Monday, 24 June 2013

‘The Collection' Fashion Afternoon Tea by Raffles’ Dubai

Upon entering the Raffles Hotel in Dubai it’s hard not to be immediately impressed by the striking design of the grand open-plan reception area. The opulent surroundings and the stunning waterfall feature set the scene perfectly as you walk through the door, definitely surroundings which don’t disappoint. We arrived and were treated to the usual high level of friendly service that we would expect from the staff at Raffles, and were taken across to the salon where our afternoon tea would be served. In an area of the ground floor, the salon has quite a relaxed feel whilst still feeling lavish with its high ceilings and artwork which is in keeping with the rest of the hotel.

Raffles launched the fashion afternoon tea, a creation of British-born artist Hatty Pedder, in 2011. Pedder, a graduate of St Martin's School of Art, has given the grand tradition of afternoon tea an artistic twist creating sophisticated works with a witty, observational edge. With the added magic of Raffles' pastry chefs a truly unique invention has been brought into being, with this the only fashion tea in Dubai.

The concept is to create delectable savouries and sweets inspired by designer collections straight from the catwalk. The ‘Collections Afternoon Tea’ was started in customary fashion with a perfectly chilled glass of Lauren Perrier Brut champagne and a browse through the selection of teas on offer. It was not the widest selection that I have seen but there was certainly something for everyone. We both went for the intense organic caramel tea, one served hot and one iced. Perfect to cool down after a day out in the heat of Dubai, the caramel iced tea is a ‘must try’. 

It was with the arrival of the food that the collections afternoon tea came into its own. We both loved the amount of attention to detail in making sure that everything was in keeping with the collections fashion theme. It’s worth noting at this point that the afternoon tea selection changes with every season as with fashion. For our review of the Autumn/Winter collection click here.

For the 2013 Spring/Summer collection a selection of themed savouries consisted of:

Air Dried Beef

Grilled Melon

Mint and Place Pepper Skewers

Home Cured Gravlax and Asparagus Lipstick

Chicken Liver and Pate de Foie Gras with Lavender Jelly in a make-up jar served with perfect Crispy Bread Sticks

Burrata on Beetroot Bread embellished with Rocket and Pesto

Cucumber and Tomato Panini Sponge with Dried Tomato

Cornish Pasty

The Cornish pasty was served cold, which I personally was not used to, but I was delighted to find that it did not disappoint on the palate with its absolutely delicious melt in the mouth pastry.The scones were home-made and served warm with fresh strawberry jam and the cream served in a make-up tube. Another of the small touches that made this such an enjoyable afternoon tea.The most satisfying thing was that none of these clever, quirky touches, detracted in any way from the taste and overall quality of the food. Clearly, much time and effort went into production of this delightful afternoon tea.

Finally, the glorious selection of sweets where the perfect end to a fantastic experience. The Spring/Summer 2013 collection sees cake-stand favourites including the oh-so-chic Spring Stiletto with White Chocolate Orange Blossom, and a charming Cream Choux Puff ‘Miss Daisy’. Other delectable items include Gravlax Lipstick served with fresh Asparagus and an Oreo Cookie Blusher, Rhubarb Brown Butter Tart Earring Box and delicious Sticky Bun encrusted with Pecan Nuts.

The service throughout the day was fantastic. I would go as far as to say that the overall quality of service and attentiveness of the staff at the Raffles hotel was among the best I have experienced. Needless to say, this made our afternoon a pleasure.Overall I would highly recommend the Collections afternoon tea at Raffles Dubai to anyone who wants to relax, have some fun and enjoy something a little different, whilst not compromising the quality of service and deliciousness of food that Raffles clearly delivers.......with a smile!

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

AED199 for two | AED 399 for two with bubbly

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