Recently I was blessed to have my Mama fly across the world to visit me in Abu Dhabi. If you have ever been to the UAE, then you know that the locals love their tea and coffee. I mean its absolutely necessary and customary to partake in several pots of both while visiting their land. So of course, I had to take Mom out for an afternoon delight- in the form what else than-afternoon tea.
My search began about a month before her arrival to find the perfect place to parlay. One that offered a tasty and extensive yet gourmet menu, an ambiance of luxury and scintillating scenery that would make Mom feel extra “fancery in this dancery”.
I had heard about Emirates Palace hosting an amazing fare, however my hunny of a husban threw a wrench in that plan, as he wanted to have dinner with her there later in the week, making that a no go. Sidebar- he loves their camel burgers. So my search continued. Until I stumbled upon an article by the Entertainer.
Created in 2001, The Entertainer is a print publication turned app that offers discounts and deals to places almost over the world, in the areas of vacations, dining, spa treatments, libations, fashion and everyday deals like automotive services. Sorry guys back home, its only available in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. I know- sad face right? By the way, this week, the creator of the Entertainer, amazing entrepreneur, woman and mom of two- Donna Benton just sold 85% of majority stake for a “nine figure sum”. Talk about an extra Happy Mother’s Day to her.
Anyhow, there had been an article highlighting the Top 5 Afternoon Tea Spots in Abu Dhabi, reviewed by the Entertainer and so I thought how perfect is this. So in reading the article, I decided on Majlis by Rosewood Hotel. Not only had it come highly recommended by the Entertainer, but recently we moved right behind Galleria Mall, which sits adjacent to the luxurious 5 star Rosewood Hotel, we had purchased the Entertainer App, which includes a two for one deal on the Afternoon Tea at Majlis, AND Majlis was offering a special Mother’s Day menu in celebration of Mother’s Day. I knew that my mom, who by the way is the queen of deals and discounts would be happy and proud at the same time. So, it was no brainer.
As it came closer to the time for her trip, I told her to pack something nice to wear, along the lines of Sunday Best and if you’re from the South and understand Southern Belle culture then you know EXACTLY what that means. And Mom did not disappoint. She showed up in style with an ice blue Tadashi Shoji dress with a slight shimmer that certainly said this lady is ready for celebratory tea. While I opted for a tea-length dotted lace dress in a deep wine color and some leopard print accents.
We made it just in time for our 3pm reservations, as tea is scheduled from 3pm-6pm daily, and I wanted Mom to have her pick of the seating, preferably by the window overlooking the water.
We were offered a menu to review and served immediately with a selection from their varieties of teas.
We opted for the Vanilla Rooibos which came plated with raspberry shortbreads. The flavor was light, sweet and paired perfectly well with honey.
Even the tops of the honey knew it was a special occasion, as it was printed with little reminders of just how important Mother-Daughter time is. Can you say awwww? Mom’s top said “Eat Well & Live Life“, while mines said “Savour the Moment“, and I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate for that day.
I wanted Mom to enjoy scones and why not ones made with local camel milk and dates- two delicacies in the UAE. They were not only buttery and delicious, but remained soft and moist throughout the entire duration of the tea like the perfect scone should. Not to mention the spread was SPECTACULAR in taste and presentation. Mom was more than impressed and I loved seeing her smile and reaction as they prepared the table.
As we indulged and savored every moment, breaking into each bite, Mom smiled and said “this was an amazing surprise, something that I have always wanted to do with my daughters and hopefully your sisters can join us for the next tea together”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Mom’s favorite “savory selection” was the turf of roast beef on sourdough with mustard reduction, while I, being a surf kind of lady, enjoyed the light and airy softness of the choux bun filled with lobster.
When it came to the “sweet temptations, she couldn’t get enough of the Passion Fruit Bombe, so much so that she even asked me for mines. But it was her day, so I had to oblige, and have to admit the bombe was just that- EXPLOSIVE.
I, on the other hand, have ALWAYS had a maddening love for macarons, especially French ones. You already know about my obsession with ANYTHING French. I mean “Devereaux aime le francais” (translation: Devereaux loves the French). Which by the way- update, I am one month into my French lessons on Duolingo for the 3rd time around. #Judgeme.
Anyhow, the fresh raspberry and white chocolate macaron made me melt. It was just the right amount of sweet with a creamy white chocolate filling, paired with the tart of the raspberry. The firm flakiness of that fine macaron was adorned with the most adorable and edible butterfly. I traded Mom her mac for a passion bombe and BOOM, we were both happy and in hot tea heaven.
But the entire sweet spread was something to rave about, each with a signature flavor and taste as equally exciting as the details that the chef’s placed on each dessert. These treats resembled art and looked almost too good to eat, but hey we still did.
To top it all off, we upgraded to the alcohol package which included, UNLIMITED peach bellinis, that came with an extra POP- in the form of a little raspberry popsicle for more fizz. As the saying goes, “its always happy hour somewhere“, so Mom and I definitely indulged and the afternoon was more than perfect. We spoke of family and friendships, how much we missed my Aunt- love you Aunt Cindy, and how much she would have enjoyed the tea, especially the Bellinis.
In closing of the tea- we lounged and laughed the ENTIRE time until the bubbly began to go boom in our brains and it was time to retire home. But not before a few pics of my beautiful Mama!
But what I didn’t share was what I have learned from my Mom. So what better chance than now? My mom has taught me the importance of work ethic. I don’t know anyone who works or has worked as hard as my Mom does and takes pride in doing their job as much as her. So it was a blessing to be able to treat her to such a surprise as afternoon tea. My mom is also very giving and very strong. She takes life as it is and works everyday to meet any challenge thrown at her. NOBODY BACKS BETTY IN A CORNER! I also learned about poise and elegance (her favorite word) and the importance of owning who I am and what I stand for. She never allowed me to cower when it came to my height or confidence in being a lady of tall stature. So thank you Mama and I hope you are enjoying your actual Mother’s Day in the States.
Thank you to the Majlis at Rosewood Hotel for making this Mother’s Day one for both of us to remember. As Ramadan approaches, I am unsure of the hours and while unfortunately the menu was exclusive to Mother’s Day, I am sure that regularly scheduled offerings will be just as opulent and exquisite.
So that’s the tea…. (afternoon that is)
To all the mothers around the world, we say Cheers
Devereaux & Mama Betty