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  • Writer's pictureHershey

Vegan Afternoon Tea with Turtles in Dubai.

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

Jumeirah Al Naseem Partners with Artist Idriss B to Raise Awareness for "Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project."

If, like me, you’re a fan of experiencing British afternoon tea, then you must try Jumeirah Al Nassem’s “Thé À La Mode” Turtle Tea, at Al Mandhar Lobby Lounge. It’s a slightly different take on the quintessential British afternoon tea spread. You’ll find an assortment of savoury and sweet vegan delights displayed on a recycled, polygonal, chrome turtle shaped sculpture, which is created by renowned Dubai-base, French-Tunisian artist, Idriss B.

Throughout my seven years in Dubai, I’ve found venues serving delicious vegan food limiting – especially when it comes to afternoon tea, so it was a total joy to discover this. Not only does it offer a good selection of tantalising vegan treats, it’s also sending a really good message to tourists and residents in Dubai, helping raise awareness for the Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary. The sanctuary nurses’ turtles back to health before they are released back into the wild. The initiative draws attention to turtle conservation and raises funds for their rehabilitation programme. For every Turtle Afternoon Tea by Idriss B, Jumeirah Al Naseem will contribute donations to the sanctuary. So, with every bite, you can keep in mind the turtles' plight.

Pastry chef Julien Jacob is behind the magnificent creation. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced, and I loved it all. Try the Truffle and Vegan Cream Cheese Tart, Moutabal Toast, Avocado Tacos, and Beetroot Ravioli and Muhammara Toast. For those with a sweet tooth, I recommend Pistachio and Citrus Delight, Pecan Caramel and Vegan Milk Chocolate Mousse, Exotic Fruit Pavlova and Coconut and Chocolate Sphere. I also enjoyed their sweet and nutty walnut and banana cake, the carrot cake with a tasty vegan cream filling, and their moist vegan chocolate brownie.

Everything is served alongside loose-leaf tea. For matcha lovers, I recommend the organic matcha from Kagoshima and the ceremonial grade matcha from Yame. My friend opted for a freshly brewed iced gourmet coffee. And if you’re not vegan, don’t fret. My friend came with me who isn’t vegan and there’s a selection of dishes to choose from, including baked scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

It’s a lovely spot to go for afternoon tea with friends, family, and children. My daughters loved the mini upholstered chairs. I’m told these mini dining chairs are for your handbag, but I could see that all the kids around us also enjoyed sitting on them. Check this picture out of Noura and Nyla.

‘Turtle Tea by Idriss B’ highlights the importance of marine conservation. Idriss B is known for creating angular, polygonal installations of wildlife such as mammoths, bears, and sharks, as well as a man-sized falcon and a three-and-a-half metre gorilla. His works have been displayed in Dubai Mall, Dubai Design District and Dubai International Financial District, as well as across the UAE. His latest work includes nine polygonal turtle sculptures made from 125kg of recycled and eco-friendly material on 40 3D printers. Look out for a white turtle sculpture displayed in the lobby, a shoulder-height sculpture made from silver chrome that’s on the beach, and another sculpture at the Turtle Lagoon. Just remember that if you find a distressed or injured sea turtle in the UAE you can call the toll-free number 800TURTLE.

My final tip: make a booking in advance for afternoon tea. It can get very busy in the afternoon and the chef can prepare the vegan selection for your arrival.

Dhs 280 per person

#TurtleTeaByIdrissB | #TasteofJumeirah | #TimeExceptionallyWellSpent on Instagram @jumeirahalnaseem @almandharlounge @jumeirahgroup @IdrissBcom


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