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Lunch is an essential meal that provides the energy and nutrients needed to power through the day. In hotels, lunch is an opportunity to showcase the culinary skills of the chefs and offer guests a gastronomic journey through exquisite cuisine. From fine dining to casual fare, hotels offer a wide variety of lunch options to suit every taste and budget.
Join us as we explore the different types of lunch available in hotels and discover the flavors and aromas that make each meal a unique experience.
Classic American Brunch
A staple in many U.S. hotels, the classic American Brunch blends the light, mid-morning appeal of breakfast with the satisfying substance of lunch. Usually served between 10 am to 2 pm, it features a myriad of options from Eggs Benedict draped in creamy hollandaise sauce to fluffy buttermilk pancakes drizzled with warm maple syrup. It’s not uncommon to see smoked salmon, avocado toast, and an assortment of bagels and pastries alongside.
However, the brunch experience isn’t just about the food. It’s also about the atmosphere – a relaxed environment that encourages guests to linger over their meal, read a newspaper, or chat with fellow travelers. The blend of sweet and savory dishes, coupled with signature brunch cocktails like the Bloody Mary or Mimosa, presents a unique culinary experience that sets the stage for the rest of the day’s adventures.
A traditional British institution that has permeated hotels worldwide, Afternoon Tea is a late lunch experience shrouded in elegance and sophistication. Served typically from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, it features delicate finger sandwiches, light scones served with clotted cream and preserves, a selection of pastries, and, of course, a pot of fine tea.
This experience is about more than just the food. It’s a social event, a break from the day’s activity, a moment of calm enjoyed in the opulent surroundings of a hotel’s lounge or garden. The ritual of pouring tea, sharing conversation, and indulging in bite-sized treats makes Afternoon Tea a distinctive and cherished lunch tradition that embodies a sense of luxury and nostalgia.
Mediterranean Mezze Lunch
The Mediterranean Mezze lunch is a vibrant celebration of flavors and textures borrowed from various cultures around the Mediterranean Sea. The concept revolves around sharing small plates (mezze) of fresh salads, dips, grilled meats, and seafood. The star players include dishes like hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, falafel, and calamari.
The joy of a Mezze lunch lies not only in the bold flavors of each dish but also in the experience of sharing. This is a social meal designed to be enjoyed slowly, in good company, with plenty of conversation. Many hotels will serve Mezze lunch on a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea, enhancing the overall gastronomic experience with breathtaking views and a refreshing sea breeze.
Asian Bento Box
For a quick and balanced lunch, many Asian hotels, particularly in Japan, offer the traditional Bento Box. These carefully arranged boxes typically include a variety of dishes such as sushi, tempura, grilled fish or meat, pickled vegetables, and a portion of rice. The Bento Box is a showcase of simplicity, balance, and harmony in food presentation.
The joy of a Bento Box lunch lies in the variety and the balance it offers. Each component is meticulously prepared and presented in its compartment, creating a pleasing aesthetic that reflects the philosophy of enjoying food with all the senses. Whether you’re on a business trip or exploring the city, the compact, nutritionally balanced Bento Box is a convenient and delightful lunch option.
Luxury Business Lunch
Upscale hotels in bustling city centers often cater to business clientele with a luxury business lunch. This lunch type features a curated menu of exquisite dishes designed to impress while ensuring the meal can be enjoyed within a standard lunch hour. Dishes can range from poached salmon with dill sauce to steak frites, or from truffle risotto to a gourmet club sandwich.
The Luxury Business Lunch is not just about good food—it’s also about creating an environment conducive to business discussions. Quiet, elegant, and efficient service allows business professionals to focus on their conversations while savoring a top-notch meal. This combination of business and pleasure is a hallmark of the luxury hotel experience.
Themed Buffet Lunch
Themed Buffet Lunches are a popular offering in many resort and holiday destination hotels. From a Seafood Extravaganza to a Mediterranean Feast, each day brings a different theme allowing guests to embark on a gastronomic tour of the world without leaving their hotel. The variety is staggering, with salads, mains, and desserts that cater to every palate.
These buffets are not just about a vast array of food. They offer an adventure, a chance for guests to explore unfamiliar dishes from various world cuisines, or to indulge in a beloved favorite. Hotels often add live cooking stations, where chefs prepare food on the spot, adding an interactive, theatrical dimension to the dining experience.
Poolside Barbecue Lunch
Many resort hotels capitalize on their outdoor spaces with a poolside barbecue lunch. Guests can enjoy grilled favorites like burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and a variety of seafood, all cooked to perfection on the barbecue. Fresh salads, grilled vegetables, and a selection of sauces round out the meal.
The poolside barbecue lunch is about much more than the food, though. It’s about the relaxed, sunny atmosphere, the feeling of a summer cookout. Guests lounge in their bathing suits, enjoy their food at a leisurely pace, and perhaps take a swim before going back for seconds. It’s a quintessential holiday experience.
Farm-to-table lunches are gaining popularity in hotels nestled in rural or semi-rural locations. These meals emphasize locally sourced ingredients, often grown on the property or nearby farms. The menu changes with the seasons and showcases the freshest produce, dairy, and meats of the region.
Beyond the appeal of fresh, wholesome food, farm-to-table lunches provide a connection to the land. Guests gain an appreciation for local farming practices and the effort that goes into producing their food. Many of these hotels offer kitchen gardens tours or farm visits, enhancing the overall gastronomic experience with an educational aspect.
Wine Pairing Lunch
Wine pairing lunches offer guests a journey into the world of oenology, often combined with a tour of the hotel’s wine cellar. Each course, from appetizers to dessert, is paired with a different wine selected to enhance the flavors of the food. These lunches might feature regional cuisine matched with local wines or take a more international approach.
A wine pairing lunch is an educational experience, a chance for guests to learn more about wine, how it’s made, and how different varieties complement different foods. With the guidance of a knowledgeable sommelier, guests not only savor a fine meal but also deepen their appreciation of the symbiotic relationship between food and wine.
Chef’s Table Lunch
The Chef’s Table Lunch is an exclusive dining experience offered by many luxury hotels. Guests are seated in the kitchen or a separate room overlooking the kitchen, where they can watch the chef and the team in action. The menu is usually a surprise, a multicourse extravaganza showcasing the chef’s creativity and skill.
The thrill of a Chef’s Table Lunch goes beyond the food. It’s a peek behind the scenes, an opportunity to witness the ballet of a professional kitchen. The chef often interacts with the guests, explaining each dish’s inspiration and preparation. This personal connection makes the Chef’s Table Lunch a memorable and unique gastronomic experience.