Afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab is an impressively opulent experience. To even approach the “most luxurious hotel in the world,” you must convince a fleet of security guards that your reservation is real and then cross a moat. A MOAT. Upon stepping into the palatial lobby, you are greeted by a cascading waterfall complete with twinkling lights. You may find yourself distracted by the futuristic purple-lit balconies and huddled groups of stately millionaires with their elegantly clad entourages; try not to trip on the escalator as you stare. Sink into a red plush chair where you will lounge as course after course of pristinely attended food arrives at your table, served by the most charming waiters known to mankind. Don’t let the Louboutin-clad supermodels intimidate you – eat your scones because you are paying a great deal for them. Then quietly sit, listen to the live jazz, and enjoy the rest of your afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab, an experience that embodies the very exclusivity and affluence that is Dubai.
It’s difficult to explain the perfection that is the Dorchester’s Afternoon Tea. As you step through the doors, you are greeted by the sweet scent of roses, wafting from elaborate flower arrangements that reach the tiered ceiling. You are ushered through the warmly-lit promenade to your table, where you are seated and politely asked if your back is in need of a cushion. Surrounded by the quiet clinking of fine china and the soft music flowing from the live pianist, your only two decisions for the next three hours are what kind of tea you’d like and how many tea sandwiches can be acceptably eaten by one person. Trays of these delicate sandwiches are carried to your table in an endless stream, followed by neat piles of scones with clotted cream and homemade jam. Your teacup never empties due to the attentive waiters who expertly maneuver the many plates and saucers that lay on the table. Finally, a cart of desserts appears and your plate refills as you rethink the number of tea sandwiches that can be acceptably eaten by one person. Each flavor flows into the next and the quiet warmth of your surroundings transports you to a era of Victorian elegance. Some may tell you that Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester has made us weep with happiness. We will neither confirm nor deny this allegation and rather offer our decree on Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester Hotel in London.