After having stayed at home for Christmas last year with the full takeaway turkey meal from the Fairmont Hotel, we’d been wondering what to do for Christmas in Abu Dhabi this year. I quite fancied a brunch, but then worrying that we wouldn’t get very good value for our money since the toddler is too little to get the most out of any kids activities on offer and won’t sit still for longer than it takes him to eat his fill (about 30 minutes max!), it seemed any vision of a fabulous Christmas day relaxing and sipping Champagne all afternoon were really just a distant fantasy…

But, then I remembered the Emirates Palace picnic… OK, so it wasn’t a Christmas specific thing, but it did sound like the perfect solution… Champagne and good food, and plenty of room for the toddler to run wild and free without us having to worry about him disappearing or getting into mischief or danger. So that was the decider – it seemed like the perfect solution!

And it was just about every inch as perfect as I’d imagined it to be… Set in the gorgeous grounds of the Emirates Palace Hotel, it has to be booked a minimum of 24 hours in advance, then a picnic blanket and sun shade is set out for you ready to enjoy the afternoon.

It’s a proper traditional picnic with a checked blanket to sit on and cushions provided for that extra bit of glamour and comfort, and of course the all important fully stocked wicker hamper with all the goodies you’d expect at a picnic at the palace…

It’s a pretty straightforward offering, with the option for either breakfast from 8am to 10 am or afternoon tea from 2pm to 5pm.

Opting for the afternoon tea, treats included savoury sandwiches, scones (of course), juices, tea or coffee and more cakes, puddings and sweet treats than you could shake a stick at!

It was just such a lovely afternoon, and absolutely perfect for those with little ones in tow. See, the difference in this picnic is that it’s not an event per se, that it’s not held on a specific day for all to attend, but it’s available for advance bookings on any day you like during the cooler months. It’s your very own private picnic in the grounds of the palace without anyone else around you!

We had the most fabulous afternoon and it absolutely ticked all the boxes for us – it was an excellent and most decadent Christmas feed in which we filled our faces until we felt like we’d never move again, the toddler was able to dip in and help himself and eat as he pleased on his own timeline, and he was able to run around the lawns, exploring, chasing birds and generally keeping himself amused whilst we sat back and watched and glugged champagne (now that’s a WIN!). If there’s a more perfect afternoon anywhere I can’t imagine what it might be!

We were so pleased we had gone ahead to book this as it really was the best, most relaxing afternoon we’ve had with the child in tow for a very long time!

If I could change anything it would be to have a few more savoury snacks on offer as otherwise it really is quite a sweet treat lovers afternoon, but make no mistake – the treats were fabulous! And even with that said, I’d absolutely book this again in a heartbeat, I just can’t tell you how much we enjoyed it!

Find out more and book your own picnic at the palace here.