Dec 8, 2011

Sky Tea at the Burj Al Arab.

There was a last minute change of plans with my Sky Tea outfit.  The neckline of my kaftan plunged further in real life than it did in my memory.

Clutch - Palestyle, watch and ring - Carter.

Enter this Rorschach blot shift I picked up on my travels to Zara at Dubai Mall.  If anyone tells you that Zara isn't a life saver, ignore them.

Dress - Zara, shoes - Jimmy Choo, clutch - Palestyle.

I love it so much, here's another photo of the dress in all its glory in the wardrobe of my room.

I could walk into the wardrobe, shut the door and go for a nap on the floor or even standing up, it's that spacious.

The most discrete feature of the hotel I could find.  I think you'll agree with this later,
The Burj Al Arab is 20 minutes or so away from the city centre.  To enter the hotel your transport needs to drive over a bridge and you then need to identify yourself at the check point as having a legitimate reason to be on the property.  It was all very secret service and I'm glad I made an effort to pull my hair back into a sleek pony tail and also that I had the presence of mind to wear large black sunglasses.

I needed to be eased into the colour and spectacle that is the interior of this hotel.

The Christmas decorations were a comforting place to start.

Extravagant trees, teddy bear soldiers, soft sparkling lights.  Very nice.

The floral arrangements with their beaded accents were also easy on the eye, almost run of the mill for a 5 star hotel.

Then I rode the elevator (past the floor length aquariums) and looked up.

That's the ceiling.  I've never seen anything like it.  The shapes, the colours.  It was like stepping into a piece of abstract art.

The floors were tiled in a riot of colours with gold accents.  I was on the money with my gold toned outfit.

This is a lift door.  The hotel gets rather crowded during the day, even at the price of over $3000 AUD a night.  It is also a bit remote from the rest of the city.  Personally, I'm happy to have visited for a meal as opposed to be a resident guest.  The staff were all unfailingly polite, glamourous and helpful.  It just didn't feel like the hotels I'm used to staying at.  Thank goodness for small mercies?

The Sky Bar is on the 27th floor of the hotel and offers wrap around views of the city below.  I had a  prime corner to myself.

The decor is vivid.  Greens and blues mix with white and the occasional gold and red.

The china and glassware were more sedate in comparison.

Champagne is poured at the table.

We began with berries and cream.  The cherry tomato really does work!

Sky tea is a sedate affair with champagne flutes as far as the eye can see.

It's a different world down there on Jumeirah beach.

Sky high is probably the best height from which to fully appreciate the architecture of the hotels in the area.

There was a pianist to provide the soundtrack for the afternoon.

As I sipped my Earl Grey.

And my Bellini.

Whilst catching up with Emirates Woman magazine, in lieu of a guest to share high tea with.  I feel quite liberated now.  I've dressed up and gone out for a fancy meal on my own.  That's one less thing on the bucket list.

The carver selection was beef wellington and mash.  A sensible addition to the menu given the champagne and the altitude.

The bar area was set up for efficient service.  4 staff were allocated to each area of the dining room and they moved through the courses with efficiency and a smile.  Bookings for tea are at allocated times which explained why things ran so smoothly.

The champagne was Louis Roederer.  And lots of it.

The cakes and sandwiches are served on a stand that echoes the shape of the hotel.

The sandwich layer featured smoked salmon, cucumber, curred egg and chicken.

While the buns were beef, ham and tuna.

Despite booking for one person, my tea was set for two, so I didn't need any of the extra sandwiches that were on offer.

Cakes included a very buttery shortbread, an apple tea cake, fruit cake and creme brûlée.

The dessert layer.

The view was constantly changing below us.

I couldn't eat all the desserts!  I did try the chocolate and blue blueberry desserts though and they were deliciously light.

As the sun set, the scone course was delivered.

Accompanied by cream, jams and strawberry mousse.

My favourite was the strawberry jam with vanilla essence.

One of my favourite fragrances, Kelly Caleche scented the hand cream of choice in the powder room.

I returned to a mocha flavoured with Valrohna chocolate.

And some hand made chocolates.  I've actually  not eaten any chocolate for a whole week (too many other choices) and these went down a treat.

As the sun set outside, the green and blue ceiling lights came on.

With empty plates and bowls left behind, it was time to take the elevator back to the ground floor and find a taxi in which to cross the bridge back to the mainland.


  1. What a fabulous spot!
    You really know how to travel and I must confess I am green with envy.

  2. I am terrible at eating alone! But you are inspiring me, that next time I'm alone in a great city, I can still enjoy everything on offer. And share it with the blogosphere.

  3. Now that's a high tea!

    I'm really loving your Dubai adventures, SSG!

  4. Your afternoon tea looks amazing. Truly fabulous. We hope to visit Dubai next year on the way home from Europe so I can't wait to pick your brains about activities. This is at the top of my list but I'm not sure they would appreciate the vocal stylings of Baby G mid-afternoon, no matter how gracious the staff might seem!

    K xx

  5. How glamorous and decadent! You were probably up to this while I was trying to wheel a three seater couch through Ikea.

    TDM xx

  6. The shift is very nice. The high tea looks delicious. I'm wondering if you had any issues taking photos as I had booked tea at the Burj and was told by a few people that the staff can be a bit snippy about photos being taken. As I had to cancel the booking I never found out if this was true.

    How have you found Dubai traveling on your own? I found Dubai to be quite uncomfortable and unsettling due to the unwanted male attention even though I was traveling with a man! This, amongst other things, left a bitter taste in my mouth where Dubai was concerned. How did you find exploring the city as a solo woman?

    Have a safe journey home!

  7. Ahh I couldn't wait to see this post! It all looks amazing :) I can't wait to try it myself one day. Your bag looks fabulous too x

  8. Wow! It looks amazing and somewhere that I have always wanted to go to. Good for you for going on your own! You looked gorgeous :)

  9. Those photos are AMAZING - almost worth flying to Dubai for the high tea (no, I am not joking!).

    Love the Zara dress too - is that a Cartier trinity ring I spy??


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