Swanky, sky-high afternoon tea venue La Mer is the stuff dreams are made of. The French brasserie is balanced atop the 23-storey Ritz-Carlton Doha and claims the coveted title of Time Out’s ‘Best Afternoon Tea’ for yet another year. Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows showcase sweeping views across West Bay Lagoon and soft jazz music plays in the background. Savoury finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and sweet treats are all complimented by a glass of bubbly.
We enter through the grand, golden marble lobby and make our way to the top floor for what promises to be a truly special afternoon tea. The lift opens onto a bright, gleaming hallway and chintzy, Parisian signs point the path to the brasserie. There’s not a wall uncovered with floor-to-ceiling windows and as we gaze out across the bay, we begin to wonder whether there is a more idyllic location for a relaxing afternoon of tea and cake.
Greeted with a delicious multi-coloured mocktail, we take our seats at one of the elegant tables. The restaurant décor is traditional French at it’s finest – if perhaps a tad dated. The red, patterned carpet is tired and theres a set of enormous drapes sectioning off the afternoon tea lounge from the dark, wood-pannelled restaurant and bar. Where we sit, in the afternoon tea lounge however, is bright and filled with light – the sunshine beaming down onto our faces as we await our waitress.
There’s a fine selection of finger sandwiches. Nothing overtly-impressive and we’re disappointed at the clear lack of innovation. A tender chicken roll was our highlight with it’s sweet, almost honeyed flavour. There’s an astounding array of scones balancing on the third-tier, including cheese and chocolate flavoured. We lather on plenty of zesty, lemon curd and cream for a tasty treat.
The delicate pastries are varied in flavours and textures, however once again so generic. We just wanted more striking, bright colours and creative flavours. What was on offer was lovely – the Italian meringue was of perfect consistency, the red velvet cake moist and the chocolate opera cake showed evident skill with it’s clear seven layers. The fragrant Jasmine tea complimented every bite we ate and we’d quite happily do it all over again.
Theres no doubt why La Mer won ‘Best Afternoon Tea’ with the skilled team of Ritz-Carlton chefs creating these tasty treats. We would just like to see that extra innovation and flair- we’re talking exotic tarts, creme brûlée, mousse, hand-made macaroons and French delicacies. Just in need of that little extra oomph!
The Ritz-Carlton Doha
West Bay, Doha
Call +974 4484 8000 for reservations