisurely long lunch (4+ hours!) we finished with some lovely family photo shots – it is great when you have friends who can take photos of the whole family 🙂

Saskia, Scott, Georgia and Jo

Saskia, Scott, Georgia and Jo

Emma. Ethan, Ava and Matt

Emma. Ethan, Ava and Matt

 

Sara, Oliver, Owen and Isabelle

Sara, Oliver, Owen and Isabelle

Then, it was back to Jo & Scott’s home to continue the party!  Lots of water fights, trampolining and running around screaming at the tops of their voices – well, that was the kids anyway!

For us adults, it was more fizz and bubbles!  A lovely Sunday with friends 🙂

Get ready for the water......

Get ready for the water……

It's coming......

It’s coming……

 

YEAH!  Drenched and soaked!  And.... repeat for many, many times!

YEAH! Drenched and soaked! And…. repeat for many, many times!

WOW - that was AWESOME!  Let's do it again.....

WOW – that was AWESOME! Let’s do it again…..

Round 105.......

Round 105…….

What a fantastic way to end the day :-)

What a fantastic way to end the day 🙂

 

Sunday Brunches at Le Royal Meridian and Westin

 

We have had a couple of lovely Sunday Brunches out recently.  We had an extremely leisurely, drawn out, stuff-your-face-full, drink-lots-of-champagne, eat-too-much brunch at the Le Royal Meridian with our friends Earoel & Graham.  This brunch location has a fantastic children’s area set up with face painting, movies, balloon animals, clowns, a separate children’s buffet area and awesome desserts!

Isabelle's body art at brunch

Isabelle’s body art at brunch – Butterfly and Dolphin

Scorpion and web for Oliver

Scorpion (on his cheek) and Angry Bird for Oliver

There is a prominent pink theme at this location, pink chairs, pink table clothes, pink champagne and pink uniform on the Margherita Nurses!!  They have nurses who come around with big syringes filled with the Margherita mix.  Of course, Owen had to partake!!

"It had to be done!"

“It had to be done!”

The Pink Champagne lounge

The Pink Champagne lounge

"Check out this Champagne Tower, Mum"

“Check out this Champagne Tower, Mum”  “What happens if I pull this bottle out…..??”

The restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of the hotel and has a lovely terrace with great views across the city.  After our very long brunch where we made way too many rounds around the stations, we enjoyed the sunshine outside.

Oliver, Earoel and Isabelle

Oliver, Earoel and Isabelle

Sara & Owen enjoying the sunshine (while feeling rather stuffed!)

Sara & Owen enjoying the sunshine (while feeling rather stuffed!)

The food was very good: a great seafood station that was stacked high with sushi, lobster, crab and prawns.  The noodle station was one of the best I have seen and I enjoyed a delicious soup with lots of different herbs and fillings.  The carvery had plenty of lamb, chicken and pork.  The salad bar was one of the most varied I had seen and then the desserts were out of this world.  I went back for 4, yes 4, of the salted caramel chocolate mousse!

Another Sunday and another Brunch!  This time we were back at the Westin with our friends from Emerald.  Table for 25 please!  We all like the Westin because the entertainment there is first class.   They have opera singers, an orchestra, gymnastics display and face changing display.

The Emerald Girls: Jane, Marie, Sara, Suzanne, Emma and Jenny

The Emerald Girls: Jane, Marie, Sara, Suzanne, Emma and Jenny

Brien, Marie, Matt, Emma and Kevin

Brien, Marie, Matt, Emma and Kevin

The Emerald Minis: Seren, Isabelle, Lia, Siobhan, Ava and

The Emerald Minis: Seren, Isabelle, Lia, Siobhan, Ava and Amelie

The kids had so much fun with so many friends to play with after the food!  They all had balloon animals or swords made.  They loved the margarita machine that made non-alcoholic slushy drinks.

Playing on the balcony and pretending to be singers (after the Opera).

Playing on the balcony and pretending to be singers (after the Opera).

Oliver and Ethan

Oliver and Ethan with their slushies!

You caught us!

