Browsing through computer files today, I was reminded of taking tea in some rather nice places outwith Scotland. After Scotland, England is the place I’ve taken tea most, but I’ve also had some more far flung tearoom delights.
I’ve changed laptops three times in recent years, and during all these changes appear to have mislaid quite a lot of photos. I daresay they’re somewhere on SD cards or discs, but from amongst those readily available I found a batch from Dubai.
I worked in a Dubai shipyard for a few months in 2010, in the middle of summer, which was almost unbearably hot. We didn’t get much time off, but on one occasion I went into town with a friend and discovered a marvellous tearoom called Shakespeare & Co.
We hopped out of a taxi in the city under burning skies, in desperate need of some refreshment, and saw a place that looked like it might meet our requirements. From the outside I had no expectation of what we’d find inside. When I walked in and saw the cakes on display, I was quite astonished.
Next to the cakes there was an equally overwhelming display of sweets and biscuits:
The whole place was very beautiful, and if I were writing a guide to taking tea in Dubai, this place would certainly be in it.
In the next picture, note the Arab gentleman seated on the sofa wearing the traditional headdress. The design of this headdress is centuries old, unlike the mobile phone he’s checking.
They had the most beautiful paper placemats on the tables:
And the chairs had delightful tassels hanging down from the seats:
It was late morning when we got there and I opted for a mini cheesecake, while my friend had a cooked breakfast. We both had Darjeeling tea.
My cheesecake was soft and fluffy and topped with raspberry jam, a fresh raspberry dusted with icing sugar, a slice of strawberry and two thin sticks of dark chocolate:
The cooked breakfast came with a basket of toast, and butter pressed into a ceramic dish covered with a shiny domed lid:
There was also a selection of preserves. I took the honey back to my apartment and enjoyed it for a few days afterwards:
There was a very smiley chef visible through a hatch next to the dining area and he looked so happy that I asked if I could take his photo. He cheerfully said yes and then promptly put on a serious face for the camera. I tried to cajole him into beaming his lovely smile again for the shot, but he was having none of it. I expect he wanted to look like an earnest fellow sincere about his work.
On our way out I noticed a freezer full of lemon sorbets and other frozen desserts:
A beautiful gift shop:
And a very impressive cellophaned cone of macaroons: