Welcome to The Dorchester on London's Park Lane. Inside is a treasure — the award-winning tea room, where you'll find England's finest teas.
Walk through the main doors and the hotel's rather small reception area naturally leads you towards The Promenade, a tea room that has won numerous awards, served dozens of royals and celebrities and bedecked with such fine art déco that it can rival the great palaces of the world.
As you plonk yourself deep into the plush green seats, you can't help but scan the room and appreciate the intricacy of the décor, from the Roman pillars to the statues, all whilst a pianist beautifully serenades the room with a mix of both classical and contemporary tunes. The fact that the world famous Alain Ducasse restaurant in London makes it even more upscale.
The waiters, dressed smartly in their vests and coattails, are of different backgrounds and characters; some are polite and polished while others prefer to have a bit of a friendly banter and display the famous dry English wit.
The Promenade is famous for its teas and its Vanilla blend is certainly worth a shout, though do remember that it's best taken without milk. As with all high teas, it starts with bite-sized traditional sandwiches. Have your pick from chicken with wholegrain mustard mayonnaise on basil bread, smoked salmon on granary bread, egg mayonnaise with shiso cress on white bread or cucumber with cream cheese on caraway seed bread. The food can just keep on coming so don't be shy to ask for more of your favourite.
After the breads came the scones in two varieties: plain or with raisins. These are undoubtedly one of the best scones you can find anywhere; golden brown on the outside with just the right amount of crunch while the inside remains soft and crumbly. Complementing your scones are the strawberry and seasonal jams as well as the silky smooth and creamy Cornish clotted cream.
Tea time can sometimes be a little tricky because although the food may come in small sizes, they can fill you up pretty quickly. But don't stop yet because the sweets are on the way. It starts off with a pre-dessert serving of of ganache in crumble and pear compote. Finish that and get ready to really satisfy your sweet tooth as the next tray comes with brownies, choux pastries, black velvet and lemon drizzle cakes amongst a host of other tantalising desserts.
If you're big on your tea time, The Dorchester must surely be high up on your list. The visuals, the smell, the texture, the taste and of course, the company, all combine to give you a traditional tea experience unlike any other.
The Promenade Traditional Afternoon Tea is by reservations only and bookings can be made at www.dorchestercollection.com. Price is set at Dhs273 per person. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated and all meats are halal.