Taking afternoon tea on palm Jumeirah is one of the ultimate luxuries when living in and travelling to the UAE.
Dubai in particular is awash with afternoon tea offerings complete with every gimmick going but for classic (and extensive) afternoon tea you simply cannot visit anywhere better than Fairmont The Palm.
Afternoon tea here is served in the Mashrabiya Lounge on the lobby level which boasts both a chic lounge as well as an outdoor terrace boasting fantastic views out across the beach when the weather permits.
Not wanting to waste such a stunning view we opted to indulge ourselves whilst relaxing outside which was made bearable by the large free-standing fan spraying out tiny droplets of water to keep us cool. Of course, it wasn’t long before the soaring Summer temperatures got the better of us and we retreated inside but for what it’s worth, the view really is worth seeing.
The first of many great things about the Fairmont’s afternoon tea offering is that you can visit anytime between 12:00pm and 6:00pm which is a pleasant change to so many other high teas that only offer a 2-3 hour period. The 12-6 range means you can visit over a lunch break or even after you have finished sunning yourself on the beautiful hotel beach if you are a guest. The second best thing is the price which is a rather reasonable AED 125 per head and you get a great deal for your dirham. If you are feeling a little fancy, and lets face it afternoon tea has a habit of making one feel a little fancy, then try the bubbly tea which is served outside complete with a glass of champagne. Needless to say we opted for the bubbly package.
Both afternoon tea packages deliver the best of British right here in the UAE with a mountain of scones, fresh sandwiches, homemade jams and a huge selection of teas.
The tea leaves are fetchingly displayed in a wooden menu which is a unique and pleasant touch and with options including Yummy Berry (wild berries with currants) and Hibiscus, you will be spoilt for choice. We opted for one adventurous option in Tutti Frutti which was red in colour and rich in its caramel sweetness and a more traditional Earl Grey. The tea was refilled throughout the entire afternoon and could have only been better if it was served in more extravagant looking tea-pot, it is Palm Jumeirah after all.
The selection of food was simply overwhelming, in a good way however. Served on a traditional cake stand the three layers were packed full of sandwiches and pastries. We decided to work our way from bottom to top (hopefully) saving room for the seven plus delicious pastries that were waiting to be devoured.
The savoury selection consisted of mini sandwiches, bagels and rolls and were filled with all manner of quintessentially English fares. The Scottish smoked salmon with citrus cream was served on pumpernickel bread and was perhaps one of the more healthy options. The roast beef with horseradish cream, pickled gherkin and watercress served in a multigrain bread roll was a personal favourite. Of course, traditional afternoon tea options such as cucumber and cream cheese bagel and organic egg mayonnaise with baby cress served on a soft onion brioche were also served.
After polishing off two rounds of the sandwiches plus a sausage roll and a vegetable Quiche we decided to descend onto the pastries, mindful that we still had the scone course to go. From chocolate passion fruit cake to a lemon raspberry tart, each beautifully presented teeny petit four was finger-lickingly good. So good in fact, we even asked for more of the hazelnut caramel toffee macaroons.
If you can still manage yet even more, then the perfectly cooked scones are brought to your table accompanied by a personal selection of homemade jam alongside obligatory clotted cream. Jam of the month was a Miot Lime Kiwi, a strong flavoured jam that was a refreshing take on a classic. The jams covered all the favourites including Alain strawberry, Miot peach and raspberry and if you didn’t fancy jam, chocolate spread was also a choice.
Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont is a sedate and relaxing affair, its sophisticated glam that sees the likes of ladies that lunch, well-healed hotel guests and UAE based yummy-mummies arrive in their droves, it is unpretentious yet super stylish, affordable yet aesthetically pleasing. Our verdict? You’d be hard pushed to find a more tasteful (and tasty) take on afternoon tea in the City.