You caught us after we raided the Popcorn machine!

Fantastic Gymnastic Display

Fantastic Gymnastic Display

I love this photo of me and Owen.  The sunshine is streaming in through the windows and we are caught mid-laugh.

I love this photo of me and Owen. The sunshine is streaming in through the windows and we are caught mid-laugh.

The Sunday Brunch (especially the Champagne Brunches!!) are a strong part of Shanghai weekends.  It is not just for Ex-pats – many Chinese enjoy this too!

Reservation for 70 – Sunday Brunch at Intercontinental, Shanghai

Our Ex-pat Community, The Emerald, is a fun, close-knit environment of Westerners in Shanghai.  Newcomers are welcomed with open arms and everyone is so friendly – a real community setting.  This atmosphere and attitude has greatly helped Owen and I to settle in to life in China.

There are several members of our community celebrating their birthday in early September so one of our neighbours had sent an invite for Sunday brunch to join them in this occasion.  We had Driver Fu take Matthew, Emma, Ava, Ethan and us to the hotel Intercontinental for a 12 noon reservation.  When we arrived and said the name of the person organizing this get together, the response was “Ah yes, reservation for 70”!!!!!

Matthew, Emma, Sara, Owen (and Oliver who sneaked in).  Isabelle took the photo!

Matthew, Emma, Sara, Owen (and Oliver who sneaked into the photo). Isabelle took the photo!

What a terrific gathering of people.  All the children were spread across 3 tables, while the adults all grouped in tables of 6 -10.  The Intercontinental Hotel also has a fabulous kids club, so after the kids had eaten they all disappeared to a separate room for arts and crafts activities, bouncy slides and reading – all supervised so the adults could really relax!

Wow – what another lovely selection of food!  This was definitely the best selection of desserts and I especially loved the eclairs – passion fruit, raspberry and chocolate flavours.  Owen liked the passion fruit tart the best.  They also had some delightful chocolate lollies, which I had to try many times to ensure that they were all just as good as the first!  

Owen really liked the Thai selection – he enjoyed some spicy crab, black pepper beef and chili chicken.  I loved the Indian dishes – butter chicken and lamb rogan rosh were excellent (they have a real Indian chef which explains the quality of these!)  There was a wonderful selection of sushi, seafood, salad, pasta station and crispy duck pancakes.

The Thai Selection

The Thai Selection

The Indian Selection

The Indian Selection

Crispy Duck Pancakes!

Crispy Duck Pancakes!

The Seafood Selection

The Seafood Selection

Pasta - anyway you want it......

Salad and Shooters

Salad and Shooters

Sushi and Tempura

Sushi and Tempura

These chocolate lollipops are filled with little explosions of heaven

These chocolate lollipops are filled with little explosions of heaven

Chocolate Fountain

This was the kids favourite – chocolate fountain (marshmallows and fruit to dip), plus sweetie jars! This area got multiple visits from all the kids…..

Wonderful flavours in these eclairs :-)

Wonderful flavours in these eclairs 🙂

Passion fruit tarts - Owen's favourite

Passion fruit tarts (bottomm right) – Owen’s favourite.

It was funny to watch the older kids with their heads down into their video games/cellphones etc.  All the little kids were busy in the Kids Club making felt slippers, notebooks, reading books or playing group games with the supervisors.

"Don't interrupt our games!"

“Don’t interrupt our games!”

"Ok, we'll smile for a picture......"

“Ok, we’ll smile for a picture……”

Jenny, Sara, Owen, Matthew, Emma & John

Jenny, Sara, Owen, Matthew, Emma & John

Oliver's favourite - the marshmallow covered in chocolate

Oliver’s favourite – the marshmallow covered in chocolate

Isabelle loved the fruit juice shooters

Isabelle loved the fruit juice shooters

Lovely neighbors!

Lovely neighbors!

More lovely neighbors...

More lovely neighbors…

Even more lovely neighbors

Even more lovely neighbors

And, even MORE lovely neighbors.....

And, even MORE lovely neighbors…..

We had a complete section of the restaurant for our group