Afternoon tea is the new brunch. However, whereas brunch (as the name suggests) combines two meals, afternoon tea (High Tea is a misnomer) was conceived by England’s Duchess of Bedford in the nineteenth century to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. Here in Bahrain, T-Spoon café at The Westin Bahrain City Centre is one of a proliferating number of establishments offering a classic afternoon tea service.
Your first impression of this setting might depend on whether you enter through the hotel’s grand front entrance with valet parking facilities, or cross the threshold from the ground-floor corner of City Centre Bahrain, which features high-end shops such as Swarovski and Saks Fifth Avenue. All of the seating is lavishly upholstered and comfortable enough to sit in for hours watching the shoppers drift by. There is warm lighting and a cosy atmosphere, offering a welcome respite from the bright hustle and bustle mere feet away.
The afternoon tea is served from 3pm to 6pm every day, with three tiers of sweet and savoury goodness, three sizeable scones with condiments, and your choice from a variety of Jing Teas. The bounty is plentiful for two, with a pleasing tea-to-food ratio. The cakes and sandwiches are beautifully presented, if a bit lacking in personality, resembling hors d’oeuvres one might expect to find at an upscale catered event. Some of the bite-sized morsels stand out for their flavour, such as the delectable French brie with truffle on toasted brioche, the creamy and smooth lemon tartlet, and a sinfully, chocolatey opera cake.
Others, however, leave a bit to be desired, such as the somewhat dry and dense macarons. The pine seeds shaped into a sweet croissant we could do without, despite admiring the imagination behind it.
The star of this sophisticated show, however, are the scones which successfully meet every metric that fans of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ are trained to look for: good colour and a nice dense crumb, plus the generous helpings of Devonshire clotted cream, wild raspberry jam and tangy lemon curd.
Overall, while we wouldn’t go far out of our way for it, we’ll surely be taking afternoon tea at T-Spoon again, during our next big day out running errands and browsing the mall, thanks to the generous variety and value for money.
The bill (for two) 1x juice BD2.5 1x water BD1.3 1x chef’s signature salad BD5.5 1x afternoon tea BD13.5 Service charge 15% Gov levy 5% Total BD27.531
T-Spoon afternoon tea
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com