Switch up your get-togethers with one of these indulgent afternoon spreads…
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely affair or a more decadent one, here’s where to enjoy a tea and scone at the city’s most indulgent afternoon teas.
Sure, the Burj Khalifa might be a hot spot for tourists. But don’t let them nab all the tables, as this may well be one of the best afternoon tea spots in the city. Here, visitors can take their pick from mini-sandwiches, patisseries and a 20-strong tea selection, all whilst listening to a live violinist. Fancy a more upmarket experience? The Luxurious Menu – yes, really – includes champagne and a main course such as roast chicken with seasonal veggies.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily noon to 4.30pm, Dhs327 to Dhs515. Tel: (04) 8883828. atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
We’re big fans of the glam Floral Afternoon Tea at Raffles Dubai which – you’ve guessed it – is inspired by flowers. Served on floral bronze stands, the flower-shaped sweet and savoury treats include rose-shaped jasmine flavoured chocolate ganache and honey sablé, and rose shaped Brie mousse and hibiscus cured salmon. Tea lovers can also rejoice, as the extensive tea selection includes Darjeeling, jasmine blossom and green lemon.
Raffles Dubai, Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi, Dubai, daily 2pm to 7pm, Dhs290 to Dhs490. Tel: (04) 3248888. raffles.com/dubai
The Gin Bar
What better way to experience a thoroughly British pastime than on board a legendary luxury liner? Served in the gin bar, which was once reserved for visiting royals and first class passengers, guests can expect finger sandwiches, sausage rolls and mini quiches. If you’re feeling flush, you can get The Queen Elizabeth package for Dhs7,850, which comes with Dom Pérignon Rosé.
The Queen’s Grill, The QE2 Dubai, Port Rashid, Thur to Sat 4pm to 6pm, Dhs195 to Dhs7,850. Tel: (04) 5268888. qe2.com
Choix par Pierre Gagnaire
If you’re looking for a value option, head to Choix par Pierre Gagnaire, which offers views of Dubai Creek. There are two menus to select from: the classic and the vegetarian. On the classic menu, work your way through white tuna mousse, Shimizu chicken with black truffle eggs and smoked salmon blinis. On the vegetarian menu, guests can try wild mushroom quiche, and red pain de mie with mozzarella and pesto.
Intercontinental Festival City, Festival City, Dubai, daily 2.30pm to 6pm, Dhs99. Tel: (04) 7011136. Taxi: Intercontinental Festival City intercontinental.com
It’s an unashamedly decadent affair at luxury hotel Palazzo Versace. Sample finger sandwiches and salads while those with a sweet tooth can choose from a selection of desserts including chocolate chip scones, and white chocolate and raspberry brownies. You’ll get to unwind to the sounds of a vocalist and pianist whose genres include soul, blues and rocks.
Palazzo Versace, Culture Village, Al Jadaf, Dubai, Fri 5pm to 8pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 5568888. palazzoversace.ae
Dinner in the Sky
If eating sarnies at the table sounds a bit mundane, perhaps having a feast suspended 50 metres above the Dubai Marina will pique your interest. Fearless foodies are hoisted by a crane into the air, to dine suspended over the city for one, exhilarating hour. For the very brave, the chairs can also fully swivel around and recline. There’s a selection of sandwiches including smoked turkey cheddar and tomato, as well as a variety of scones and pastries. Choose from macaroons, danish pastry, fruit tart and marinated raisin scones. Just try not to drop your iPhone or knife over the edge.
Al Seyahi Street, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 5pm to 6.30pm, Thurs to Sat Dhs499, Sun Dhs599. dinnerinthesky.ae
The Ritz-Carlton has six different afternoon teas, catering for all budgets and tastes. If you fancy something a little more upscale, there’s the Millionaire Treat. Start off with a glass of Dom Pérignon, followed by a selection of pastries, freshly baked scones and 30g of Beluga Caviar served on warm blinis.
The Ritz-Carlton, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 2pm to 6pm, Dhs2, 920. Tel: (04) 3186150. ritzcarlton.com
For an afternoon tea with a distinctly Middle Eastern twist, we recommend trying the Arabic Inspired option in the opulent surroundings of the One&Only Royal Mirage’s Arabian Court. This includes finger sandwiches, cold mezzeh and Arabic bread, crepes and sweets.
