Sunday 3 May 2015

Dubai - ATmosphere

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." - Henry James

To celebrate Easter Sunday in Dubai, my friend and I headed to At.mosphere at the top of Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower in the world and 442m above the city.

It’s located near Dubai Mall in downtown Dubai, so after a little (window!) shopping we headed to the Armani Hotel at the base of the building.

After checking in (you have to book in advance), we were shown to the elevator that would take us up 122 floors in just 45 seconds to ‘At.mosphere’ – the lounge area where we would have our afternoon tea.

We were shown to our window seat and admired the views. 

 Though the best view was over towards The Palm and the sea, we had a bird’s eye view over Dubai Mall and the watershow.

We were presented with the menu – having two selections: traditional or vegetarian.

Drinks in hand – Luc Belaire Rose (me) and golden apple fizzy juice (my friend) – we toasted to Easter and also our mini break, literally on top of the world.

Yes I said golden apple juice...actual gold leaf!

We selected the traditional afternoon so settled down to 4 food-packed courses.

Starting with strawberries and cream…

Topped by gold leaf!

Followed by a selection of savoury starters:

"Declinations: selection of Chef's finest delicacy creations and homemade finger sandwiches"

Next up we had a choice of mains (which I’ve never had as part of an afternoon tea before!): either roast lamb or scallops with pasta. In honor of Easter, I selected the roast lamb, but then quickly swapped to the scallops when I saw the size of the tiered cake plates arriving at the other tables!

It was a wise move – the scallops were delicious.

Next it was time to order our tea from the extensive selection available.  Here's just one page!  I was very tempted by the 'Earl Grey Chocolate'...

After musing for a while, I went for the 'Red of Arabia'.

"This sumptuous blend of red tea with malty nuts and warm spices reunites rare and precious flavours to create an unforgettable cup of sublime sweetness"

Then the ‘piece de resistence’ – the sweet selection arrived…

We had three patissere layers: the bottom was loaf cake and biscuits – actually very underwhelming and the only let down of the whole meal – dry and unappealing.

The middle layer was three types of scrummy scones: chocolate, date and plain...

...with two different jams (passionfruit and raspberry) with cream


Then the top was a beautiful (and delicious!) selection of silver-topped cakes, including: macroons, cheesecake, red velvet choux and a green tea layer cake.

We were getting plenty of precious metal alongside our calories!

During our devouring of the desserts we had a lovely surprise – I’d mentioned it was my friend’s birthday on my online booking and they presented her with a gorgeous ‘cake’ in honor of the occasion. It was a mousse with artistic white chocolate shards positioning around it, decorated in bright colours. 

So we tucked into that as well!

We sampled everything...but couldn't finish it all!

We had been in the lounge for hours, so it was time for a little digestif – an espresso. And my first caffeinated drink since giving them up for Lent, so a well deserved Easter treat.

We were then presented with a box of chocolates each - just in case we hadn't eaten enough!

As the venue emptied, before the evening meal and bar guests arrived, we took one last chance to admire the views over the city before heading back down the 122 floors.

It is expensive - 580AED per person for a window table, but to even go to the observation deck is 200AED so I'd definitely opt for the foodie version!

Even the toilets have a view! 

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