Afternoon tea at Al Jalsa
My friend and I recently tried the Royal Afternoon Tea at the Sharq one lazy afternoon, and were very glad we did. Afternoon tea is held from 2.30pm to 5.30pm daily at the hotel’s Al Jalsa café, at the back of the main lobby, overlooking the pool area. It’s very elegant, with comfy sofas where you can really settle in for a few hours.
The experience starts with a welcome drink, an ultra-sweet concoction made of peach, raspberry and chamomile infusion. I then had a pot of ‘free mind’ herbal tea, a mix of blackberry, chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass and rose petals, which tasted divine, while my friend went for a brew of ‘ginger calm’ tea.
As is the case at the Sharq’s sister hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Doha, the afternoon tea is presented with a lot of flair and attention to detail. You are provided with a three tier silver cake stand full of goodies. On the top are fresh-baked scones – plain, cheese and raisin varieties, served with clotted cream. The savoury tier is ultra-posh, with canapés of smoked salmon, soft boiled quail egg and eggplant caviar. The bottom tier is all sweet – fruit skewers and an assortment of French pastries. My favourites were the chocolate orange cake, with a spongy base, and a carrot cake topped with a gorgeous mini carrot!
As you would expect, it’s not cheap – QR135 per person – but the atmosphere and service make it really special for a girl’s afternoon out.
Dawn Gibson is a contributing feature writer for lifestyle magazines in Qatar and internationally.