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Top 10 Afternoon Tea Experiences in Dubai

Afternoon-tea-at-JZS-300x300There’s something pretty special about an afternoon or high tea experience as it’s often referred to. Whenever I travel to cities with a colonial history I always find myself searching out afternoon tea. Must be the Brit half of me. My favourite to date has to be The Peninsula in Hong Kong where I queued for two hours on my birthday a few years ago (only walk-ins were allowed), which happened to coincide with Easter Sunday. I never queue, don’t believe in it – that’s the Cypriot and I guess diva half of moi. And all, just so I could partake in my obsession with this decadent tea feast. By the time I was seated at around 6ish, it was only fair that Mr Laurent Perrier should also join me. A close second is the Mount Nelson in Cape Town with its intimate buffet spread of sweet and savoury delights and quaint garden seating. To quote Henry James, an American-born writer and Anglophile from the 19th century, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

The concept of afternoon tea dates back to Great Britain in the 1830′s, widely credited to one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, Anna Maria Stanhope 7th, the Duchess of Bedford, to appease her mid-afternoon hunger pans at around 5pm. Naturally London knows how to lay out an afternoon tea spread – some recent FooDiva recommendations here. The sweet and savoury delicacies vary from establishment to establishment but it’s usually a three-tiered stand affair and fluffy, crumbly scones always feature – if not then it ain’t the real deal! Here’s an interesting post from My Custard Pie on what makes a perfect scone with some UK recommendations.

On that subject, there’s a long-standing argument on the etiquette of scone assembly – once the scone is sliced just on that perfectly formed crack, what goes next? Clotted cream (in Dubai it’s mostly locally made cream) or jam, usually strawberry or raspberry. Well if you follow the Devonshire way it’s clotted cream first followed by jam, and in Cornwall the opposite. I guess am a Devonshire kind of gal-cum-diva. What are you?

On our Dubai doorstep, we’re spoilt for choice with pretty much every hotel and cafe knocking up afternoon tea – a great way to entertain visiting friends. So here’s FooDiva’s round-up of Dubai’s top ten afternoon tea experiences in alphabetical order. By no means is this list conclusive but I had to draw the line somewhere.

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