As I mentioned on Sunday, for the final food stop on our recent trip to the UK we had afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. It certainly wasn’t cheap but it was very nice!
Excuse the blue tinge to some of the following photos – I think that it is due to the tint on the windows of the building and also the very blue decor of the bar.
Our booking, (which I made about a month ago), was for the final sitting of the day at 4.30pm. Despite being told when I booked that the 4pm sitting was already full, we actually arrived nearly 30 minutes early and were seated straight away in a more or less empty bar. That seemed a little strange to me, but we were glad we had arrived when we did as it meant we had more time to enjoy the view.
As we visited during Ramadan, the usual glass of champagne was replaced by as much non-alcoholic sparkling date juice as you liked. Dates aren’t one of my favourite things but we were both pleasantly surprised by how sweet the drink was. The first glass was accompanied by a bowl of fresh berries and cream, which unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of until after I had started eating it!
The next course was the Chef’s Carvery of the Day, which turned out to be a slice of roast beef with a little mashed potato and some crystallised parsley with coconut. It doesn’t look like a large portion but believe me, with all the food that follows, you really wouldn’t want any more. The mash was declared by my husband to be the best he had ever had (which is fine by me as he makes the mash in our house – it’s the only thing he cooks). I liked the interesting texture of the crystallised parsley and coconut, and it looked very attractive too.
Our carvery plate was soon followed by the signature stand of sandwiches, mini rolls and pastries (shown above). If you look closely you can see that the metal stand is in a similar shape to the building of the hotel itself.
The top two tiers of the stand were piled with sandwiches and mini rolls with various fillings, including curried egg, roast beef, chicken, salmon, tuna (in pretty brown marbled bread) and also traditional cucumber. Once we had scoffed most of the sandwiches the lovely lady who was serving us came round with a tray and we could pick more of our favourites if we wanted.
The two pastry tiers contained quite a few sweet treats. There were two little pots of creme brulee but only one of each of the other pastries. My husband doesn’t like custard so that meant that I got quite a few of the pastries to myself :-). He was quite happy when I said that he could eat the whole chocolate pastry himself as a trade for the custard ones.
The problem with that trade was that I was more or less full by the time the now-empty top tiers of the stand were replaced with more plates containing scones and their accompanying jams and clotted cream. Of course I managed to squeeze in a taste of half a scone with raspberry jam and clotted cream – yum!
Then, just as I thought we were getting to the end, we were presented with a piece of delicious chocolate mousse cake and a lovely red rose in honour of our wedding anniversary. They had asked when I booked if we were celebrating a special occasion and although I mentioned it was an early anniversary treat, I didn’t expect to get any special treatment. Anyway, we ate the cake and then I gave the rose to one of the other lady diners at a nearby table as I couldn’t bring it home on the plane with me that evening. (I don’t think the Australian Quarantine service would have appreciated it unfortunately.)
Once we had nearly eaten the chocolate cake, we were then presented with the final course – a silver stand with four handmade chocolates on it. I was fit to burst at that point and couldn’t even manage to lift my camera!
And I haven’t even mentioned the best caramel flavoured iced coffee that we drank with the heap of food 🙂 Neither of us even got as far as actually tasting any of the huge list of teas that they had on the menu – I don’t actually like tea!
Anyway, I’ll be back to posting recipes this weekend. Once I’ve unpacked all the kitchenware that I bought in the UK that is…