This morning we decided to try to find a discount mall that the first tour guide recommended. Unfortunately no one had any idea as to what we were talking about, so we opted into to be driven to the Gold Souk. We got there a little bit early (10am opening), and the traffic around that region was the busiest we have ever seen in this place. Robert kept commenting on the lack of people, well I think I found out where they are! The shops in this area were the type of shops I had been dying to get into. It looked like the place you could haggle and get some cool things. We wandered through the little side alleys of the Gold Souk, however too many men approached us trying to sell their wares. Robert hadn’t caught on that you don’t talk to these people because the minute you do, you can’t lose them. He was worried they might think he was rude, however considering if you don’t open your mouth, they won’t have any idea as to what language you speak, I don’t think they would really think you were rude! There was one clever man who rattled off
the same thing in this whole range of languages J But my rule was just keep walking. My husband eventually cottoned on.
The amount of jewellery in the shops were amazing. Not to my taste at all. By the looks of things, they must get a lot of Indians over buying there gold, as it was of the kind of over the top type of thing, that they would be more inclined to go for. Not really Western style I guess. We headed away from there, and I thought it might be nice to catch a ferry across the waterway. On the way to the water we ended up finding Spice markets. However the same hassling started there, so we ran away. Getting to the creek, I had no idea how much it cost to cross, I saw one sign and it looked very expensive and with more men coming our way we decided just to make our way back and look for a Taxi and instead go to the Mall of the Emirates.
Now I hadn’t actually realized how far away that mall was. Was a bit of a distance, and all the way over near the
Burj al Arab, where we would be heading later that day for the High Tea. We entered the mall and immediately proceeded to the Ski Dubai. It looked like so much fun. Little children were playing around in the Snow Park. I’m sure my kids would have loved it. I guess after spending hours in the Dubai Mall, this one was a bit of a let down. It had all the normal shops. Even a Dunkin Donuts. For Lunch we ate at the Cinnabon & Seatles Best Coffee café. I know, we were really bad, but the cinnamon was being pumped around the air conditioning system and it smelt way too good! I had a pecan one. I think Robert just had a plain one. They were awfully delicious!
After this we just wandered the mall. It actually had a massive supermarket in it, that sold everything from food, electrical and clothing. We bought a few things from it. The other cool shop we stumbled across was a souvenir shop. It was such a treasure trove in there. I’m sure the same chain had a store in the Dubai Mall, however this store was definitely so much more exciting.
We picked up a few gifts from home here. Before long it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our High Tea.
We boarded a taxi for the Burj al Arab. Pulling up to the hotel and seeing all the tourist buses and tourists right by the gates peering through, was an experience and a half. We had to show our booking to the security and then the crowd was pushed away so our taxi could enter. Did make me giggle, and feel so out of my comfort zone. Like getting a ticket to the Oscars or something! I have to admit that it did feel incredibly stupid however taking all the photos inside the hotel and its exterior. So much for being posh! We were right tourists! We were informed that when we had finished playing around the hotel, if we made our way to the back reception to book into the tea.
The hotel was just stunning. Every detail was so beautifully thought out and constructed. The water features just amazing, and the fish tanks that lined the escalators were lovely. Something about fish tanks and the fish is just so
relaxing. We eventually made our way to the back reception hall. It was slightly amusing to have to line up behind a bunch of Asian tourists who were arguing with the poor receptionist over the fact that they wanted to go up for the High Tea in the Skyview bar. They were stating they had a booking for 3pm and they were entitled to go upstairs. It was probably 3:45pm at the time they were carrying on. They pulled out their booking which stated they were booked for the Sahn Eddar High Tea which has sittings at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. The difference between the two is that one is on the lower level of the hotel and cheaper, the one we had booked into and they wanted to get into was held in the Skyview bar, 200 meters up! After quite an entertaining argument which they weren’t going to win, especially as the Skyview bar was fully booked out, they were moved along. We then checked in.
Now the process of being invited upstairs I had no idea about. I had booked the reservation about four months earlier, so kind of felt daggers in my back when our
name was called out second and we were invited to proceed to the lift and be taken upstairs. Now the lifts we entered were mostly glass and on the outside of the building, so you could see exactly how far we were travelling. This didn’t sit too well with me, and I fixed my eyes on the door and hoped we would make it. It was while we were then waiting at the next reception that we discovered a couple of Perth Ladies were dining as well, and going to be boarding the Ship with us the following day. We started talking but then our names were again called out and we were whisked into the bar and taken right over to the far right window and given the best view of the city. Ok now saying the best view, I mean the best potential view considering the humidity and the fact the distant city was a bit of a haze!
This was then when the real fun commenced. Our waiter offered us a glass of Louis Roederer Brut, or a Champagne Cocktail. Now I had never actually heard of a Champagne Cocktail before but on offer were three
choices, Bellini, Mimosa or Kir Royale – was all French to me, so just took the straight Champagne. He then did this big procedure in pouring out the drink at a distance. Honestly, it probably would have been easier if he held the glass closer to himself, but maybe the angle or something does something to the amount of bubbles produced? Who knows. Now having read all about the High Tea before coming, I knew to expect some mixed berries with cream to accompany the champagne. It actually took a slight bit of time before the berries arrived, but it was nice just sipping slowing on the drink taking in the surroundings. When the berries came they were just beautiful. I especially loved the cream at the base of the little dish, and had to hold back from putting my finger into the dish to get every last portion out. It was yummy! I think they put a little sweet cherry tomato in the fruit. Really didn’t know what the little orange fruit was, but didn’t taste too bad. Favorite of the mix had to be the Raspberry!
