The new High Tea On Level 45 is the ultimate playground for upscale celebrations and treats: I have visions of baby showers, farewell teas for friends to give them one last fabulous Abu Dhabi experience, or just catch-ups for afternoon tea lovers who enjoy an excellent offering. In short, it’s the ‘It’ afternoon tea. 

But what makes this High Tea so special?

It’s the personalised service.

You’re met at the concierge desk in the lobby of Conrad Etihad Towers and escorted to level 45. When you leave the lift, you’re greeted both by the manager of Level 45 and, in weekends, a harpist, framing the view out to sea and with a set list that gives Bridgerton and immediately sets the scene for a fabulous afternoon tea.

It’s the views.

Every table gets a sea view and ours follows the sweeping line of the Corniche and into the city. Abu Dhabi views really are breathtaking and this gives you a rare opportunity to enjoy them from the best vantage point. 

It’s the upscale touches.

From the white tablecloth and the gilt edged plates and tea service, to the white-gloved, expert servers, everything at High Tea on Level 45 is a little touch finer than usual. There’s a real sense of something special, but it’s not at all unapproachable - our server, Neha, was so smiley and very keen to make sure we felt comfortable and lacking for nothing. 

It’s the sandwiches.

... and even before the sandwiches, we're served an amuse bouche, a little tartlet with crab and salad - the perfect mouthful to start the experience.

The colourful savoury options are presented in a box, and served in whatever order you choose. These are a step up in both taste and presentation from the usual afternoon tea, making it hard to pick a favourite. The skilfully rolled cured roast beef with asparagus and sharp mature cheese is a stand out, we also enjoy the cucumber, melon and sour cream sandwich - an unusual and amazing combination!

It's the in-betweens.

In between the savoury and sweet course, we're served a balloon glass with the most delicious strawberry sorbet. This palate cleanser is perfect between courses but is so good, you won't want to put it down: we'll come back solely for those spoonsful of utter icy gorgeousness!

And the sweets.

This opens the door for the sweets course. The delicate sticky date pudding comes in a cut glass dessert bowl, topped with a ball of a vanilla ice-cream, rolled in crushed popcorn - I can’t describe how perfectly these textures and salty-sweet flavours go together! The banoffee, topped thickly with caramel and the shortbread shards, glued together with a smooth peanut butter paste and a dollop of cream cheese frosting are also absolutely glorious, while my advice would be to try to resist the chocolate slab until the end - its rich, smooth texture is a dessert deal breaker! 

There's a little basket of tiny scones and madeleines - if I’m honest, I usually give these a miss but the hint of orange in the madeleines makes these one of my favourites.  

It's the drinks.

There's a beautiful and somewhat magical jasmine and elderflower drink to start, then unlimited tea and coffee.

If you're feeling extra celebratory, add on a glass or two of prosecco, the bubbles really adding to the upscale nature of this experience. 

This is a great addition to the afternoon tea scene in Abu Dhabi.

It's an experience that manages to be good and provide some lovely touches, without being at all pretentious. The beautiful harp music, combined with the linen cloth and napkins, the white-gloved service, the food and the views bring the concept of a treat to a whole new level.

The details.

Availability: Every day

Sittings: 1st seating at 2:00 PM, 2nd seating at 4:00PM

Price: AED 280 per person

Booking: Email Level45@ConradHotels.com or

reserve online at https://www.sevenrooms.com/experiences/Level45/high-tea-at-level-45-5594763160813568

Rachael Partington