Sitting in the beautiful lounge of the fancy Palace Hotel, with a spectacular view of the Burj Khalifa
, and dining on gourmet High Tea fare, was the perfect way to relax and nourish ourselves as part of this 14 hour layover in the Middle East!
We had just raced from Abu Dhabi visiting the Grand Mosque
, and then soared up 124 floors to the impressive observation deck for a quick tour before arriving here! While the birds eye view is pretty incredible, it’s also very impressive to view the Burj Khalifa face on.
We walked about 10 minutes through the mall and then briefly outside in the scorching heat, past the water fountains we saw earlier, before finding refuge in the Palace Hotel Lobby.
I had made reservations in advance online:
About AL BAYT (from their website)
In a truly palatial Arabian atmosphere with panoramic views of Burj Lake and The Dubai Fountain, indulge in a selection of delectable pastries, sandwiches, premium beverages, juices and exclusive teas and coffees.
Building on Dubai’s cosmopolitan culinary landscape, Al Bayt is infusing the timeless tradition of afternoon tea with customary Arabian inspired treats. The ‘Palace Afternoon Tea,’ offers sweets and savouries, complemented by an array of traditional and international teas and coffees. The ‘Timeless Palace Afternoon Tea,’ has treats from the West paired with flavours of the East.
Afternoon Tea Menu:
I loved that they had typical afternoon tea offerings like scones with clotted cream (the best!!) and how they added an Arabian twist.
There is a standard menu, and then an Arabian menu. From their website:
Traditional Afternoon Tea Experience
Few of life’s luxuries can match a leisurely afternoon tea in palatial surroundings. Artfully blending Arabian customs with royal English traditions, expect to be transported back in time to the unhurried pace of living, where every moment was meant to be savoured.
The Traditional Afternoon Tea stays true to custom, with classic favourites like delectable finger sandwiches, clotted cream, pastries and more, served of course with your choice of tea or coffee.
Arabian Afternoon Tea Experience
Enhancing the art of afternoon tea with authentic traditions and for something more elegantly ethnic, The Palace Afternoon Tea is a fascinating fusion, featuring delicacies that include Chicken Shawarma, Ataif Velvet Pancakes, Camel Milk Pistachio Crème Brûlee and more. Choose from over 25 varieties of premium tea and infusions, as our tea specialists take you on a unique journey through Arabian culture.
Our High Tea Buffet Experience
As luck and timing would have it, we were there on a particular Wednesday afternoon where they had sandwiches, scones and pastries laid out on a gorgeous counter with hanging orchids, and you could help yourself to as much or as little as you like!
After checking in at the lounge entrance, we were presented with a refreshing lemon drink once seated on a cozy couch.
Then we ordered some cappuccinos and tea.
We walked around sampling all the edible pieces of art.
I tried a traditional scone and a saffron scone!
They had meat pies and savoury quiches in addition to the variety of sandwiches.
Amazing sandwich combinations with different layers of meat and vegetables, topped with pretty flower garnishes.
And then the dessert!
Finally, because we told them it was a special occasion, they presented us with this personalized mascarpone cheesecake with gold speckles. It was the best cheesecake we’ve ever had!
The food was really good and the service was attentive and super friendly!
The Lounge Atmosphere and Views
The decor inside was exotic and felt different from back home with their beautiful vintage pieces decorated throughout.
We also went outside and caught some prime views of the lake, fountain, and of course, the towering Burj Khalifa.
It was too hot to sit outside, but dining underneath these arches would be so perfect.
We spent about 1.5 hours here and before we knew it, it was time to catch the shuttle back to Abu Dhabi for our 2:00 am flight to the Seychelles!
Before I hopped in a cab though, I freshened up in the hotel’s bathroom.
I can always count on nice bathrooms with fresh towels and toiletries in fancy hotels!
Mentioned earlier, one thing that helped with this long flight and connection, was having access to the Abu Dhabi Airport lounges where we could shower and get clean!
We arrived at the airport by 10:00 pm and our flight wasn’t until 2:00 am so we checked out 2 of the lounges before deciding which one we wanted to stay at.
The larger of the two had a bigger food selection and more showers, so we went with that!