What’s the best way of celebrating getting passed that ‘seven year itch’ ?- taking afternoon tea in the tallest building of the world of course.
We arrived at the Burj Khalifa in the blistering summer heat, as soon as you walk through the door the air conditioning takes your breath away and provides instant relief. We were escorted through the lobby of the impressively serene and stylish Armani Hotel to a separate lift that would whisk us up to the 123rd floor in less than a minute (the fastest lift in the world, don’t you know).
As the doors opened we were greeted by stunning views over Dubai. We took our own sweet time making our way down the spiral staircase to At.mosphere a fabulous restaurant and lounge, just two floors below the Burj Khalifa’s Observation deck.
After taking our seats right by the window, the staff gave us a couple of minutes to settle in and take more pictures, before bringing us cool towels, I’ve not had that before and it really was incredibly refreshing – a lovely touch.
Our charming server then talked us through the menu and explained how everything worked. As it was Ramadan, there was no alcohol available, so we started with a traditional apricot juice then looked through the extensive tea and mocktail menu to see what else took our fancy. You’re allowed as many refreshments as you like, so we tested out a fair few.
Up first were berries and cream, topped with flakes of edible gold – which doesn’t taste of anything, but looks very pretty indeed), and desiccated coconut. Light, refreshing and full of flavour it was the perfect way to start our afternoon tea.
As soon as the glasses were cleared, the huge curved cake stand was put on the table. On the top a selection of savoury treats – half of which were veggie for me and the other half meat based for Philip. The sandwiches were first, a mix of egg mayo & cucumber, tomato, mozzarella & basil and artichoke & cream cheese. Fresh, beautiful and miniature – what more could we ask for.
Next level, and it was time to tuck into the cakes. Fantastic combinations, macaroons, chocolate, coffee, pistachio and strawberries, the sort of delicacies that make you close your eyes once you’ve taken a bite and just savour it – usually accompanied by a groan of appreciation 🙂
In between we were taken care of by an attentive waiter, who brought over tea and water as soon as he saw we were running low. As a pause before the dates and baklava, I chose the special at.mosphere white tea, which arrived in a fabulous transparent glass teapot and was incredibly refreshing with subtle notes of passion fruit. It’s only available at at.mosphere, so you should definitely try it while you’re there.
An extra treat not included on the menu, we were brought a Lebanese style rice pudding that was beautifully presented in a ceramic conch shell and topped with toasted almonds and pistachios, it was a very tasty addition to our afternoon tea. Once that was in my tummy, the last course arrived – three different types of scones; chocolate, date and plain served just warm with clotted cream, strawberry jam and passion fruit coulis, it was so good we had seconds.
While tucking into our scones our lovely waiter appeared and asked if it was our Wedding Anniversary Turns out Phil had mentioned it briefly when he booked our table and it seems someone had taken note because the next thing we knew there was a beautiful bowl full of vanilla ice-cream and topped with little cones of meringue – just for us. Such a lovely touch – we were so chuffed!
We spent ages trying different teas and juices, chatting away, watching the sunset. As we paid the bill, we were given more treats to take home.
What to say about the whole experience? It was truly unforgettable; the combination of views, food and of course the company 😉 made it one of the most memorable wedding anniversaries we’ve had. Not sure how we’ll top it next year!
By the way, the view from the toilets ^^^ were incredible!