“The best address for the perfect social occasion.” St Regis Abu Dhabi
The weekend just got sweeter here in Abu Dhabi with the launch of the Saturday afternoon tea party at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. A feast for your eyes and tastebuds, the new tea party features a magnificent buffet of savoury and sweet treats accompanied by the hotel’s renowned bespoke tea sommelier service.
This is a stylish afternoon tea experience with a difference, instead of being presented with the usual individual three-tired cake stand, guests are invited to indulge in a whole room dedicated to the taking of tea in the afternoon and the best bit, it’s an unlimited help yourself situation. An abundance of finger and open sandwiches, savoury canapés, delicate French pastries, fancy miniature cakes and traditional scones awaits, beautifully presented on stacked Newby tea boxes, a showcase of colour and flavours.
You can choose to be seated in the Tea Lounge just off the grand lobby or in the palatial St. Regis Library where the buffet is located, of course that’s where the teeanger and I chose to be within easy reach of all the goodies. The main thing you need to consider when preparing for this afternoon tea is to come with a big appetite, an element of self control wouldn’t go amiss either as there are four hours to fill oneself with food, that or be prepared to roll home absolutely full to the brim.
Between us we sampled the range of hot savoury selections, a delightful brie and cranberry parcel, duck foie gras spring rolls and Earl Grey falafel. Notable items from the cold selections were the cheese puffs and the more unusual black rolls filled with salmon, there was a good selection of vegetarian options although my favourite egg mayonnaise was absent.
There are way too many sweet treats to mention them all but my favourites included the chocolate choux buns, the mini fruit pavlovas, the raspberry tarts, the tiny chocolate handbags and of course the sugary sweet colourful macaroons. Afternoon Tea wouldn’t be afternoon tea without scones and two miniature varieties are on offer, plain and raisin served warm with preserves and Devonshire cream. A matcha green tea ice cream topped with pink chocolate curls was served in tiny teacups, an interesting flavour but an acquired taste.
If you have ever had the traditional afternoon tea upstairs in the St Regis’s elegant Crystal Lounge (if not you really should try it – read about that here) then the chances are you have already met Ivan, the very knowledgeable tea sommelier. Ivan knows a lot about tea, it’s his passion he will wax lyrical about the history of tea, the different growing regions and unique flavours. He will then blend you a bespoke tea, from the the hotel’s fifty loose leaf teas, designed to suit your individual mood and palate. We started with a strong flavoured and refreshing hibiscus iced tea, I then had my favourite ‘boring’ English Breakfast infused with rose to jazz it up and the teeanger has a green tea blended with jasmine and a hint of hibiscus, both equally delicious.
The St Regis name has a long and well documented history with afternoon tea, the Saturday afternoon tea party concept has redefined this traditional pastime. There’s still the attentive service that you come to expect of a hotel of this calibre, the fine bone china, the silverware and live background music played on the Grand Piano by Victoria the hotel’s talented pianist, I’m not sure how Lady Caroline Astor will feel about helping herself but she would have definitely have approved of Ivan and his bespoke tea service. A well-priced enjoyable experience that’s perfect to surprise a loved one, celebrate a birthday or a baby shower and impress a visitor or too, the teenager and I thoroughly enjoyed our indulgent mother and daugher treat.
St. Regis Saturday Afternoon Tea
Location: St Regis Abu Dhabi at Nation Towers
Telephone: 02 694 4553
Afternoon Tea is available from2:30pm until 6:00pm every Saturday and includes unlimited afternoon tea and free-flowing bespoke teas and coffee.
Cost: AED 150 per person (excludes 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee)
I was invited to review the Saturday Afternoon Tea Party. The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved.
Read more about the St Regis Abu Dhabi in previous posts Bloody Mary Brunching, Modern Arabian Galleria, Review: Azura Panoramic Lounge St Regis Abu Dhabi, Review: Remede Spa at St Regis Abu Dhabi and Review: Afternoon Tea at the Crystal Lounge, St Regis Abu Dhabi
Read my Afternoon Tea article in Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi here