The Dubai stone is a widely acknowledged phenomenon. I say phenomenon, but the cause of the Dubai stone is entirely known and undisputed, so in reality it is more of a cautionary tale – you arrive in Dubai, the food is delicious, every café, restaurant and coffee shop delivers to your doorstep, you eat a bucket load of food…you gain a stone. Signed, sealed, delivered.
My stone arrived shortly after we did, thanks to many breakfasts, brunches and a whole lot of beer. I think I’m more or less back to UK weight now, but it’s still a tricky seesaw to balance on.
Another undeniable feature of life in Dubai is that you quickly become accustomed to splendour. This is the county where you can buy a car made from solid gold, where you can spend a night in the world’s only 7 star hotel for a mere £6000 and where entire shopping districts are dedicated to selling diamonds and gold.
On Thursday afternoon I spent my time sat amongst splendour, battling the dreaded stone.
Friday is the day of Jumu’ah, when Muslims gather for congregational prayer, so the weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday. With Thursday afternoon being the gateway to the weekend, last week all the girls from the office were treated to afternoon tea at Al Fayrooz restaurant by our manager, and oh what a treat it was!
I am among the lucky people who have now had the pleasure of indulging in this afternoon tea more than once. I went a little while ago for my friends birthday and it was just as good the second time.
On the menu it is simply named ‘Al Qasr Afternoon Tea’ so you have no idea what you’re getting. It comes with unlimited tea and there must be about 20 to choose from. Being a woman who knows what she wants, and also when she’s onto a winner, I stuck with my favourite – Moroccan mint. It was served in traditional Moroccan style, poured from a silver teapot into a painted glass tumbler, it must have smelt as good as it tasted because when we came to order our next pot of tea, three other girls jumped on the mint bandwagon.
The food is super tasty. Round one is served on the traditional afternoon tea tier. It’s mainly sandwiches and then right on the top is a plate of deserts. The chicken and cheese sandwich was the overall winner and because you can order more of everything, I ended up eating 6 of them (don’t look at me like that, they’re only small!).
Next comes a bowl full of sausage rolls and quiche. Closely followed by a HUGE selection of scones and sweet delights to spread on them. My personal favourite was the rose petal jam, spooned on top of a generous helping of clotted cream. I forgot to take photos of either of these (way too deep in food-gasm territory to function) so here are some desserts…I have no idea what they’re called but they were essentially delicious blobs of chocolate mousse.
You would think that that would be enough, but finally came the crowning jewel of afternoon tea – chocolate fondue. It was served with various ‘lollypops’ to dip in – melon, strawberry, caramel chocolate balls (oh holy chocolate) chocolate brownie squares, fudge…
I tried several options and it was all I could do to stop myself from sticking my fingers (or entire face) into the bowl of melted chocolate goodness.
When we had finally eaten all we could possibly eat, we prepared to leave and were presented with little bottles of white liquid and a small bar of chocolate. I eyed my drink suspiciously and then took a sip. Will someone please tell me who thought it was a good idea to put tapioca pearls in a drink?! I felt like I was slurping up frogs spawn. Safe to say I did not finish the drink, but pocketed the chocolate to take home to the hubs.
Overall, a damn good afternoon tea which I cannot recommend highly enough! And would you just take a look at that view?!