POP THE CORK!

champAfter a wonderful afternoon of champagne, lobster and even better conversation yesterday, I was asked why I had never featured such an important topic as Sunday brunch on WTF. After all, in some countries (most located in Asia) it is now an institution.

What constitutes a good one? In my mind quality – food, champagne, service and ambience.

So here it is… the world’s best Sunday champagne brunches (according to me and in no particular order)

Singapore
New comers to the island are generally surprised to learn of a great Sunday tradition – hotel brunches. Free flow French champagne, a buffet of lobsters, Wagu steak, amazing cheese platters and a chocolate fountain are stock standard at most of them. And don’t be afraid to bring the kids as the good brunches have an amazing Kid’s Room filled with jumping castles, face painting, special children’s menus and arts and crafts.
WTF Picks – The Four Seasons and Shangri-La (both amazing with kids), Grand Hyatt and St Regis (for adults)

Hong Kong
Not quite to the extent of Singapore, but there is still a good brunch to be found.
WTF Picks – The Ritz Carlton Kowloon for a view, Mandarin Oriental for old school style, Zuma for free-flow extended hours

Dubai
Brunch is held on a Friday in Dubai (Sunday is a weekday for anyone who lives in the UAE) and they do them bigger and better than almost anywhere in the world! But just remember to observe the local laws and don’t get too crazy once you leave the safety net of the hotel as others have been known to end up behind prison bars after too many drinks!
WTF Picks – Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah for over the top madness (a map is supplied when you are seated!), Spectrum On One Fairmont for a party, Planet Hollywood for families

New York
Not so much focused on the free flow of lobster and French champagne, NYC brunches are better known for serving Mimosas or Bloody Marys alongside your eggs benedict… and there is nothing wrong with that approach either.
WTF Picks – The Standard Hotel for fun and funky (loved this first-hand on Christmas Day), The Plaza Hotel for old school, Brasserie Beaumarchais to be seen

Shanghai
China has quickly followed their Asian neighbours and embraced the art of Sunday champagne brunches.
WTF Picks – The Westin has something for the whole family and the Hyatt and Shangri-La for style and service

Of course a brunch experience is always influenced by the company too, so choose your guests carefully!

Where do you think the best champagne brunch is?

OUTSOURCE ME!

Child-cleaningI am the first person to admit I am a HUGE advocate of outsourcing whatever I can.

I have been known to be somewhat of a control freak (I can hear my family screaming yes at this point!) but over the years I have managed to let go of the need to make sure everything is 100% perfect and give way to someone else having a go at it.

The fact is, we have been outsourcing personal tasks forever, it just didn’t have a label.

When I was growing up it was called working for your pocket money. And if you have ever had the opportunity to have a personal assistant I would put money on the fact that they have carried out some “non-business related” outsourcing task for you at some point, whether it be booking personal travel or paying a phone bill.

Generally the most popular tasks to outsource are – housecleaning, laundry and ironing, grocery shopping, dog walking (not sure what the point is having a dog if you don’t have time to take it outside), car washing and good old lawn mowing. But more and more people are slowly trusting others to pay their bills, or to buy a gift for their loved one.

So how do you get on-board the express train to “easy life”?

The 4 Hour Workweek is really the original how-to guide for ideas on better managing your personal tasks

But if you want to jump straight in you can try some of the following sites (sadly these are not available in all countries).

My favourite one – www.fiverr.com
Basically a list of offerings from people who will do “X” for $5. There are real some gems on offer!

www.taskrabbit.com
One of the better known (and tested) sites

www.elance.com
A great resource for small business with everything from logo design to building your website

www.fancyhands.com
For $25 a month your personal admin issues are solved

Now all this free time now means more time to relax. I am off to order a bottle of wine online that will be delivered chilled to my door in under an hour… now that is service!