“There is something particularly pleasing about the ‘taking of tea’ in the afternoon.”
Everyone loves afternoon tea and if like me you’ve tried your fair share over the years, then a trip to Stratos at Le Royal Meridien in Abu Dhabi is a must to add to your list. It isn’t your average afternoon tea, in fact there is nothing remotely average about taking tea 120 metres above the ground whilst your venue slowly revolves giving you 360 degree views of the city’s skyline.
Average? We think not.
Stratos prides itself on being a journey of the senses and with a reputation as housing one of the best afternoon teas in the capital, so how could you not try? It is the only revolving bar and lounge in Abu Dhabi and this in itself is the USP. Yes, it is gimmicky, but you won’t enjoy it any less.
Situated on the edge of the beautiful Abu Dhabi Corniche, Le Royal Meridien is a popular destination for both tourists and business travellers alike. Stratos is perched on top on the hotel like a perfectly proportioned hat and a quick whizz up to the 26th floor in the sleek elevators and you reach your afternoon tea destination.
Stepping into Stratos is like stepping into an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel exuding all the glamour of Gatsby. A moody colour scheme of glossy black and brilliant gold adds to the art deco theme. It isn’t light or airy but instead oozes a kind of sophisticated cool that so many afternoon tea locations fail to achieve. The venue is circular in style and the floor to ceiling windows really do give the most impressive 360 degree views of not only the cityscape but also the Arabian Gulf. The great thing about Stratos is of course, that it revolves so you do not even need to get up from your comfortable, cushion laden sofa to admire the stunning scenery of this exciting Emirate, the view evolves as you enjoy. All in all it takes around 2 hours to fully rotate at a speed that actually once you get used to it, doesn’t feel too much like you are even moving. Images of storm in a tea-cup fairground rides are quickly dispelled. The speed can also be adjusted depending on guests requirements, this is a particularly good thing to learn if you decide to opt for the afternoon tea with a tipple.
Apart from the fabulous views and the obvious talking point, the Stratos afternoon tea is actually excellent. With a wide range of teas to choose from including classics such as refreshing Sri Lankan Earl Grey to the sweetest Lychee Red tea rom Chinese infused with lychee fruit. All teas are selected by the Stratos tea sommeliers and served on artistic black and white patterned plates that are in tune with the overall decor and your individual teapot is kept warm by a candle burner.
Whilst a hot beverage is lovely, what we all care about when it comes to taking afternoon tea is the food. Stratos afternoon tea comprises of traditional finger sandwiches with a variety of fillings from cucumber to smoked salmon and cream cheese, delicious mini Viennese bridge rolls stuffed with coronation chicken, beef and egg mayonnaise are a unique addition and absolutely delicious. Of course, freshly baked scones complete with clotted cream and a dollop of homemade strawberry preserve also feature alongside delicious tea pastries such as Opera cake. Even better is the fact that these are replenished as much as you can eat.
For special occasions or simply to toast the view, you can add a pot of Hendricks, cucumber, raspberry & elderflower punch or a rather fancy glass of Louis Roederer Brut to accompany your finger food.
The people behind Stratos were right, it is a gastronomic feast for not only your taste buds, but also your senses. The view evolves at the same rate as your plate.
Stratos Afternoon Tea is priced at AED 149
Stratos Tippling Tea is priced at AED 249 with champagne