A little slice of an Italian dream…

I’m not saying that Saturday buffet brunches are dead. In fact, they will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart. But if you tell me that I have the chance to enjoy a lazy Sunday brunch by the pool – this is an opportunity I won’t ever say no to. Mare by Bussola is a stunning poolside restaurant and bar that is quite possibly one of my new favourite spots in Dubai.

Walking into The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina always feels like you’re going on your first holiday to Dubai. Wandering down the winding path to Mare By Bussola restaurant has the same feeling as when you’ve spent the day lounging by the pool and it’s time to enjoy an immaculate meal – and immaculate it was.

Our welcome drink, a gin fizz with herby garnish, pairs perfectly with the rosemary and sea salt focaccia. The waiter kindly hands over the menus and tells us that the cold and hot items will all come in as sharing-style and that we can choose a pizzette. When the cold dishes arrive, the first item we jump at is the freshly shucked oysters served with a passion fruit and mango mignonette. The tartness and sweet tang lift the flavour of the oyster in such an unexpected way.

Stand-out dishes on the hot menu? The cacio e pepe tortellini and the guida style fried artichoke with pecorino foam. Ready for a dip in the pool, we leave the coastal vibes of the restaurant to lounge poolside, drink in hand.

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As if our timing was cosmic, we leave the pool and head back to our table and the pizzette arrives just as we do. Nibbling away at the perfect tomato-sauced base topped with buffalo mozzarella and fresh tomatoes with the sun warmly hovering overhead, the drinks continue to go down a refreshing treat. After a while, it’s time for another soak in the sun and the pool. The afternoon rounded to its sad, but natural conclusion – although there’s always space for desserts – the cannoli are my all-time favourite, and the strawberry and coconut sorbets bring us back to childhood, sat with wet hair at the table enjoying the perfect scoop.

What’s On verdict: A wholesome way to spend your Sunday in the sun. Whether you’re sat poolside or in the restaurant, the calm, coastal vibes are nourishing.

Mare by Bussola, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Sundays, 1pm to 4.30pm, pool passes from 11am, Dhs350 soft, Dhs450 bubbles, Dhs580 premium. @marebybussola