One of the fastest growing food trends in Bahrain has been that of the Afternoon Tea ritual. Coffee shops, independent restaurants, and hotels, especially, are putting their own spin on this foodie craze. We went to check out, what can only be described as, the elegant and inviting Traditional Afternoon Tea at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay…

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From families to groups of friends, and business people looking for a more casual setting, the idea of sipping tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and other yummy treats, is indeed a very appealing one. And why not? Who doesn’t want to have a relaxing afternoon in a lavish and cosy environment with a hot cup of tea and food that will leave you gushing for days? We certainly do. This is why the Traditional Afternoon Tea offering at Bay View Lounge in Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay made our foodie corner choice this month!

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Bay View Lounge is located on the lobby level of the hotel, right by the floor-to-ceiling windows which boast beautiful views of the Manama skyline. Here, you can savour light international fare or afternoon tea while enjoying live piano music. There’s even an outdoor terrace and private majlis, perfect for business meetings, pre-dinner cocktails or more intimate gatherings.

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Now, let’s get straight to it! We order the Traditional Afternoon Tea for two people. The set includes a freshly prepared assortment of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries, as well as a selection of savouries and sweets, all served with your choice of Jing Tea. Of course, no afternoon tea is complete without scones, and here you’ll get a basket of a mix, including double chocolate chip, raisin, vanilla, and apple and cinnamon. They’re served with delicious double cream, lemon custard and homemade raspberry jam – winner.

First impressions are WOW! We love the presentation of the food, and upon further inspection we also liked that there really is a good assortment of sweet and savoury – great news for diners who want varied tastes! We jump straight in (with this amazing presentation, it’s too hard to resist). From the choice of savoury treats, our favourites included the toasted brioche mushroom sandwich, the German bread with beef, the smoked salmon croissant and, every afternoon tea staple, the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich. Each of these is packed with fine dining-standard ingredients and had SO many complementing flavours. One of the surprises with the savoury offerings was the vegan pizza – we were smiling with every bite!

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The sweet components followed suit with standouts including the brandnew almond éclairs, the crème brulee, and, lo-and-behold, the warm scones. Again, everything was packaged beautifully, both visually and when it came to taste. The variety of scones made for a good talking point as we decided to choose ours luckydip- style, meaning eyes closed and taste buds at the ready. The double chocolate chip scones were quickly decided, as everyone’s favourite – yummy!

The tea and coffee selection is also excellent. We would recommend the Assam Breakfast Black Tea or the Jasmine Pearl Green Tea – both were oozing in flavour! If you fancy something cold and healthier, an absolute must-try is anything from the health-driven Juice for Joy selection.

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If you’ve got some room left, there are a few things on the a la carte menu that are absolutely worth a try; the fried cheese stuffed olives with smoked chilli jam, the lemongrass prawn fritters, the mini wagyu beef burgers, the raw zucchini lasagna, and the steamed lobster – simply exquisite.

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Though you might consider the afternoon tea a little pricey (BD28++ for two people) the truth is that alongside the friendly and attentive service, you’re getting fine dining-inspired food, with high-quality ingredients and innovative flavours, all in a fabulous five-star ambience… it’s more than worth it!

GO: Call 1711 5000 for reservations and more information.