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High class places for high tea in Singapore

What’s not to like about the combination of tea and a five-star hotel?

The afternoon tea and high tea tradition dates back to England in the late 1800s when the tea-drinking craze took hold. Small morsels of delicate food were served with the tea, and eaten at low tables and chairs; this became know as “afternoon tea” and was reputedly very popular with Queen Victoria. The phrase “high tea” originated from factory workers who took their supper at high tables often in the kitchen, and always eaten with tea. (Go to the bottom of the page for tips from Mr Twining himself, on brewing the perfect cup).

We asked around the EL office and came up with some staff favourites (and if that’s not enough for you – we’ve reviewed even more posh restuarants, Sunday buffets and fun new cafes here)

Regent Hotel – Tea Lounge


1 Cuscaden Road


A refillable, three-tier high tea is served on weekdays, while a high tea buffet spread is served on Saturdays and Sundays featuring finger sandwiches, freshly baked pastries and heavenly scones. From time to time, a special chocolate decadence event is held, and this is not to be missed (if you like chocolate, that is). Chocolatier and friendly Frenchman Jean Marc Bernelin travels from KL to create divine pralines, petite fours and other wicked chocolate treats. 15 types of teas and gourmet coffee are available.  

Tip: Skip lunch and ditch the diet so you have room to indulge, this is divine.

Opening hours/days:

12pm – 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, 1pm – 5.30pm, Saturdays and Sundays

Adult $38 on weekdays and $48 on weekends. Children 50% adult price. Add $21 for a glass of champagne.



The Four Seasons on Orchard Boulevard 

Four Seasons Hotel – The Bar and Alfresco

What:An assortment of finger sandwiches such as smoked turkey blackforest ham and Emmental cheese, delectable sweets including homemade vanilla and raisin scones, accompanied by a selection of fine tea blends or espresso coffee. Try the Jade of Africa red tea or Smoky Earl Grey black tea.
Where:190 Orchard Boulevard
When:Monday to Saturdays, 2-5pm,
Cost:Adult $48, Child $18. Add $53 for free flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne



What:Tea connoisseurs TWG serve a set afternoon tea in all their busy outlets. The macaroons are wonderful.
Where:Outlets at Takashimaya, Marina Bay Sands, ION and Republic Plaza
When:Daily from 3-6pm
Cost:Tea time set menus range from $19 to $39


The Landing Point at The Fullerton Bay Hotel 

Fullerton Bay Hotel – Landing Point

What:Refillable three-tier afternoon tea set that includes scones, sandwiches, pastries and coffee or tea. The menu selections change from season to season. Teas come in massive pots with gorgeous fabric covers to keep it warm. Tip: Sister hotel The Fullerton also offers a fabulous high tea!
Where:80 Collyer Quay
When:3pm – 5.30pm, Mondays to Sundays
Cost:Adult $49. Add $10 for a glass of sparking wine.


St Regis – Brasserie Les Saveurs

What:A delicious assortment of pastries and sandwiches. An afternoon Tea Dance (which we hear has a loyal following) is held from 3pm to 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Address/Location:29 Tanglin Road
Opening hours/days:3-5pm, Mondays to Saturdays
Cost:Adult $56 (weekdays) and $66 (Saturday). Children aged four years and below dine free, other children pay adult price.

Waterfall feature at the Garden Wing 

Shangri La – The Rose Veranda

What:A favourite with the Expat Living team. Indulge in a refillable three-tier afternoon tea set (vegetarian options available). Selections include pastries, sandwiches and scones. Choose from 164 premium tea blends.
Address/Location:22 Orange Grove Road
Opening hours/days:On weekdays, high tea is served from 11.30am to 6pm and traditional English afternoon tea from 3-6pm. On weekends and public holidays high tea is served from 11.30am to 2.30pm and from 3pm to 6 pm; traditional English afternoon tea from 3-6pm.
Cost:From $38, prices increase on public holidays and weekends

Goodwood: Petite designer Christmas cakes 

Goodwood Park – L’Espresso

What:The large buffet spread features an assortment of dainty sandwiches, salads, savouries, pastries, desserts, traditional English scones and a chocolate fountain! Heaven.
Address/Location:22 Scotts Road
Opening hours/days:2-5.30pm, Mondays to Thursdays; noon – 2.30pm (first seating) and 3-5.30pm (second seating), Fridays to Sundays and public holidays
Cost:From $45, prices increase on public holidays and weekends. Children aged 6-11 pay 50% adult price.


Not a five-star hotel – somewhere off the beaten track (and economical, too)

What:A Parisian-style café serving pastries such as almond croissants and sugar danishes plus a bestselling chocolate mousse cake. It’s not a high tea set, but a wonderful quirky place to have afternoon tea, regardless. Besides green and black teas, they have special herbal blends.
Address/Location:30 Penhas Road
Opening hours/days:Open from 11am Monday to Friday and from 10am on Saturday and Sunday.
Cost:From $8 for a slice of cake and from $8 for a pot of tea.


The perfect cup of tea

The tea maestro himself, Stephen H.B. Twining, a tenth-generation member of the famous English tea family, makes the following suggestions:


1.Tea should be made in a teapot (a coffee pot is no substitute).
2.Make sure the equipment is clean. Get rid of the tannin stain. The stain itself can absorb detergent, tainting the taste of the brew. So clean cups and pots thoroughly. (A little bi-carb soda on a damp cloth removes stains easily.)
3.Use fresh cold water. Don’t re-use previously heated water, as the oxygen is boiled out.
4.Warm the pot.
5.The amount of tea depends on individual preference, but a rule of thumb is one scoop (or teabag) per person, plus one for the pot.
6.Add the boiled water just as it comes to the boil. Supervise the kettle and override the automatic switch off. The water usually boils for several seconds at this point, which is not desirable.
7.Green, oolong and white tea prefer water a little cooler, so add the water after it has boiled and cooled slightly.
8.If using a teabag, resist the temptation to jiggle. Let the tea brew for three full minutes in order to develop tea’s qualities: colour, flavour and mouth. Be patient.
9.Stir the tea to distribute the flavour evenly through the pot.
10.Serve and enjoy.


Top tip: Some of Twinings most enduring and popular flavours are English and Irish Breakfast. And Australians are finally getting their own variety, to be released on Australia Day 2012; it was developed especially for (and with the assistance of) the Australian palate – a former Prime Minister even had a say in it!