Our handy guide to flavoursome brews and delectable scones in Doha
Time Out Doha staff
July 29, 2013 7:39 AM
Ya Hala There are two ‘high tea’ options to choose from at the Hilton between 2pm and 5pm every day. First up, Classic English where for QR89 you’ll get an assortment of pastries such as scones and croissants, alongside salmon and cucumber sandwiches, and tea cakes served with jam. Alternatively, pluck for the Classic Oriental which includes hummus, halloumi cheese, finger sandwiches, stuffed dates, banana cake and a variety of oriental sweets, pastries and preserves. All for QR99! Ya Hala, Hilton Doha, West Bay (4423 3333).
La Mer Afternoon tea at the Ritz is like an institution in itself so continue the tradition daily from 2.30pm to 5pm at La Mer. Head up to the 23rd floor where you’re given the option of a variety of tea sets such as Vintage, Middle Eastern, Ladies, Royal and the Traditional Ritz-Carlton. There’s also a comprehensive list of teas available, as well as a dose of coffee for those inclined. Prices range from QR100. La Mer, Ritz-Carlton Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 8506).
Lobby Lounge Stepping it up a notch is the Lobby Lounge where they are offering a choice of four afternoon teas daily from 3pm to 5pm all served with a glass of bubbly. Get the Classic for QR80 per person with all the usual culprits like sandwiches and scones with clotted cream. Or go Oriental for QR85 with date drop scones and cinnamon cream, fig jam and Arabic sweets. Meanwhile, the contemporary selection for QR95 offers bites like tomato focaccia, ricotta with grilled vegetables. Finally, The Luxury offers tastes of Balik salmon, Sevruga caviar and homemade duck foie gras terrine. Lobby Lounge, InterContinental The City (4015 8888).
Sky Lounge Sit among the palms in the airy yet cosy Sky Lounge to enjoy High Tea daily from 3pm to 7pm under the rays beaming through the skylight. Get a selection of freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches and cakes with tea that is served in fine china cups. Sky Lounge, Oryx Rotana, Airport Road (4402 3333).
Kufic Lounge This trendy café serves a classic and oriental ‘high tea’ for QR85 per person every day between 3pm and 7pm. Sit in your own personal booth to enjoy after a tiring shopping spree at Villaggio Mall. Kufic Lounge, Torch Doha, Al Waab (4446 5600).
Tea Garden Be a real British country gentleman or woman with English afternoon high tea in the Tea Garden. It’s served daily from 3.30pm to 6.30pm and offers a variety of finger sandwiches, pastries and free flowing tea or coffee for QR85. If you want to go all out, add a glass of bubbly with that daahling for QR25. Tea Garden, InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 4919).
Seasons Tea Lounge Walking into the Four Seasons tea lounge is like stepping back in time and entering an elegant drawing room in an old country manor circa 1900. In other words, it’s the perfect setting for some traditional English cream tea. Their classic offering is served daily from 3.30pm to 6.30pm for QR135. Seasons Tea Lounge, Four Seasons, West Bay (4494 8888).
Sarab Lounge This St Regis ritual is served daily from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. Overlook the beautifully landscaped gardens and pick from among 100 varieties of tea to go with the extravagant selection of cakes and macaroons for QR178 per person. Sarab Lounge, St Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0105).
Victoria Tea Lounge The Grand Heritage is already reminiscent of a real English country manor so where better to enjoy a spot of afternoon tea? English High Tea with an assortment of sandwiches, desserts and baked goods is on offer alongside Oriental High Tea with Middle Eastern sandwiches, Moroccan sweets and scones. It’s served from 3pm to 6pm for QR135 per stand at the Victoria Tea Lounge which is decorated like an old British drawing room. You’re half expecting the cast of Pride and Prejudice to pop out at any moment! Victoria Tea Lounge, Grand Heritage, Al Waab (4445 5555).
High tea vs afternoon tea Afternoon tea is said to have originated back in the mid-1800s when it was common to have only two meals a day - one mid-morning and another late at night. Legend has it that the seventh Duchess of Bedford (in England) found herself too hungry to wait one day and so decided to have a few friends over for assorted snacks and tea in between meal times. The idea caught on and it quickly became a popular pastime among ‘ladies of leisure’ in the elite classes and has since become synonymous with all things dainty like fine china, lace and light pastries. Interestingly, it was served at low tables and so it also became known as ‘low tea’, while ‘high tea’ is something else entirely.
Customary among British working class families, high tea was traditionally served after 5pm on a high table at the end of the day and consisted of heavy meat dishes like steak and kidney pie and plenty of carbs such as crumpets and potatoes.
Perhaps a name change for many of the hotel offerings is in order!