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Anyone for Afternoon Tea? Get those pinkies up!

Whether you’re entertaining guests from out of town or simply crave an indulgent afternoon with the girls, high tea is always a fun treat. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the top teas at hotels and restaurants in Singapore for you to try.

Atrium

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: Daily from 2.30 to 5.30pm at Atrium and at Pacific Marketplace. Located in the lobby, the beautifully designed Atrium has such a lovely atmosphere. Sitting in one of the over-water seating pods, it’s a novelty to be able to choose between the Peranakan and English afternoon tea ($38 per person; $58 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne or $68 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Champagne). I’m a Brit who misses my home treats, so I opted for the English version.

I loved the variety of offerings; presented beautifully on a three-tier stand, it all looked so pretty, too. A classic English afternoon tea has to include finger sandwiches, and Pan Pacific’s did not disappoint – a tasty selection of Avruga caviar, cucumber and Swiss cheese, and a Virginia ham and almond tapenade cereal roll that melted in my mouth. The potato churro was a lovely twist on the original, and both the sea salt caramel chocolate tart and the strawberry profiteroles were to die for!

Tastiest treat: My absolute favourites were the classic and raisin scones – you just can’t beat them, served with butter, clotted cream and organic strawberry jam.

Psst! Why not order one English and one Peranakan afternoon tea and share them?

– Jacqui Young

Level 1 , Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard 6826 8240 | pacificmarketplace.sg

Brasserie Les Saveurs

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: The Grand Astor Afternoon Tea is offered Monday to Saturday from 3 to 5pm, and Sundays from 4 to 6pm; it’s $49 on weekdays and $53 on weekends. Afternoon tea feels extra special in this opulent hotel setting, adorned with mirrors, crystal chandeliers, plush velvet chairs and floor-to-ceiling windows; sit by the window and you’ll overlook the hotel pool and greenery. The whole experience feels even grander with the live pianist playing in the restaurant.

The elegant feast features a beautiful buffet selection of hot delicacies, sweet and savoury scones, and a lavish array of desserts, as well as three-tiered stands of finger sandwiches and sweets brought to each table. With a wide selection of refillable teas on offer, I chose The St. Regis Singapore signature blend of green and black tea; it’s got malty notes of white chocolate and nuts, leaving an exceptional and light aftertaste of white rose and jasmine blossoms.

Tastiest treats: I loved the novelty of the duck foie gras profiterole on my three-tiered stand, and devoured the scrumptious crepe that the chef created at a live station nearby – oozing with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and a ladling of blue cheese sauce. The hot prawn, lobster and tarragon pie was also divine.

Psst! Book one of the two private alcoves for a celebration, meeting or an intimate conversation.

– Lara Sage

Lobby Level, The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road 6506 6860 | stregissingapore.com

Tiffin Room

Teatime: Daily from 3 to 5.30pm, at $62 per adult and $30 per child. The beautiful and bright Tiffin Room at Raffles Hotel, with its high ceilings and charming colonial architecture, is buzzing on most days, so make sure you book a table at least a week ahead. They can also cater to gluten intolerances or other special dietary requirements if you give them at least two days’ notice.

Begin with a refreshing glass of BillecartSalmon Brut Réserve champagne for $26, or just choose from the selection of teas, accompanied by a three-tier stand displaying all sorts of sweet and savoury delights. From tasty finger sandwiches (the tuna mayonnaise was a firm favourite) to delicate English cakes (you’ll want to savour the chocolate praline and raspberry Madeleine – absolutely sinful!), there’s a treat to delight every palate. Undeniably, one of the best things is the buffet. With both an Asian and a European twist, it comprises chicken curry pies, assorted dim-sum, croque monsieur with grain mustard and, of course, scones – an assortment of plain, raisin and savoury ones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. If, after all of that, you still have a stomach for dessert, you can dive into an assortment of tropical fruit and bread and butter pudding with vanilla sauce.

Tastiest treat: As a serial scone-sampler, I think I know a good one when I taste one! Raffles Hotel’s scones were the perfect consistency – firm, not too crumbly, and not too flaky.

Psst! Instagram addicts should try to snag a seat by a window where there’s more natural light to take great shots of your teatime treats!

– Susannah Jaffer

Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road 6412 1816 | raffles.com

10 Scotts

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: Every day from 12 noon to 2.30pm (first seating) and 3 to 5pm (second seating). It’s $45 per adult on weekdays ($30 per child), and $55 per adult on weekends and public holidays. With free-flow Perrier-Jouët Champagne, the total comes to $75 on weekdays and $85 on weekends.

