It’s quickly becoming clear that each of Dubai’s branches of the wildly successful and Insta-popular Barcelona import Brunch & Cake has its own personality.
The flagship outlet at Al Wasl – with its high ceilings and airy whitewashed interiors providing the perfect fodder for photo shoots – is the influencer, phone constantly at the ready and snapping away.
The more muted sibling (far less interested in trendiness) is The Pointe, where customers stream in and out throughout the day for a more no-frills version of the quirky café’s signature pastel theme.
And following along those lines, Brunch & Cake by the Lake at Jumeirah Islands is easily the most bohemian member of the family.
With carefully chosen rattan furniture and heavy cushions, the peaceful interiors spill right out to the waterside in a Riviera-style facade.
Compared to the enormous dining area at Al Wasl, the space here is much longer and narrower, offering more intimate vibes across a mix of tables for three and longer benches accommodating larger groups.
Large leaves and garlands of plants break up the space, as does a signature dessert bar adorned with potted plants and an open window into the kitchen where a team of bakers are hard at work turning out pastry after bread after cake.
On the weekend, you might have to wait a while to get a table here (the ideal opportunity to take a walk round the neighbouring lake and gaze at the villas perched above) but the weekdays are a different story.
From Monday-Friday, it’s far quieter, with the clientele mainly consisting of friends catching up over the colourful signature coffees and a handful of laptop-bound workers dialling in to virtual meetings. And what a place to work.
The menu is the same as at the other branches, with favourites such as loaded truffle fries and avocado toast a clear mainstay.
The coffee menu is extensive and peppered with unique choices such as beetroot lattes, or stick with the eternally classic iced Spanish latte which is flecked with flower petals.
Then, once you’re full of caffeine, finish it all off with a slice of cake. The towering Victoria Sponge combines cream and strawberries for a winning combination, but don’t judge by the menu alone – the full dessert counter inside is well worth a visit if not only to see the skilful and thoroughly Instagrammable work of the in-house bakers.
If you’re looking for a place to work in the middle of the week, or to catch up in bohemian surroundings while gazing out lustfully towards the waters of Jumeirah Islands – hidden just behind Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) – this is the place for you.