This was one of things I was most excited about going to Dubai for. You know...tea...me...the Enabler. It's meant to be. Like the Three Musketeers, but better.
I came across this tea online and got a little too excited about it and the hotel was extremely helpful in spurring this excitement on by efficiently responding to my email about the pricing and availability. They were kind enough to accept an email reservation for my preference.
So, we popped up around 15 minutes late (we're Indian), and they didn't make a fuss at all which I appreciated. It was a lot less crowded than I assumed it would be, possibly because it was a Tuesday, so the place was nice and empty. It was also absolutely beautiful, with a nice posh ambiance.
The hotel really was very beautifully done up so it just added to the experience. Spoiler alert: This tea is worth it only for the aesthetics.
So, we sat down and they had the table laid out with their tea menu and sugar sticks:
Look how pretty! I don't usually have sugar in tea, but this made it so tempting.
The menu did differ slightly from the blog reviews I had read about them, but it happens.
So naturally, the tea arrived first. Unlike most places in Dubai, they do offer free refills of tea and they will even refresh your cup for you once your pot is finished.
[Hamour's Breakfast Intense Bio & Earl Grey Teas]
It really annoys me when teas state that they are organic. ALL TEA IS ORGANIC!
In any event, Raffles Hotel, Dubai is monogamous to this particular brand of tea and these are all the varieties available:
[Pascal Hamour's Range of Teas]
Anyway, the tea was decent enough. Not the best tea in the world but I don't have any actual issues with it. I do love their teaware though. The tea is very well presented with the glass pots and the gorgeous amber colour of well-brewed caffeine-laden tea. Love it! It was also fragnant enough to know that the tea was all very fresh which was lovely. On top of this, they offered me the option of milk which was warm or cold which is one of the first places I've seen to do that. Cold milk changes the flavour and properties of freshly brewed tea, so warm milk is definitely preferable. Yes, the milk was warm, but it was a little over steamed which meant that is was too frothy to be appropriate to perfection. Still, it was good enough. This is just nitpicking.
Then the eatables arrived:
[Raffles Hotel Dubai's Fashion High Tea]
Seriously...you can't compete with that! Then, more eatables arrived:
[Raffles Hotel Dubai's Fashion High Tea]
I was a little sad that they didn't have plain scones...this abomination needs to stop. Plain scones are essential to the happiness of life. Why do people hate happiness? The menu also stated that they would be serving both blackcurrant and passionfruit scones. We requested for just passionfruit scones because blackcurrant...really? Insanity through and through.
So let's take this one step at a time:
[Chicken Liver and Pate de Foie Gras with Lavender Jelly Makeup Jar & Melba Toast]
[Home Cured Gravalax and Asparagus Lipstick]
[Air-Dried Beef, Grilled Melon, Mint and Black Pepper Skewers]
[Burrrata on Beet Root Bread Embellishment with Rocket and Pesto]
[Cucumber and Tomato Panini Sponge with Dried Tomato]
[Cornish Pastry - Filled with Lamb]
I found it a little strange that they placed the Cornish Pastry with the Scones, but I shall let it slide. The food was, unfortunately, less than stellar. Not only was it forgettable, it was not particularly pleasant to consume. It really is a shame.
Then came the sweets:
[Rhubarb Brown Butter Tart Earring Box, ? , Oreo Cookie Blusher]
[Sticky Bun Encrusted with Pecan Nuts, Cream Choux Puff "Miss Daisy", ?]
[Milk Chocolate Mendiants, Spring Stiletto and White Chocolate Orange Blossom, Praline Tart Tropezienne]
Some of this stuff is questionable. I'm having quite a bit of trouble placing the items with the menu. It would be nice if they were more clearly equitable as they were on the blog reviews. Disappointment ahoy! The desserts were not as good as they looked which was a bit sad. This is definitely one of those times where flavour was compromised in place of aesthetics. It didn't have to be this way!
[Passionfruit Scones with Cornish Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam]
This was definitely the highlight of the entire set. The scones were delicious. They came warm and the passionfruit flavour was very subtle. There weren't great globs of the fruit in the scone, but rather incorporated seamlessly into the pastry to form a lovely, crumbly, warm mess of deliciousness.
And you have to love how they served the clotted cream in a tube:
The jam was just the right consistency and level of sweetness and it complimented the cream and crumbly scones perfectly. Really yum!
Just go there for scones. At AED199 for two, just skip the set. You can steal my pictures and pretend you went. But go for their scones. They're really worth going back for.
Sheikh Zayed Road, Wafi, PO Box 121800, Dubai
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun - 8am-2pm [According to their website, but I don't think this is right. We went for tea at 2pm]