One of Britain’s favourite pastimes celebrated the Dubai way. Here are our choice of tea-remendous tea times where you can stick out your pinky and sip in style.
Afternoon tea was introduced to a parched and peckish English society in the mid-19th century. Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon and ask for a tea of bread, butter and cake to be brought to her room. Being a sociable kinda Duchess, she began asking friends to join her and so a tradition was born. Anna, we salute you from the bottom of our teapots!
The Victorian Restaurant, City Walk
Afternoon tea is this quaint restaurant’s crowning glory. The Victorian aims to fuse the elegance of the 18th century with modern cooking to create a truly charming experience.
Served on traditional china, the afternoon tea comprises finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and an ensemble of pretty pastries and delicate macarons. An assortment of fragrant teas served in a stylish tea pot are also available.
AED 142 per person. Open 9am-2am (3am weekends) and tea is served from 4pm-7pm. 04 526 0391.
Fashion Tea at Raffles, Oud Metha
Designer treats straight from the catwalk onto your plate, the Raffles’ Fashion Tea has been a favourite with fashionistas since 2011, especially the white chocolate ganache stiletto.
Catch the seasonal collection in the refined surroundings of Raffles’ lobby Salon, where it’s served with unlimited hot beverages, or if you’re feeling really fancy, a glass of bubbles.
Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi City. 2pm-7pm daily. 04 324 8888. AED 290 for two people, AED 490 with a glass of bubbles each.
Society Café & Lounge, Jumeirah
Housed in a lovingly restored villa in Jumeirah 1, glasshouse-inspired Society Café & Lounge serves a decadent afternoon tea offer between 2pm and 6pm that traditionalists might consider somewhat outré – including mini sweet potato and kale muffins, mini date and pecan pie, and pistachio pavlova with Diplomat cream. Classics such as homemade buttermilk scones with clotted cream and berry marmalade, and freshly-made macarons are also available.
It includes a carafe of homemade lemonade, tea, coffee or traditional ghwa. Also included, and well worth a try, even if only for the Instagram, is a glass of Society Café’s signature mocktail – the High Society (sparkling grape infused with blueberry, served with a sprinkle of gold dust).
AED 150 per person (including VAT), 2pm-6pm daily. 10B Street, Jumeirah 1. 04 222 2811.
Demoiselle by Galvin, CityWalk
Sister branch to the famous café in Harrods, London, this new venture in CityWalk is the 11th venture for the titular Galvin brothers, who earned a Michelin star at Galvin at Windows in the British capital’s Hilton.
Tea lovers can choose from traditional or chocolate afternoon offerings, served in the restaurant’s chic Salon de The on classic three-tiered stands packed with scones, delicate sandwiches and sticky pastries. A range of fine teas complete the experience.
2pm-7pm daily. 04 590 5076. AED 102 per person for traditional afternoon tea, chocolate AED 120.
Byzantium Lounge – Taj Dubai, Business Bay
Imperious gold peacocks watch over diners who want to linger over a teapot in the hotel’s mezzanine lounge.
With more than a nod to Indian tradition, try a classic afternoon tea spread with spiced up with samosas, cardamon pound cake and chaat. More than 20 teas and herbal infusions can be brewed up too, and this deal comes with an endless supply of them. Give the hotel enough notice and they can even prepare a gluten-free version.
Burj Khalifa Street, Executive Towers. 12pm-6pm daily. 04 438 3100. An Ode to India afternoon tea, AED 200 per person (updated September 2018).
The Lounge, Address Boulevard
Welcome drinks and mini fruit tarts are just a little tease of the many more delightful dishes on offer at the Address Boulevard’s afternoon tea.
This downtown hotel then serves guests with a chest of drawers, filled with four layers of sweet and savoury goodness, from edible plastic wrapped sweets to chocolate caviar. This high tea inspires to the imagination, but doesn’t skimp on freshly baked scones and luscious jams.
2.30pm-6pm, daily. AED 166 per person, including a choice of tea or coffee. Address Boulevard, lobby level, Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. 04 561 8888.