Elegance meets comfort at this Orchard landmark. With segmented rooms catering to both business and leisure, you can choose between quiet pockets of plush armchairs for one-on-one meetings, or snug corners with built-in sofas and cushion-covered couches to sink into with family and friends for the afternoon. Once we were cosily ensconced, it was on to the sustenance. With 23 types of tea – from rooibois with hints of Madagascan vanilla to the floral flavours of feu de cheminée – even Goldilocks would be out of her depth here. For the particularly indecisive, or those more partial to bubbles, luckily there’s a free-flow PerrierJouët Champagne option available and, typically of Hyatt hospitality, service here is swift and seamless with one’s glass never left empty for long.

The buffet selection ranges from sushi and cold cuts to gourmet tartines and a hot station that changes weekly – everything from dim sum to flambéed chicken fillet in red wine. The grand finale comes in the form of two-tiered decadence: a selection of desserts from caramel choux buns to mango trifle pots and macarons.

Tastiest treat: The savoury medal goes to the crab cakes – packed with flavour and accompanied with refreshingly zesty remoulade – while sweet-toothed diners will love the raisin scones. Lather these fresh-out-of-the-oven treats with kaya, or with clotted cream and tangy raspberry jam.

Psst! Snag a corner table at the back. It’s easy to forget you’re in the city with the view and sound of their towering waterfall.

– Leanda Rathmell

Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road 6732 1234 | singapore.grand.hyatt.com

D9 Cakery

Teatime: The “Endless Saturday High Tea at D9” happens every Saturday from 12 noon to 2.30pm (first seating) and 3 to 5pm (second seating). It’s $41 per person for the buffet, and free-flow coffee and tea ($21 for children aged five to 12); add an additional $35 for free-flow sparkling wine, Tiger beer, Chardonnay and Merlot (other drinks can be ordered à la carte).

Located on the lobby level of Hilton Singapore, D9 sells beautiful patisserie and confectionery creations – cakes and colourful macarons galore. From rainbow cake, strawberry rhubarb and blueberry cheesecake to teppanyaki ice cream and a lemon-chocolate fountain with fruit for dipping, there’s almost too much to choose from! And, of course, it wouldn’t be a high tea without scones – we thoroughly enjoyed both the plain and cranberry options.

There are loads of savouries, too – the most popular being the Swiss raclette station, where the cheese is melted onto baguettes and potatoes, with olives and other toppings. There was a constant queue here, but it didn’t stop us from visiting multiple times. Other non-sweet highlights included the apple, spinach and pomegranate salad, mini roasted chicken tortilla wraps, vegetable quiches and pulled pork sliders.

Tastiest treats: I absolutely loved the lemon tart, while my husband couldn’t get enough of the raclette.

Psst! It’s hard to choose between the 10 teas on offer – there are so many great flavours. We’d recommend the Moroccan mint and the crème brûlée teas.

– Amy Greenburg

Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road 6730 3392 singapore.hilton.com/restaurants

The Lobby Lounge

Teatime: Afternoon tea is served daily from 2 to 5pm. It costs $78 for two, inclusive of loose-leaf teas, or $108, with the addition of two flutes of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.

There’s something about afternoon tea at a smart hotel that’s just so indulgent – I don’t think we do it often enough. At the time of our visit, the Easter tea set (watch out for the Spring version coming soon), was still available, so we tried that, plus the classic high-tea option.

The three tiers of decadence served on stylish plates (as you would expect) and in classic tiered form included an extensive and inventive selection of finger sandwiches, small cakes, little quiches and other treats, all standing resplendent in their tantalising glory. The kids adored the bunny-shaped macaroons – after we’d made them eat something avoury from the lower tier. Tasty little quiches Lorraine and chicken and cucumber finger sandwiches, among the many savoury offerings, were the perfect prelude to all the sweetness that followed. A basket of warm scones with clotted cream and jams finished off the experience, all washed down with a pot of Earl Grey tea and chased with glasses of bubbles.

Tastiest treat: The hotel’s take on Battenberg cake (chocolate and vanilla, instead of the iconic pink and vanilla squares) was the best I’d ever eaten – seriously, off the charts!

Psst! Maybe request a table a little farther from the piano and violin duo, as it’s rather on the loud side! And if you ask nicely, there are colouring sheets with pens for the kids.

– Emi Finch

InterContinental Singapore 80 Middle Road 6338 7600 | singapore.intercontinental.com

National Kitchen by Violet Oon

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: Daily from 3 to 5pm. Now 68, Violet Oon remembers bygone afternoons enjoying high tea with family and friends, and this precious memory is the inspiration behind her Peranakan high tea experience at the stunning National Kitchen. A three-tiered set ($56 for two people) includes six savoury and six sweet Peranakan inspired delights, plus free-flow tea (English breakfast or Earl Grey) or local kopi.

