The American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”
The tradition of afternoon tea is of British origin, coming to light during the early nineteenth century when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, is said to have complained about a terrible sinking feeling in her stomach around three o’clock in the afternoon. At the time, British aristocrats would only have two meals a day, breakfast in the morning and dinner around 8 o’clock in the evening. Afternoon tea became a way to abolish hunger between meals.
Like all great culinary treats, the tradition spread around the world and, now, Dubai offers a selection of afternoon teas that blend the traditional with the luxurious.
The luxury resort Madinat Jumeirah offers one of the most unique experiences as guests sip their afternoon tea aboard traditional Abras—small boats made of wood. While nibbling on delicate Victoria Sponge, English fruit cake, sandwiches, and scones, guests will take in views of the resort, and glimpses of the luxurious landscape and architecture, including a look at what some deem to be the most luxurious hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.
For those who prefer something a bit more trendy, Raffles Dubai offers a selection of afternoon tea for fashion lovers. Chef Roland of Raffles was recently nominated for Pastry Chef of the Year and it isn’t difficult to see why, considering creations in the shape of tiny handbags made of chocolate, or white chocolate ganache stilettos.
Another unique twist can be found at The Palace, downtown Dubai, where afternoon tea can be served either the traditional British way featuring finger sandwiches and freshly baked scones with clotted cream, or the Arabian way which includes desserts like camel milk pistachio crème brûlée.
One would be hard-pressed to dream up a more delightful way to chase away afternoon hunger.
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