Afternoon Tea | St Regis Saadiyat Island

There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there’s one thing we Brits do well, besides moaning about the weather of course, it’s Afternoon Tea. Dainty crustless sandwiches, small delicate cakes, scones topped with jam and cream presented on a tiered stand served with a good old cup of tea in a bone china cup is our forte and it’s a tradition that has been adopted by hotels worldwide. The very classy St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is a perfect example of this, with its elegant afternoon tea served in the large and open grand Drawing Room, located just off the lobby.

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Every month the Drawing Room offers themed Afternoon Teas along with its regular Fashion inspired affair, I visited earlier this week with a friend and as it was still February sampled the very decadent Love Afternoon Tea, a month long celebration in honour of Valentine’s day.

Before we began eating we were introduced to the varieties of teas on offer from TWG (which stands for The Wellbeing Group) a luxury tea brand from Singapore, each blend presented at the table in a wooden selection box so we could smell the flavours. The St Regis has two of its own unique TWG blends including the St Regis Arabian Tea Blend, a red tea blended with aromatic Arabic spices and the Iridium Spa Tea Blend, a caffeine free blend with notes of almond and sweet orange named after the spa itself. We opted for a black tea similar to English Breakfast and a Rooibos tea and enjoyed a small amuse bouche appetiser too.

Each element of the decadent spread, both sweet and savoury was either adorned or shaped like a heart, with the colours red and pink very prominent throughout. Traditional finger sandwiches were replaced with a different fancy selection, a toasted layered heirloom tomato and mozzarella square sandwich with pesto and topped with a mozzarella heart was one of the vegetarian options along with a pale pink coloured beetroot roll with with josper grilled vegetable and sundried tomatoes, both equally tasty.

My friend enjoyed the open sourdough sandwich of Severn and Wye Smoked salmon with asparagus and a quail egg and an unique chocolate brioche with smoked chicken and mango salsa. Definitely not your average savoury selection, this course was finished with tiny pearls of melon and ginseng scented with honey.

The three varieties of scones, plain, confit ginger and Valrhona chocolate, were served separately wrapped in a cloth napkin, warm straight from the oven and served with Cornish clotted cream, violet flavoured blueberry preserve and of course strawberry jam.

The selection of fine cakes was stunning, each bespoke creation an edible delight. A moist lemongrass financier topped with fresh strawberry hearts, gold leaf and a signature St Regis chocolate disk was delicious, a very lovely miniature marzipan covered Battenberg cake which reminded me of my childhood and a raspberry meringue heart presented on a lolly stick. An extra treat of two painted chocolate hearts was presented in small red boxes.

The top tier had a large red sugar heart on the plate and housed the assortment of cream cakes and pastries. A caramelised pink praline tartlet with lime chantilly, a ginseng praline cake pop covered in chocolate, a minted berries soup, a red chilli caraibe chocolate mousse with crunchy gianduja (chocolate) and an extremely sweet rose flower flavoured candy floss.

The Drawing Room is the perfect location for a fancy schmancy Afternoon Tea with options to sit inside or outside, the views across the resort and the Arabian Gulf beyond are amazing. This afternoon tea is not for the feign hearted, there’s a lot of sugar and exotic flavours, a stunning visual but very indulgent display created by the talented chefs. During March there is the Mother’s Day and Easter themed Afternoon Teas on offer, a great place to indulge your mum or take anyone visiting over the Easter break. My top tips, don’t have lunch beforehand and stay to enjoy the sunset at this beautiful location.

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Afternoon Tea

Location: The Drawing Room, St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Telephone: 02 498 8888  

Website: www.stregissaadiyatisland.com

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Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea (available from 1st until 22nd March from 2:00pm – 6:00pm)

AED 140 per person including a selection of tea | coffee

AED 180 per person including a selection of tea | coffee & 1 glass of bubbly

(Special offer – Buy two and Pay for one  available only on Sunday 6th March and Sunday 20th March only)

Easter Afternoon Tea (available from 23rd until 31st March from 2:00pm – 6:00pm)

AED 140 per person including a selection of tea | coffee

AED 180 per person including a selection of tea | coffee and 1 glass of bubbly

AED 250 for 1 Adult and 1 Child including Afternoon Tea with a box of cookies and eggs for decorating with the chefs

I was invited guest at this restaurant. All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. First photo used courtesy of St Regis Saadiyat Island