Highlights among the food offerings are the pulled beef sambal pao (spicy-sweet beef in a steamed white bun) and kueh pie tee (sweet bamboo and turnip in a deep-fried “top hat” cup). The sweet choices include creations made from sago and tapioca; one of our favourites was the lacy nonya pancake known as roti jala, which is served with gula melaka (palm sugar) and banana coconut sauce. And everyone loved the kueh dah dah (grated coconut in gula melaka, wrapped in a pandan-infused crepe). Bring your visiting friends and relatives for a one-of-a-kind Singapore experience – and Instagram-worthy shots, too!

Tastiest treat: There’s an afternoon à la carte menu from which I highly recommend the wickedly delicious chilli crab mantou ($15) – a variation of Singapore’s iconic seafood dish.

Psst! Snag a seat by the window for fabulous views of the Padang and Marina Bay Sands. – Katie Roberts

#02-01, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road 9834 9935 | violetoon.com

House at Dempsey

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: Fridays from 3 to 5.30pm Tucked in a quiet corner of Dempsey Hill, this cosy restaurant offers a home-away-from-home dining experience. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, with natural lighting filtering through and lush greenery surrounding the alfresco area. Afternoon tea ($30 per adult) is a hit with both locals and expats; all tables were taken up when we arrived at 3.30pm, so it’s probably best to book in advance!

There isn’t a plethora of teas to choose from – only four varieties – but refills are included. I opted for Muah Muah, a chocolate and raspberry infusion that paired well with the sweet treats. My mum chose the signature homemade ginger tea, warm, herbal and altogether comforting.

Food-wise, the spread boasts around 20 items with a good balance of savoury and sweet. My picks? The super-tender ginger chicken, which went amazingly with its accompanying crispy papadum; the light and tasty mini squid-ink pizza; dainty passionfruit macarons; and the moist ondeh-ondeh cake, packed with gula melaka. This buffet is no run-of-the-mill high tea: you’ll find interesting local-inspired bites, including a wacky curry chocolate brownie.

Tastiest treat: Hands down, the matcha cranberry scones. Served with clotted cream and berry jam, these bite-sized gems were spot-on in terms of size, texture and taste. Buttery and tender with a distinct matcha flavour, this is one for all green tea fans!

Psst! It’s half-price for children from six to 12 years of age, and free for those below six.

– Anthia Chng

8D Dempsey Road 6475 7787 | dempseyhouse.com

Angelina Singapore

Afternoon Tea

Teatime: Daily from 2.30 to 6.30pm With marble table-tops, gold-trimmed ceilings, chandeliers and natural lighting, this quaint and classic space makes for an elegant afternoon tea. The tea set ($32 for one, or $62 for two) comes on a two-tiered stand and includes your choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

The top layer consists of a mini tarte citron – we loved the smooth and tangy lemon curd; a mini opera cake – indulgent mousse with a hint of crunchiness at the base; and a choice of macaron – I opted for the raspberry, whose tart filling went well with the sweet and crunchy shell. The bottom tier of savoury treats included a mini vegetable quiche, smoked salmon, and ham and cheese sandwiches, as well as duck rillettes on toast. The items may look deceptively small, but they’re just right for afternoon tea.

Afterwards, visit Angelina’s standalone retail shop, also on the first level of Capitol Piazza, to pick up some chocolates, jam or even a bottled hot-chocolate mix to enjoy back home.

Tastiest treat: Rich and creamy, the signature L’Africain hot chocolate hits the spot. Made with 100 percent cocoa butter from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, it’s served with lightly whipped cream.

Psst! Angelina Singapore’s second outlet is set to open at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands at the end of this year.

– Lindsay Yap

#01-82 Capitol Galleria, Capitol Piazza, 15 Stamford Road 6384 0481 facebook.com/angelinasingapore

HIGH TEAS FOR $30 OR LESS (PER PERSON)

Marmalade Pantry

Served from 3 to 6pm daily, Marmalade Pantry’s afternoon tea ($38 for two people) – offered at all three of its café locations – includes two pots of Gryphon tea, a selection of finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones with strawberry preserves and clotted cream, and any two cupcakes from a range of more than 10 fun flavours. themarmaladepantry.com.sg

TWG Salons

While there’s a handful of TWG tea sets at different prices to choose from, the “1837” set at just $19 should satisfy your sweet tooth just fine. It includes two scones or muffins served with TWG tea jelly and whipped cream, or a tea-infused patisserie item from the trolley, served with a choice of hot or iced tea. From the various TWG Salon locations across Singapore, we recommend that you try one of the two Marina Bay Sands outlets, TWG Tea Garden and TWG on the Bridge.

This article first appeared in the June 2017 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

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