Since my time in Dubai, there is one thing which I absolutely adore especially with my girlfriends and that’s enjoying afternoon teas, and Dubai surely does know how to impress you with one. Even though this tradition was started in England by the Duchess of Bedford it’s now favoured in many parts of the world including the UAE. Dubai, in particular, could compete with some of UK’s hotels as here they do not compromise on the quality and go all out to leave a lasting impression. In the last eight years, I must have tried at least fifty hotels and stand-alone restaurants serving a proper afternoon tea if not less.
Since my last round-up, there have been more places which have sprung up and another round-up on my favourite afternoon tea places was longer than due.
Atmosphere – If it’s your first time trying an afternoon tea then make sure it’s one amazing affair to remember. Here not only tourists but even locals love to settle in for a decadent afternoon tea and you won’t be let down, you can’t complain about the view and the experience is sure to boast about. You will have a range of teas to select from and the dainty sandwiches and desserts are going to make you fall in love with this afternoon tradition. Isn’t it ironic that you be having a high tea in one of the highest buildings in the world? Definitely, something to remember.
Afternoon tea on an Abra – Jumeirah Al Qasr has plenty of restaurants and each one is quite special but one experience which is quite close to my heart is an afternoon tea on an Abra. Taking rounds of the property on an abra (boat), being surrounded by chirping birds, and the iconic view of the Burj Al Arab and at the same time tucking in some delicious sandwiches, drinks and desserts is something you can’t get over easily. There are two staff on the abra one which us serving you and the other which will sway you around the enormous property, this is an experience unlike any other. I have heard a couple of proposals as well happening during this beautiful tradition of afternoon tea. Fun fact, its an Arabic theme tea party and nevertheless it is extraordinary.
Choix patisserie and restaurant – Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City houses this magnificent restaurant of a three Michelin star chef holder, Pierre Gagnaire. A meal here is a truly wonderful experience but afternoon tea is not bad either, the menu is carefully crafted by the chef with some divine desserts, sandwiches and soothing beverages to please you. I personally love the scones here and being quite reasonable I wouldn’t mind going quite often. Even though the high tea dished here is inspired by the French it is ideally fit for a queen.
Emerald Palace Kempinski – If you want to feel like royalty then this hotel wouldn’t let you down. It feels like being in a real palace and the afternoon tea ceremony is something this place has aced. Since the time this place has opened, I love visiting it at any given chance. I have even taken a few of my good friends here who are just awestruck by their lobby and tea ceremony. They have a pianist playing some great music while you enjoy your perfect afternoon ceremony, another impressive thing about this resort is the Picnic basket high tea which you can enjoy near the pool or the beach.
Four Seasons DIFC – This hotel chain is quite renowned and they have recently collaborated with the distinguished fashion brand Charlotte Tilbury and serving a high tea inspired by the brand. Here at Penrose Lounge, you feel in the lap of luxury sipping on tea and the set up is sophisticated, to say the least. Rose Gold, and Bronze, are two colours quite prominently used in the desserts and goes well with the theme. They even held monthly classes with some makeup artists to enhance your experience, isn’t this an amazing deal with a cup of tea and desserts.
Hells Kitchen – Gordon Ramsay is one genius chef and has two amazing restaurants in Dubai but one which I particularly want to talk about is Hell’s Kitchen as they have recently started serving an afternoon tea experience which is as British as it can get. The scrumptious sandwiches especially the Coronation Chicken and the Scottish smoked salmon is quite luscious and pair perfectly well with the desserts and the hot beverage. So book yourself for an incomparable afternoon tea which will transport you to the set of Hells Kitchen and make your afternoon quiet rememberable.
Dinner in the sky – Now this is one experience which is quite unique, to say the least. Hanging up 50 metres high in the sky you will be mesmerised by the beautiful Dubai marina skyline and don’t worry about your safety as you are tightly strapped and that’s the last thing you would have to think about. The food is sourced from Le Meridien and The Westin so you know that the sandwiches, desserts and the tea will be quite special. For just about two hours you will have a majestic tea ceremony which will outdo all your previous high tea experiences and you will be raving about this one for years to come.
Raffles – The floral afternoon tea has been part of Raffles for the last three years and recently they have had another addition which is Treasures of Arabia. I highly recommend this place for any occasion be it a bridal shower, birthday or an anniversary celebration, it is perfect. You can even combine the afternoon tea experience with a massage making it the most leisurely laidback day. Whenever I visit Raffles I ponder on my high tea experience at the iconic Singapore Raffles as it was one of the fabulous activity I did on my holiday. The afternoon tea with the spa is priced at 450DHS per person and is surely worth it.
Going for Afternoon teas here in Dubai is my hobby and I would be guilty of going to one every week but one cannot complain if the service and food are incredible, isn’t it?