We had been given a menu which explained the order of
the menu, as well as the tea menu, of which we were to choose one of the teas to drink. For the tea selection I choose the Jasmin Pearls, Robert chose the Date tea. Thinking about it now, after our tea I probably should have chosen a coffee, but it was all so lovely anyway, was happy with what I had.
Our next course was a piece of beef I think. I honestly couldn’t remember what he called it, but it was a piece of meat with a sauce accompanied by pureed potato and some type of mesh of nuts or spices. Whatever it all was it was delicious. I loved the pace they brought out the food as well. It was relaxed without being too relaxed. We were then brought out a plate of sandwiches each. The sandwiches were all lovely. There weren’t any I disliked at all. The cucumber was so fresh and the salmon to die for. They brought around extra sandwiches and offered each of the diners to choose more of their favorites. Knowing all the food to come, I resisted. My husband however didn’t. He had an extra cucumber and one of the other
Worlds biggest ring
Not sure why, I mean seriously, like anyone could wear it!
ones. I had to laugh, and stated to him, you’ll be sorry! He just thought it was a little afternoon tea. He obviously didn’t believe me that this would be our tea for the day!
After this course we were delivered our tower of torture. The next three courses to work our way through! Now I guess it doesn’t exactly look like much, but at the pace of eating, the stomach quickly realizes you have eaten enough! The top layer of the tower Was the most delicious ever passion fruit jam as well as a very sweet strawberry jam. There was a dish of clotted cream as well as a strawberry mousse. This was to accompany the next layer which consisted of four scones. Two each of fruit scones, two plain ones. This meant we got a whole scone of each variety to ourselves. Did I mention the passion fruit jam was to die for? I love the flavor of passion fruit, but the seeds always held me off, however their jam was perfect. It had very few seeds to destroy it. It was all very well done.
It was at this time our tea was delivered, and
we had this tea timer whereby it would tell us exactly when to pour the tea for the preferred strength. I did love the china they used for the High Tea, it was simple and elegant and almost understated, which against everything else in the hotel was well thought out. Our view was amazing, and we continued to watch whatever activity we could see through the windows. Swallows were flying around enjoying the sun, and there was a slight amount of activity from the beach as people took out some watercraft to play around.
Our next layer included two crème brulee, two short bread biscuits, a small fruit cake and small carrot cake. We ended up sharing the two cakes. Now the crème brulee if they brought around seconds I definitely would have had to have had another. The fruit cake was possibly a touch dry, but the carrot cake again was perfect. It was starting to become a stuggle working our way through the food. Then there was that final layer to get through!
The final layer consisted of four little treats. Some of them weren’t the easiest to cut through, being on tight nut bases. They
were all nice, but we were definitely full by the end of it! It was at this time that they brought out a cake for Robert for his birthday. I had to laugh at his face and the fact there was all this chocolate he then had to eat. I reassured him that since it was his birthday, the cake was all his. He told me we could go halves. Now I’m not sure what type of school he went to, his knife started in the centre of the cake but then proceeded down to one of the edges, and he took the smallest slither. It was then for me to eat the rest. I have to admit trying to get through the very rich chocolate cake did make me wonder about the Chocolate Bar I have pre-booked in the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore! Hmmmm I really didn’t want to see anymore chocolate!
Ok, now for not wanting to see anymore chocolate, they then brought out a selection of chocolates to finish off the meal. I couldn’t resist two of them. I made Robert try one of their truffles. They were definitely lovely, but we really now needed
to be rolled out!
During the meal, we spoke to the Perth couple, who just happened to be seated beside us. We decided to share a cab back to the Dubai mall. They hadn’t seen it and we wanted to watch the fountain display at night. I was a lot braver leaving the hotel and able to watch the view as we headed down. At the front of the hotel Robert went off with the girls behind a roped area taking photos of the fancy cars. It was somewhat embarrassing, especially as a taxi pulled up and we could board, and I didn’t want to have to yell across like a right bogan to tell my husband to get him butt in the car. Luckily he came along.
When we got to the mall, we showed the girls around as we had experienced the mall previously, and showed them the main sights. It was amazing the difference some of the features took on at night time, with the lights coming into play. It was a whole new world. We managed to catch the end of one of the fountain displays, and went back and were able to want
a full performance. Was definitely worth seeing. The ladies were quite funny. At one stage, the girls decided they wanted to get a photo with someone in the Arab get up. So they waited til a man finished at an information desk and then posed beside him for photos. I have to note however that he didn’t really look very Arabian .. I said to them, it would be funny if we saw him on the boat the next day in Western clothing. This kind of upset the ladies slightly, as they had to agree he didn’t exactly look authentic, but then they decided he was actually quite cute, so it didn’t matter either way. Ok, have to give them that point, he was a bit cute!
It was then time to lose the girls and head back to the hotel. Time for bed, because tomorrow my ship finally comes in J
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