*Raises pinky finger*…

Sometimes, although disproportionately more often when your mum is visiting, you just want to surround yourself with a bit of sophistication. And afternoon teas almost universally deliver. Being Abu Dhabi’s spirit meal, there’s a pretty deep, diverse and fully clotted collection in Abu Dhabi. From the palatial to the pay-less options, we present to you a tiered sandwich stand of high tea fabulousness as well as all the scones… Skons..? Sc-oh-ns?

The best afternoon teas in Abu Dhabi

Alba Terrace

Tea on the Terazza, is almost impossible to say (or write) without pinching your fingers together in that most Italian of ways, and shaking them agitatedly. And its appropriate here, this very Mediterranean-inspired afternoon tea takes place on the breezy terrace of the Al Bateen Marina-based Edition hotel. Highlights of the food involve meringue peaked charcoal croissants, mini avocado egg on rye bread, baby burrata and prosciutto with grilled peach. It’s Dhs120 with unlimited tea and coffee, and Dhs188 with two-hours of free-flow bubbles.

The Abu Dhabi Edition, daily 1pm to 6pm, from Dhs120. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. @abudhabiedition

Lobby Lounge @Shangri-la Qaryat Al Beri 

There’s a sweet and savoury deluxe gastronomy mash-up available at the themed ‘Wishing Afternoon Tea’ here. We’re told the beetroot raita, in particular is an essential high tea taste experience. You can choose to enjoy with tea and coffee for Dhs115, or the package that includes two hours of bubbles is Dhs200.

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, daily 2.30pm to 6pm, from Dhs115 per person. Tel: (0)2 509 8555. restaurantreservations.slad@shangri-la.com

The Drawing Room @ St Regis Saadiyat Island

The daily afternoon tea at The St Regis is a time-old tradition that was first introduced at the original New York hotel. Set in a stunning hotel with marble floors and high ceilings. The Drawing Room offers a bespoke blend of teas from Tchaba. The afternoon tea costs Dhs195 per person but can be upgraded to include a glass of Champagne for Dhs250.

St Regis, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 3pm to 6pm, from Dhs195 per person. Tel: (0)2 498 8888 morecravings.com

Anantara Eastern Mangroves

Ain’t no party like a spa-tea party, and this Anantara Eastern Mangroves ‘Spa Tea Delight’ package looks like it would take some beating. Dhs620 gets you a 60-minute Anantara Spa massage and a luxurious afternoon tea. Go on name a better double act than scones and massage, we’ll wait.

Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi, Al Salam Street, daily 1pm to 6pm, Dhs620 per person or Dhs1,100 per couple. Tel: (0)2 656 1000, anantara.com 

Up & Below

There’s ‘high tea’ and then there’s the ‘Up & Below high tea’. This sophisticated culinary engagement takes place 12 floors up with great views of the downtown cityscape, canapés, scones, savoury nibbles and unlimited tea and coffee included for the outrageously generous price of Dhs65 for two people. Thirsty for more? Glasses of grape are Dhs20 each. It takes place daily between 3pm and 6pm.

Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Pool Bar open daily 7am to 11pm, Fifth Street Café open daily 7am to 11pm, Up & Below weekdays 3pm to 1.30am, weekends 3pm to 2.30am. Tel: (052) 914 12 07, diningatcourtyardabudhabi.com

Central grounds

Held daily from 1pm to 5pm, this traditional afternoon tea at Central Grounds in Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi will cost you just Dhs120 for two people. The delicate bites range from mini cupcakes, sandwiches, scones, fresh pastries, savouries and more. Pair this with a choice of unlimited herbal teas or coffees. Bringing little ones along? Its Dhs60 if they fall in age bracket of six and 12. Make your reservation at least three hours in advance.

Central Grounds, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Abu Dhabi. Daily 1pm to 5pm. Tel: (0)2 304 7777. marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com/specials

Al Meylas

Sophisticated by unassuming, with comfortable sofas and armchairs that make for a modern feeling Majlis, Al Maylas in the Four Seasons at Maryah Island is the perfect place for a laidback dining experience. The afternoon tea is available daily with a delightful selection of both savoury and sweet dishes on the menu. Guests can enjoy finger sandwiches with truffle and quail eggs, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a raspberry layer cake.

Al Meylas, Four Seasons Hotel at Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 3pm to 7pm, Dhs250 for two. Tel: (0)2 333 2444 fourseasons.com

Majlis @Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort

Jumeirah saadiyat afternoon tea

For Dhs195 you can enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea with the option of taking it on the gorgeous outdoor terrace of Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. Served on golden tiers, this connoisseur’s assemblage of afternoon tea includes all the usual bougie suspects — smoked salmon and cheese sandwiches, roast chicken and avo brioche, and slow-roasted vegetables. The sweet side naturally includes scones with clotted cream, honey Madeline, pistachio and raspberry cake and more.

Majlis, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island, Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, available daily 2pm to 6pm. Dhs195 per person. jumeirah.com 

Majlis Lobby Lounge @Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Majlis Lobby Lounge in Rosewood Abu Dhabi has put together a range of themed afternoon teas, that allow guests to explore alternative flavours. It’s available daily between 3pm and 6pm for just Dhs200 per person (or Dhs220 with free-flow bellinis). There’s delicate dim sum available with the ‘The Best of Dai Pai Dong’ Afternoon Tea; Middle Eastern flavours take the lead with the ‘Levantine Afternoon Tea’; and there’s ‘The Vegan Experience’ or the ‘Strictly Vegetarians’ options, for those with a plant-based predilection. The vegan option serves up pastries; sandwiches such as seared tofu and orange or grilled vegetables; and desserts including rhubarb berry shooter and a fruit spring roll.

Majlis Lobby Lounge, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, 3pm to 6pm daily, from Dhs200. Tel (02) 813 5550, rosewoodhotels.com

Observation Deck at 300

If ever there was a statement afternoon tea in the capital, THIS, our friends… Is it. Your winner of the ‘Favourite Afternoon Tea’ title at the 2021 What’s On Abu Dhabi Awards, and still in there with the ‘Highly Commended’ gong at the 2022 awards — there are good reasons why this sophis-tea-cated engagement scores so consistently highly with the city’s glam-set. First, there are the stunning 74th floor Corniche views, then there’s the ultra gourmet spread put on by Executive Pastry Chef Sumeda Palihakkara. All this, with packages starting at Dhs260 (also available at the Lobby lounge from Dhs230). From June, the ‘All Seasons’ theme will be swapped out for a Strawberry one — just in time for Wimbledon.

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, W Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 2pm to 6pm. Dhs260. Tel: (02) 811 5555, hilton.com

Osmo Lounge & Bar

Hilton yas purple afternoon tea

Jewel Box is a ‘classic afternoon tea with a contemporary twist’ — a tiered collection of boxes containing bijoux cake creations and innovative savoury options such as duck couscous puff pastry. Bubbles package top ups are available from Dhs99.

Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Bay, 2pm to 6pm daily, Dhs185. Tel: (02) 208 6900, yasisland.ae

Le Cafe

Nothing says ‘look ma, I made it’ like afternoon tea in an actual palace. With signature gold cappuccinos. Seriously. This isn’t the cheapest option out there at Dhs485 per couple, but the spread is nothing less than legitimately lavish. Your sandwich options are a few steps up from Subway too, including such regal flexes as lobster and caviar. The pastries too, are true articles of Parisian beauty. The finest example of a ‘treat you’self’ afternoon tea we can think of.

Emirates Palace, Corniche Road W, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 6pm, Dhs485. Tel: (02) 690 7999, mandarinoriental.com

Images: Provided/Getty/Instagram