On The Menu: Morjana, Bab Al Qasr Hotel

It’s time for tea at Bab Al Qasr Hotel.

There are few things more quintessentially British than afternoon tea. A staple of British culture, the origins of the ritual are still unclear, though credit has been given to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who would complain of “having that sinking feeling” mid-afternoon in the lead up to dinner. The Duchess is said to have invited friends to her private quarters for a pot of tea and a light snack, which then became a widespread practice for the English aristocracy in the 1840s.

Fast-forward almost 180 years and the British appetite for afternoon tea remains strong, though now the custom is generally reserved for special occasions and visiting tourists. With many variations on the traditional spread of sandwiches, cakes and scones, the UAE’s pastry chefs are becoming increasingly inventive when it comes to all things baked, and this was certainly the case during our recent visit to Morjana at Bab Al Qasr Hotel.

This afternoon tea with an innovative Middle Eastern twist takes place daily in Morjana, cosy space of high backed armchairs and deep rugs that is flanked by towering palm trees and the hypnotic gurgle of water features. The venue is located in the hotel’s impressive atrium that provides guests with a sense of grandeur as the space rises skywards towards a latticed glass ceiling.

Morjana’s afternoon tea is relaxed and refined and begins with a Bab Al Qasr Hotel presentation box that is lifted to reveal the tiered stand of goodies inside. The bottom two layers of the four-tiered stand are home to the savoury items, which include finger sandwiches and small salads each impeccably displayed in individual ceramic dishes. Of the six savoury inclusions, the highlights are the smoked salmon on brown bread with caper berries and horseradish cream, the crisp chicken croquette with a sweet capsicum aioli, the beautifully fresh vine tomato, buffala mozzarella with watermelon. Our personal favourite, however, was the smoked duck and moutable which is adorned with bejewelled pomegranate seeds.

Progressing upwards through the visually appealing tiers, we arrive at the selection of sweet treats. The scones which are often a make or break factor for us when it comes to afternoon tea, impress with to their buttery and soft texture. The usual clotted cream is replaced with labneh to give the afternoon tea a distinct Middle Eastern twist. Though we’d consider ourselves traditionalists when it comes to afternoon tea, we thoroughly enjoyed the deviation.

The pinnacle of the afternoon tea is the uppermost tier which contains fruit skewers, mini macaroons, a moist and beautifully frosted red velvet, a zesty key lime cheesecake, a vibrant green pistachio bar, a bulbous and generously filled chocolate profiterole and the cherry delice which takes on the appearance of an actual cherry complete with reflective mirror glaze.

Afternoon tea at Morjana is available daily from 1pm to 7pm at AED 140 for two guests, including unlimited hot beverages, soft beverages and water. We believe you should give serious consideration to the new afternoon tea at the Bab Al Qasr Hotel. The quality of the food and service, combined with the impressive surroundings make for a memorable experience. We wouldn’t want to spoil too much, but this afternoon tea comes with one final surprise! The arrival of one of the hotels signature smoking desserts will leave you with long last memories of what is an undeniably impressive afternoon outing.

GO: Visit https://shop.bookin1.com/property/baqvae/vouchers/list or call (0)2 305 3333 for reservations and more information.