Places to sample incredible sandwiches, scones and tasty beverages in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
Al Bayt Al Bayt is in the lobby of Arabian-style The Palace Downtown. It’s a calming setting – a petal-filled fountain ripples in the background and a stunning flower arrangement stands in the centre of the room. Traditional and Arabic options are available. If you opt for the Arabic tray, you’ll receive a selection of the expected teas and sandwiches along with delicate shawarma and kofta concoctions, scones flavoured with saffron and cardamom, and cakes such as camel milk crème brûlée. It’s a classy affair. High tea buffet: Dhs145 per person. Served Wed and Sat 2pm-6pm. Traditional afternoon tea and timeless Arabic afternoon tea: Dhs130 per person. Served daily (except Wed and Sat) 2pm-6pm. The Palace Downtown Dubai (04 4428 7888).
Al Fayrooz Lounge Guests will encounter an elegant and inviting hotel lobby at the entrance of Al Qasr before they even enter this area. With high ceilings, vintage-style wooden ceiling fans plus a glorious view out to the shimmering sea, the Burj Al Arab and also the walkway of Pierchic, this spot feels like a luxurious holiday destination, but also sparks feelings of ‘last days of the Raj’ colonial glamour. The room is laid out with mismatched soft seating giving it a warm and homely touch. Patisserie items here are all utterly different, skilful, pretty, and full of surprises, just as patisserie should be. Staff here are attentive and polite. Dhs165 per person, Dhs250 (with bubbly). Served daily 2pm-6pm. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6730).
At.mosphere On the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building is the world’s highest restaurant from ground level. In At.mosphere’s lounge you can marvel at the view of Dubai while sipping on unlimited teas, coffees and mocktails, and dining on a stunning selection of treats. Service is impeccable and the stylish lounge is formal. For the traditional option, a tasty square of quiche is followed by sandwiches including rich smoked salmon and cream cheese and turkey breast with peppers on rye bread. Perfectly pretty cakes and dainty scones follow. This afternoon tea, much like the restaurant itself, reaches dizzying heights. From Dhs320 per person. Traditional, premium and luxurious options available. Served daily 2.30pm-5pm. Armani Hotel Dubai, BurjKhalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
Choix Patisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnaire The fresh, crisp white venue is inviting, as is the enticing selection of sweets on display at the entrance. The French bakery also has a beautiful outdoor terrace. The high tea selection comes on a classic three-tiered stand. Service is professional and efﬁcient with waiters happy to point out their menu favourites and are apt at making recommendations. Sipping the Choix Blend (green tea with mango, guava and rose petals) iced, on the terrace overlooking the creek, made our afternoon. It’s sophisticated, classic and chic. Dhs155 per person. Daily 1pm-6pm. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Festival City (04 701 1136).
Fortnum & Mason Afternoon tea is served in the minimalist first-floor lounge of Fortnum & Mason with its white and cream colour scheme and views of the Burj Khalifa. Presented on Tiffany-blue china, the ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’ includes a selection of small finger sandwiches, including egg and watercress, cucumber and mint and coronation chicken No afternoon tea would be complete without scones, of course, and this is where Fortnum’s really excel – buttery, crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth creations, both fruit and plain, are served with clotted cream and a choice of Fortnum & Mason’s home-made preserve, which you can take home with you afterwards. Savoury afternoon tea: Dhs215. High tea: Dhs245 per person. Traditional afternoon tea: Dhs295 per person. Served daily noon-11.30pm. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, www.fortnumandmason.com (04 388 2627).
La Farine The lime green seats that punctuate the dark décor give the area a playful yet smart feel. Expect a cup of zingy berries to start, followed by a three-tiered selection of sandwiches and cakes. Classics such as cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches are given a modern twist – the bread being fully wrapped in a thin slice of cucumber. Service is efﬁcient and tea is unlimited, so waiters come around when you’re running low to ask if you’d like another. It retains the classics of a traditional afternoon tea but adds a great modern twist. It’s one for the sweet-toothed. Dhs250 for two people. Daily 3pm-6pm. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Downtown Dubai (04 414 0000).
Mashrabiya Lounge Positioned at the back of Fairmont The Palm’s lobby, Mashrabiya Lounge, with its wide, soft armchairs and a spacious outdoor terrace overlooking the hotel’s beautiful gardens and beach, seems the perfect location for a relaxed afternoon nibble. The variety of tea is extensive, and when the drinks and you can expect to feast your eyes on a whole range of delicately assembled, beautifully-flavoured pastries, cakes and cookies. Each of the sandwiches are fresh and clearly prepared to order – and, as the only savoury element out. The scones are a crumbly, buttery triumph, and the presentation here is faultless. Dhs125 per person. Served daily noon-6pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).
Peacock Alley Every detail of this afternoon tea is high class, from the tableware to the food and even the personal glass teapots. Diners can choose from either the London or Parisian package, the difference being the sandwich ﬁllings. The food is impressively fresh, tempting and tasty. The scones are buttery and accompanied with generous servings of lemon curd, cream and jam and the salted caramel mini éclairs are memorable. Dhs165 (Parisian package), Dhs150 (London package). Daily 2pm-6pm. Waldorf Astoria Dubai, East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah (04 818 2222).
Sahn Eddar With a beautiful setting on the bright ﬁrst ﬂoor lounge of the iconic Burj Al Arab’s Sahn Eddar has a backdrop of the hotel’s multi-coloured balconies. Diners have a postcard-worthy view of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and strains of piano music waft over the restaurant, adding to the luxurious atmosphere. Tea here is a seven-course sitting, which begins with a delightful slim slice of light shortbread topped with mixed berries, followed a by a two-tiered tray of petite crustless sandwiches. The hot drinks menu offers a great selection of black, white, green and fresh ﬂoral teas that can be replenished on request. Coffee is also included. It’s everything you’d expect from a top afternoon tea, and more. Dhs510 per person. Daily 1pm, 3pm, 5pm. Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 301 7600).
Samovar Lounge Suitably grand, Samovar Lounge appears to have been designed with afternoon tea in mind. With warm and inviting tones, plus comfy seats that you can sink into, whiling away an afternoon here over tea and light bites is a soothing experience. Hushed tones feel appropriate at Samovar, adding further to the relaxation. It’s a well-balanced selection of savoury and sweet goods, with the desserts being the most impressive. Tea connoisseurs will enjoy Samovar Lounge’s selection, featuring everything from English breakfast to the more exotic vanilla rooibos. Dhs99 per person. Served daily 3pm-6pm. One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, www.royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 399 9999).