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 returns in style - Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi
Growing up as a young boy I was a real Anglophile and loved everything English, from Shakespeare to Tears for Fears, from football to Tennyson and I remember staying home to watch the royal wedding of Charles and Diana. I loved the language so much and grew up aware of its power. As I got older I came to enjoy another tradition given to us by the English - Afternoon Tea. It is hard not to love the latter, with everything so dainty and pretty. It was with these thoughts that I sat down with some friends to try the relaunched Afternoon Tea experience at Hyatt Capital Gate, served in its lobby lounge.
It is heartening to see at least another twenty people also enjoying Afternoon Tea - a rarity in the city. I ma even more encouraged when I learn that none of the guests is here on a 2 for 1 voucher. I am intrigued now to try the set - all these people cannot be wrong. I choose the Sparkling Afternoon Tea and am poured a glass of De Bortoli DB Family Selection Sparkling Wine - I always say that life makes more sense when it is bubbly. When I consider the price of the set, I think they have come up with a very passable sparkling option. Anyone can serve champagne with Afternoon Tea, but then the price doubles.
It is the bottom tier that most arrests my attention - four different types of bread reinterpret some classic afternoon tea staples. It is really hard to choose a favourite, so make sure you try all 4. But the spinach bread with a beautiful almost swiss roll-like texture is very special because it is like nothing I have had as a part of an Afternoon Tea set.
If there is one tier that does not work for me, it is the scones, the centrepiece of an Afternoon tea. The texture was just not right and also lacked a homeliness in its presentation. When I have scones, I want them to remind me of my mother's. But that is me! However, I enjoy the selection of jams, especially the smooth apricot jam, which succeeds in taking me back to, you guessed it, my mother's kitchen.
A nice touch is that tea and coffee are unlimited, the tea, provided by Jing, is a great choice, and I like the way the choices are presented to guests. With hot chocolate also available, I can see kids enjoying this experience too. I have always believed that Afternoon Tea was created for fathers and their daughters!
As my experience ended, I reflected on why I liked t so much. Firstly, it offers a fine balance between price and product. Any chef can add gold leaves to his afternoon tea pastries and a sommelier can bring out the champagne, but then the afternoon becomes an expensive one. I think the set at Hyatt Capital Gate shows an understanding of the market right now. Secondly, it is about ambience and atmosphere. Other guests filling the lounge. Chatter. Laughter. The clinking of glasses. These are what I want, and with this Afternoon Tea growing in popularity, I can see this continuing. This is definitely one to try and try again. And again.
Afternoon Tea The Lounge, Hyatt Capital Gate, (At ADNEC) Abu Dhabi +971 2 596 1234 Classic Afternoon Tea AED 99++ Sparkling Afternoon Tea AED 125++ Daily from 1-6pm