One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, Dubai, daily 3pm to 6pm, Dhs165. Tel: (04) 3999999. oneandonlyresorts.com
Fairmont The Palm offers two baby shower afternoon teas: Little Princess Afternoon Tea and Little Prince Afternoon Tea. As well as sweet treats and brews, there will be a complimentary baby shower cake. If it all gets too much, you can head to the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa where you can get a 50% discount on 60 and 90-minute massages. If you’re part of a bridal party or a bride-to-be, there’s also a separate bridal shower afternoon tea.
Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily noon to 6pm, Dhs165. Tel: (04) 4573457. palmdining.com
Head to the top floor of Burj Al Arab for its breath-taking views of both the Palm Jumeirah and The World islands. Expect traditional fare here – sandwiches, fresh pastries and cakes served with homemade jam and Devonshire clotted cream. Window seating is an additional Dhs100.
Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur, 1pm and 4pm, Dhs635. Tel: (04) 3017600. jumeirah.com
Housed in a two-storey villa on Jumeirah Beach Road, Tania’s Teahouse is a foliage-filled pink haven. If you’re just looking for something to sip, there are 25 different flavours of tea that can be prepared iced, regular or into a latte. If you’re looking for food, try the Jumeirah Jane/James tea platter with bite-sized sandwiches and a variety of pastries and desserts.
Villa 779A, Jumeirah Beach Road, Sun to Wed 8am to 10pm, Thur 8am to midnight and Fri 9am to midnight, Dhs200. Tel: (04) 3240021. taniasteahouse.com
Food served in a chest of drawers? It is at Address Boulevard’s Art Crafted Afternoon Tea. The first drawer includes plastic-wrapped candy and chocolate caviar, while the second and third drawers contain a mix of sweet and savoury items, including smoked salmon and quail egg and mushroom and bocconcini.
Address Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai daily 2.30pm and 6pm, Dhs166. Tel: (04) 8883444. addresshotels.com
If you’re looking for a more educational culinary experience, the tea specialists at this Arabian Afternoon Tea promises to take guests on a ‘unique journey through Arabian culture’. As well as 25 varieties of tea, there will be chicken shawarma, camel milk pistachio crème Brule and ataif velvet pancakes.
Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Sun to Tue and Thur 2pm to 6pm Dhs170. Tel: (04) 8883444. addresshotels.com
If you need to refuel after a Mall Of The Emirates shopping trip, head to Aspen Cafe. Listen to the sounds of a live harpist as you sample finger sandwiches, miniature pastries, scones and desserts.
Kempinski Hotel Mall Of The Emirates, daily 3pm to 6pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 4095888. kempinski.com
Sidra Lobby Lounge
Sample a five-course menu at this upscale five-star resort while listening to a pianist, cellist and violinist. As well as a dedicated salmon station, pick from a large selection of sandwiches, pastries and tea cakes, scones with clotted cream and 18 types of teas.
Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, Dubai, Sat 2pm to 5pm, Dhs225. Tel: (04) 4355577. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
If you’re after a quintessentially British affair, you’ll find it at Dukes Dubai. Expect handmade pastries, scones with clotted cream, jam as well as a selection of teas.
Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily noon to 5pm, Dhs170 to Dhs320. Tel: (04) 4551111. dukesdubai.com
There are six different options of afternoon tea to choose from at Gourmandises in Le Méridien Dubai, with mixed macaroons, assorted lollipops and scones included in each.
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Airport Road, Garhoud, Dubai, daily, 3pm to 6pm. Tel: (04) 7022455. lemeridien-dubai.com
If you prefer a buffet, try Atlantis’ weekend afternoon tea, which serves an assortment of homemade miniature cakes, desserts and traditional English cold tea sandwiches.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Fri and Sat 2.30pm to 5.30pm, Dhs150 to Dhs300. Tel: (04) 426 2000 atlantisthepalm.com
The Scene by Simon Rimmer
Take your pick from British-inspired fare including strawberries and cream, pickled cucumber sandwich, lemon meringue pie and homemade scones with golden raisins. Visitors can also choose from six teas including chamomile, ginger and lemongrass, or mint. But if you want something a little stronger, there’s a gin option.
4th Floor, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, daily noon to 6pm, Dhs165 to Dhs249. Tel: (04) 4222328. thescenedubai.com