Kalvin Ng sampled treats both healthy and decadent at the afternoon tea at AtTEAtude.

AtTEAtude is one of the finest hotel lobby lounges I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in Doha. From the location to the décor and the carefully selected food and beverage menu, the outlet, at the Alwadi Doha – MGallery Hotel Collection is the ideal place for a light meal, a catch-up with friends or a casual work meeting.

The lounge, located in Msheireb Downtown, justifiably won ‘Best Tea Room in Doha’ at the 2021 Fact Dining Awards. It’s located just to the side of the hotel entrance, making it central yet exuding a relaxing ambiance. The interior is modern with touches of Qatari tradition: comfortable maroon lounges sit atop cream and purple patterned carpets on wooden parquet floors. A wall of artfully placed coloured glass bottles adds a touch of whimsy to the chic, yet cosy interior. Gentle ceiling lamps accentuate the natural light streaming in from the outdoor terrace.

The menu emphasises on healthy options, but healthy certainly wasn’t boring! We were invited to try the ‘Healthy Lunch’ menu. For a set price, you could choose a sandwich, a salad and a smoothie from a wide selection. We began our meal with the Big Apple bagel. Generous slices of smoked salmon were layered on a light spreading of dill cream cheese, capers and pickled onions on a toasted sesame-seeded bagel. It was a great interpretation of a New York deli classic with a subtle balance of flavours. We followed it up with a Grilled Chicken Ciabatta. Perfectly seasoned slices of grilled chicken breast were paired with fresh avocado. It was slightly more substantial than the bagel, yet still remarkably light and balanced. Both were served with a fresh arugula and tomato salad. Vegetarians can choose between a vegan burger and a vegetable sandwich.

As for the salads, the Organic Quinoa Salad really stood out. The innovative combination of quinoa, avocado and mango with passionfruit dressing was fresh, tangy and invigorating. Equally refreshing was the Green Smoothie consisting of apple, spinach, avocado and almond milk. It was healthy and delicious!

If, however, you’re interested in treating yourself to something more indulgent, AtTEAtude has a wide selection of freshly made pastries, croissants and desserts. The Afternoon Tea for Two is a decadent way to experience a mix of sweet and savoury delights. The presentation was a feast for the eyes. Canapes were presented on a three-tiered mirrored tray with gold trim, reminiscent of a gilded birdcage. The bottom tier included bitesized turkey ham and cheese sandwiches; a light and tantalising vegetable and mango wrap; and puff pastries filled with just the right amount of halloumi and zaatar. A delicate tartelette of olives along with bresaola and melon canapes rounded off the selection.

With the savoury pastries well and truly devoured, it was time to satisfy our sweet tooth with the selection of desserts. Chocolate lovers have lots to look forward to. You could start with the Chocolate and Peer Verrine featuring candied pear in a rich chocolate sauce, topped off with a gold leaf – it is an indulgent afternoon tea, after all. Another delight was a delicate, bite-sized parcel of chocolate thins filled with cream and orange slices. The pastry chef’s skills were clearly on display here, as well as on the delightful matcha strawberry tart, topped off with milk chocolate.

However, no respectable high tea would be complete without scones. AtTEAtude presented a delightful fluffy version with dried cranberries and orange, served with the obligatory clotted cream and jam. Now, what do you spread on the scone first, the jam or the cream? This simple question has divided people in the United Kingdom for many generations. Even the late British monarch got involved, when Queen Elizabeth II revealed that one prefers one’s scone with jam first, then cream. Whichever way you have it, the scone, accompanied with a traditional pot of hot English tea, was the perfect way to end our meal in Doha’s most relaxing and sophisticated tea lounge. ✤