Once my flight tickets were booked, making a reservation for afternoon tea at the Royal Mansour was first on my list. The setting was the epitome of elegance and my hopes were high. From the moment we arrived, the service was flawless but, unfortunately, the food was a major disappointment.
The Moroccan afternoon tea was nothing but desserts so sweet you couldn’t taste their flavour. It looked pretty enough, but it was all rather superficial. The pancakes served with warm honey were the stuff of dreams. The English afternoon tea offerings were utterly ridiculous: 3 small finger sandwiches of bleached white bread and don’t get me started on the marshmallows… It seemed very American, particularly as they… Ok, British people, hold on to your hats… They served some kind of hybrid muffin as scones. And who serves ‘scones’ and sandwiches at the same time?! But the nail in the coffin was serving crème fraiche under the guise of clotted cream. No, thank you. Running for the hills!
The highlight was the simplicity of the scorching hot mint tea (without sugar) enjoyed in the finest company in town. For me, afternoon tea is a ritual, not some afterthought to fill the void between lunch and supper. It has substance. It would have been better to offer local sweets or specific cakes with delicious tea, rather than this half-hearted attempt at a tradition. Yes, the hotel is incredibly beautiful and, as I mentioned, the service is exquisite, but that’s it. If you’re in the area, why not stop for a pot of tea or cocktails. But, no, I wouldn’t recommend it for afternoon tea (still not over clotted cream gate).