“Is this the place?” my friend asks. “Wow.”
It’s Sunday morning, and we’re pulling up the drive to one of the poshest addresses in all of South Florida. Like you do…
And wow is right.
Welcome to The Breakers, premier hotel property of the Palm Beaches. Originally built by the same Henry Flagler of The Gilded Age Whitehall mansion fame, this place takes luxury to a whole other level.
And we had reservations to attend – a birthday meal at their famous Sunday Brunch. One simply must spoil a friend when she’s flown in all the way from Australia. Nothing but a proper Palm Beach welcome would do.
Now, I’d be lying if I said this was a regular Sunday stop for me. It was my first time taking a trip down this way for brunch, and I confess I was more than a little curious. We gave ourselves a little extra time before we had to be seated, just in case we “got lost” on the property. We would need photographic evidence to find our way back to the entrance, after all.
We eventually asked directions to the brunch room, and made our way in that direction. The first glimpse we get as we approach the hostess is of the sushi buffet… I love sushi. This was going to be good. And can I just take a minute to point out that glass wine storage structure in the background? That needs to be relocated, to my house. Bottles included, thank you very much.
And then we entered the dining room. Elegant, airy, and way too sophisticated for us two giggling girls snapping photos our whole way to our table. Our first saving grace was that we were among the first to arrive, so not too many spectators. Our second, bottomless mimosas waiting for us at the table. If we couldn’t blame it on our ages, at least we could blame it on champagne!
After tempering our mimosas with a dash of coffee while we awaited our generous benefactors (aka the parental unit), we were ready to dig in. First course: seafood delights. Shrimp (or prawns, if you like), crab legs, lobster tail… mountains of delicious crustaceans just waiting to be dipped in melted butter and enjoyed. Meat cutting stations, New Zealand lamb chops, pastas, salads, chicken dishes, cheese and cracker plates… the list goes on and on. And lets not forget the sushi at the entrance. It was a tough assignment working through the various tables, but we proudly persevered. And then… dessert.
The dessert table(s) took up the largest portion of the buffet, as it well should. By this point we were needing to tap into our second or third stomachs (mine are still in San Francisco). Selection was key, and no missteps would be tolerated. Fortunately the brilliant people behind the brunch recognized the wisdom behind bite-sized portions in this area.
Oh my goodness… it was all too good. And as the harpist serenaded my friend to the most refined version of “Happy Birthday” I have ever had the pleasure of hearing, I smiled. It might have been the seafood, or it might have been the sugar, but in that moment I felt there is no better possible way to spend a birthday meal than a brunch at The Breakers hotel. Then again, that might have stemmed from the numerous mimosas I’d had at this point, but who’s counting. I want a birthday every weekend.