Sometimes, though disproportionately more often when your mom is visiting, you just want to surround yourself with a little sophistication. And afternoon teas deliver almost everywhere. And, quite conveniently, there is quite a deep and diverse collection in Abu Dhabi. From the regal to the no-pay options, we bring you a tiered sandwich stall with high tea fantasy and all the scones… Skons..? Sc-oh-ns?
The best afternoon tea in Abu Dhabi
Tea on the Terazza, is almost impossible to say (or write) without squeezing your fingers together in that most Italian way and shaking them. And it’s fitting here, this very Mediterranean-inspired afternoon tea takes place on the airy terrace of this hotel in Al Bateen Marina. Food highlights include charcoal croissants with meringue peak, mini avocado egg on rye bread, baby burrata, and grilled peach prosciutto. It’s Dhs 120 with unlimited tea and coffee, and Dhs 188 with two hours of free-flow bubbly.
The Abu Dhabi Edition, daily from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, from Dhs120. Tel: (0)2 208 0000. @abudhabiedition
Lobby Lounge @Shangri-la Qaryat Al Beric
There is a sweet and savory deluxe gourmet mash-up available here with the theme ‘Wishing Afternoon Tea’. We are told that the beetroot raita is an essential taste experience. You can choose to enjoy with tea and coffee for Dhs115, or the two hour package of bubbly is Dhs200.
Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, daily from 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM, from Dhs115 per person. Tel: (0)2 509 8555. firstname.lastname@example.org
Anantara eastern mangroves
There’s no party like a spa tea party, and this Anantara Eastern Mangroves ‘Spa Tea Delight’ Pack looks like it could take a beating. For €620 you get a 60-minute Anantara Spa massage and a luxurious afternoon tea.
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi, Al Salam Street, daily from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Dhs 620 per person or Dhs 1,100 per couple. Phone: (0)2 656 1000, anantara.com
Up & Down
There is ‘high tea’ and then there is the ‘Up & Below high tea’. This sophisticated culinary engagement takes place 12 floors up with stunning cityscape views, canapés, scones, savory snacks and unlimited tea and coffee included for the insanely generous price of 65 Dhs for two people. Hungry for more? Glasses of grapes cost 20,- each. It takes place daily between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM.
Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Pool Bar open daily from 7am to 11pm, Fifth Street Café open daily from 7am to 11pm, Up & Below weekdays from 3pm to 1.30am, weekends from 3pm to 2.30am. Tel: (052) 914 12 07, diningatcourtyardabudhabi.com
This traditional afternoon tea at Central Grounds at the Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi is held daily from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and costs just 120 Dhs for two. The delicate bites range from mini cupcakes, sandwiches, scones, fresh pastries, savory snacks and more. Combine this with a choice of unlimited herbal teas or coffee. Bringing small children? It is Dhs60 if they fall into the age range of six and twelve. Make your reservation at least three hours in advance.
Central Grounds, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Abu Dhabi. Daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: (0)2 304 7777. marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com/specials
Majlis @Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort
For Dhs195 you can enjoy a traditional British afternoon tea with the option to enjoy it on Jumeirah’s beautiful outdoor terrace at Saadiyat Island Resort. Served on golden rows, this connoisseur’s afternoon tea assemblage includes all the usual spark plug suspects—smoked salmon and cheese sandwiches, roast chicken and avo brioche, and slow-roasted vegetables. The sweet side, of course, includes scones with clotted cream, honey Madeline, pistachio and raspberry cake, and more.
Majlis, Jumeirah on Saadiyat Island, Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, available daily from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. 195,- per person. jumeirah.com
Majlis Lobby Lounge @Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Majlis Lobby Lounge in Rosewood Abu Dhabi has curated a range of themed afternoon teas, allowing guests to discover alternative flavours. It’s available daily between 3pm and 6pm for just Dhs200 per person (or Dhs220 with free-flow bellinis). Delicate dim sum is available at the ‘The Best of Dai Pai Dong’ Afternoon Tea; Middle Eastern flavors take the lead with the ‘Levantine Afternoon Tea’; and there’s ‘The Vegan Experience’ or the ‘Strictly Vegetarians’ options, for those with a taste for plants. The vegan option serves pastries; sandwiches such as seared tofu and orange or grilled vegetables; and desserts, including rhubarb berry shooter and a fruit spring roll.
Majlis Lobby Lounge, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, 3pm-6pm daily, from Dhs200. Tel (02) 813 5550, rosewoodhotels.com
Observation deck at 300
If ever there was a statement afternoon tea in the capital, THIS, our friends… It is. Your winner of the ‘Favourite Afternoon Tea’ title at the What’s On Abu Dhabi Awards 2021, and still chiming ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2022 awards – there are good reasons why this sophisticated engagement ranks so consistently strong with the glamor -set of the city. First, there’s the stunning Corniche views on the 74th floor, then there’s Executive Pastry Chef Sumeda Palihakkara’s ultra gourmet spread. All this with packages from 260 Dhr (also available in the Lobby Lobby from 230 Dhr).
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, W Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, daily from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Ds260. Phone: (02) 811 5555, hilton.com
Osmo Lounge & Bar
Jewel Box is a ‘classic afternoon tea with a contemporary twist’ – a tiered collection of boxes of bijoux cake creations and innovative savory options such as duck couscous puff pastry. Bubbles package upgrades are available from Dhs99.
Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Bay, daily from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Dhs185. Phone: (02) 208 6900, yasisland.ae
Nothing says ‘Look Mom, I made it’ like afternoon tea in a real palace. With signature golden cappuccinos. Serious. This isn’t the cheapest option out there for Dhs485 per pair, but the spread is nothing short of legitimately lavish. Your sandwich options are also a few steps up from Subway, including royal bows like lobster and caviar. The pastries are also true articles of Parisian beauty. The best example of a ‘treat you’self’ afternoon tea we can think of.
Emirates Palace, Corniche Road W, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, 2pm to 6pm, Dhs485. Phone: (02) 690 7999, mandarinoriental.com