Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Collection' Fashion Afternoon Tea, Raffles Dubai

Raffles Dubai is a stunning 19-storey hotel that is built in the shape of a pyramid. The Egyptian themed pyramid shape is a striking addition to Dubai's skyline. Inspiration for the design was taken from traditional Egyptian architecture. The hotel is topped with a glass capstone that constitutes three stories of its structure. The top of the structure is of gold colour that sparkles during the day and is backlit during the night.

As you walk into the opulent Egyptian-themed entrance of Raffles hotel, you will be escorted to the plush Raffles Salon situated in the main lobby. This grand area, with impressive floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious seating is the perfect place to relax. A piano takes centre stage and is often played during the day creating soft and tranquil background music.

Afternoon tea at the hotel is not a traditional affair, aptly named 'The Collection', the afternoon tea is a 21st century fashionistas dream, with designer sandwiches and Couture cakes all inspired by fashion designers latest collections straight from the runway, and all topped off with some scrumptious homemade scones. As with fashion the delights change every season making it a perfect afternoon tea for return visits. Raffles Dubai has won top spot for best afternoon tea from the guide Time Out Dubai, which is no surprise as it's fun, unique, and delicious.

Once seated and comfortable the extremely attentive staff, that is synonymous with Dubai's high standards of service, bring out a podium style cake stand that proudly displays each of the impeccably designed cake options, which is a feast for the eyes not just the stomach. A plate of beautifully displayed savoury options is then displayed on separate plates either side of the cake stand, creating a wonderful photo opportunity. But first if you feel like adding a little sparkle, afternoon tea begins with an optional glass of champaign.

The tea menu is extensive and includes a selection of speciality teas, some of which I had not heard of before. I urge you to try the 'Pay Mu Tan' white tea, one of there rarest tea's on offer. It is plucked in early spring from a special varietal tea bush called Chichi and blended with fragrant Madagascar vanilla and the tropical tease of island coconut. It is refreshing, delicate and utterly divine. The staff are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the teas on offer, and are happy to help you with your selection. The hotel encourages its guests to try as many tea options as you would like, to help find your perfect match. You can also choose from a list of other beverages such as coffee and ice teas. I highly recommend trying the ice tea it truly is an experience. The ice tea is brought out in a Forte's Tea-Over-Ice, which is a stunning sculpturally designed pitcher made from hand-blown heat-resistant glass, that are stacked on top of each other and make a captivating table-side presentation. I tried the peach ice tea, it was fantastic, honestly the best ice-tea I have had to date. Other flavours on offer are lemon, mango and cranberry. I should point out that the hotel does have a special relationship with Forte teas and offer only their brand.

Although the spread is mainly sweet, the savoury options are equally as pretty as the cakes. With six pieces per guest this selection alone is enough to keep you truly satisfied. The selection includes classic sandwiches, but with an unusual and beautiful twist on the presentation, Some of the options on offer for the Winter collection menu are: mushroom, caramelised onion puff pastry purse with salt crystals, brie with poached figs and raspberry bamboo lipstick skewer a great alternative to a tradition sandwich, chicken sandwich with apricot and rocket jewellery box. This is just a short list of the sandwiches that are a fusion of interesting flavours, that I can assure you will tantalise your taste buds and are a tasty appetiser leading up to the main event.

If you do go to Raffles Dubai be sure to save room to indulge in dessert. Masterfully crafted, the delicate sweets reflect the colours and trends of the season that are sure to please. Winter honey praline stiletto encrusted with pearls is one accessory that stands out from the impressive collection. Other options include Tahiti vanilla creme brûlée cloche hat and an almond fig clafoutis earring box to name just a some of the grand selection. The presentation of the array of cakes is wonderful, delicately crafted they really are something not to be missed. My favourites are the Tahiti vanilla creme brûlée cloche hat and the pistachio red fruit square corsage.

To finish our afternoon tea, orange current plain and raisin scones which where presented with a retro tube of Cornish clotted cream. If you don't manage to finish it all that is laid before you, there is an option to take away any of the grand array home with you in a take away box.

Raffles Afternoon Tea is an enchanting experience. It’s the only place in Dubai that you can enjoy a fashion inspired tea. But its not just about the decadent design of the cakes or the impeccable presentation, the taste is incredible, the surroundings are chic and civilised and are the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy the delicious procession of food that is placed before you. With the prices based on two people sharing it's great value for money and if you ever find yourself in Dubai, you MUST go!

The Collection winter Menu:
Mushroom, caramelised onion puff pastry purse with salt crystals 
Brie with poached figs and raspberry bamboo lipstick skewer 
Chicken sandwich with apricot and rocket jewellery box 
Cream & asparagus sandwich with truffle roll, quail eggs 
Beetroot & goats cheese sandwich roll ring hold with poached pear
 Beetroot cured salmon, rain hat on rye bread with horseradish

Winter honey praline stiletto encrusted with pearls 
Tahiti vanilla creme brûlée cloche hat 
Almond fig clafoutis earring box 
Black current shortbread brooch 
Amarena cherry lollipop blusher 
Walnut pistachio caramel boat bucket bag embellished with pistachio 
Pistachio red fruit square corsage 
Truffle log hat box 
Raspberry vanilla club make-up sponge sandwich

The Collection - Afternoon Tea by Raffles Dubai | Daily from 2:00pm to 7:00pm

AED199 for two | AED 399 for two with bubbly

Dress Code:Smart Casual

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