A journal, inspired by my love for my daughter, that embraces quality food, service and experiences which make life worth living. In the words of Tennyson's Ulysses, " I cannot rest from travel. I will drink life to the lees." Seeking that incredible dining or hotel experience and writing about it. Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Afternoon Tea in Manama - Downtown Rotana, Bahrain
Afternoon Tea is a wonderful tradition that dates back as far as 1840 and has been a favourite part of my life for the last 20 years or so. There is something ceremonial and elegant about it, isn't there? I am always up for a cup of tea, especially when it is part of this wonderful tradition. I recently tried the Afternoon Tea at the City Lobby Lounge at Downtown Rotana in Bahrain.
As important as the actual pastries and sandwiches is undoubtedly the setting. With so much natural light coming into the City Lobby lounge, there can be no complaints. People -watching while sipping on a cup of Earl Grey tea never looked so appealing!
The cafe in the lounge has some wonderful macarons, and I am tempted to skip afternoon tea, but I decide to save them for another day. Besides, I think to myself, the Afternoon Tea set, coming in at 20BD including unlimited teas, coffees and Prosecco is a super value for money deal. I resist the macarons and order my afternoon tea. By the way, if you have never tried it, it is not a meal as such. Traditionally, it was enjoyed between lunch and the main evening meal.
I do indeed choose Earl Grey as my tea choice - there is a wide selection of teas and coffees. I do not stand on ceremony and have a glass of Prosecco too. Bubbly with afternoon tea has not been around since 1840, but it has become very fashionable to have the two together.
The set features, of course, scones. There are three types offered - chocolate, raisin and the classic plain scone. Home made jam and cream complete the top tier in this 3-tier stand. The plain scone is definitely my favourite as it balances the sweetness from the jam rather well. But this is what is fun about afternoon tea when you are two - you get to discuss your respective favourites. It is quite interactive.
The two bottom tiers have a selection of sweet in the middle and then savoury treats at the bottom. Of the sweet offerings, the Opera cake is, as expected, the highlight. Classic French. The cheesecake works well for me. It is creamy but firm, and more importantly, the perfect size. Finally, there is a macaron! With a custard filling. Delish!
As for the savoury, the lobster roll brings something different to the set. This is continued by the Truffle egg and Parmesan crisp - it is so good to see these usually-lager than life ingredients on such a small scale - lobster and truffle oil.
Overall, at 12 BD with teas and coffees and 20BD with free flowing bubbly, this is great value for money, especially if you consider that it runs from 3-5pm daily. My daughter, who has grown up with Afternoon Tea - she had her first in Singapore when she was 3 - enjoyed it. She liked the casual and relaxed nature of the service. I agreed with her. Afternoon Tea is the ideal way to experience the attentive service at the Rotana hotel while at the same time having some delightful sweet and savoury pastries and sandwiches!