I almost never go out for brunch. Isn't that sad?
I mean, I definitely eat a late breakfast a few times a week (largely because I forget to eat when I wake up), but that doesn't really count as "brunch". In my mind, brunch is a big special meal that happens sometime between breakfast and lunch. Sadly, there aren't many good brunch places where I live and most days I don't have access to a car, so brunch tends to be an illusive meal for me.
I could make brunch at home... but I feel like the best part of brunch is having someone else cook for you!! So when I received an invitation to try out the Sunday Brunch at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, of course I agreed to go!
I love visiting the Windsor Arms, even though it takes me almost two hours to get there!
(oh the joys of living in the suburbs)
My first visit was for the canola oil event that I went to earlier this year. Oh my goodness, the food at that event was fabulous! I was hoping that some of those dishes would be available at the brunch since the canola oil event was brunch themed, but sadly they were not. Apparently, they are on the dinner menu! So guess who needs to go to the hotel for dinner soon?
I brought my mom along with me, because I had just been telling her that she needs to visit the hotel soon. We both throughly enjoyed our brunch and were impressed by the variety of foods that were available. There was everything from cold cuts and bread, to salads and seafood, lasagna and curries, and a whole table full of desserts!
I don't think we ate more than 75% of what was available, as much as we wanted to. We were stuffed! Everything was delicious, and I loved that it was buffet-style so you could control your portion sizes.
One thing that I thought needed improvement was the labelling of the dishes. While most (but not all) of the savoury dishes were labelled, almost none of the desserts were. I would love to see a label on every dish, so diners can make informed choices. This would be helpful for folks with allergies or food restrictions as well.
Although, to be honest, if you had any questions about any of the dishes, the staff would be able to answer your questions. Our server, Anthony, was not only very friendly but super helpful as well, and I've had great service from other staff members there too.
Aside from the buffet dishes, you can also made-to-order dishes like Eggs Benedict with Peameal Bacon. They also have Eggs Benjamin (made with smoked salmon) and Eggs Florentine (made with spinach).
There really is something for everyone at this brunch, although I didn't see a single bagel in sight (and I didn't miss them either). Why fill up on plain carbs when there are so many other tasty options available anyhow?
Another small thing that I would like to see changed is how they serve their oysters. They didn't sit out for long, because they're a popular item, but I would have liked to see them served on ice since they're not being consumed right as they are put down. But maybe that's just me being paranoid... I did eat them and I didn't get sick 🙂
At the price of $65 per person, this brunch falls squarely in the "special occasion" bracket for me. However, the price is not surprising when you consider the foods they are offering, the alcohol (unlimited Mimosas), as well as the area the hotel is in, as there's a Tiffany's and a Hermes within walking distance of the Windsor Arms.
The Sunday Brunch at the Windsor Arms is held in the Courtyard Café, and is available from 11:00am (last seating at 1:30am). I don't believe there is holiday pricing for the brunch, unlike the afternoon tea which jumps up from $38 for weekdays, to $55 in December, and then up again to $65 during the holidays.
There is also a brunch menu for The Living Room (also inside the Windsor Arms), but I believe that is a set menu that you order from, instead of a buffet. The afternoon tea is also held in a different room. There's a lot going on inside of that hotel! It's a really interesting space to check out if you've never been.
But back to brunch...
So after eating all of that delicious food, we had to strategically pick what we were going to have for dessert. The pastries at the Windsor Arms are known for being gorgeous, as well as delicious, and these were no exception! I loved that they were all holiday themed (something that I would have liked to see at the afternoon tea).
In the end, we ended up splitting a few different items just so we could taste them. The Christmas chocolate tart was my favourite, but the orange mousse, panna cotta and creme brule were also very good.
This meal was complimentary, and provided so that I could share my experience with you.
I have expressed my honest opinions in this post, and have not been paid to write this.