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.
|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.
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|
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.|
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 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:
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!