If you want to get over the sluggish mid-afternoon slump without overloading yourself with caffeine, here’s something to think about. A classic high tea spread with finger sandwiches, quiches, scones, and cakes, served on fine china and silver platters. While quintessentially a British tradition, afternoon tea has gained quite a following in Asia. This ever-so-English pastime is the perfect opportunity to bask in plush environments and indulge in a sophisticated tête-à-tête with friends and family. It’s no wonder that hotels and cafes are catering to the rising consumer demand that offers a quaint escape from the hot tropical weather.
While afternoon tea has been a refined affair for more than two centuries, this sophisticated ritual was inspired by a hungry duchess in Britain in the early 1840s. While waiting for her evening meal to be served promptly at 8 pm, Anna Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford complained about being hungry at 4 pm in the afternoon. To feed her hunger, the Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread, and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon, setting a trend that would evolve to become a national tradition. Today, afternoon tea in modern Britain enjoys a celebratory status with exquisite nibbles happily stretching into evening cocktails.
Looking for a hot cuppa and some sumptuous tea-time treats? Check out these eateries:
Paying tribute to the time-honored ritual, Executive Pastry Chef at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, Chef Ajinkya Soundankar creates an exciting platter of sweet and savory treats for the hotel’s decadent afternoon tea set. Served in the lavish setting of the hotel’s palatial lobby, the set features Mariage Frères’s signature Thai tea leaf brews such as the Eléphant Blanc (fruit and flower-infused black tea) and Temple de L’aube (citrus and floral tea) along with light bite-sized treats. The savory portion of the set offers the likes of Salmon Choux Puff with Blue Tuile, a Classic Egg Salad, Chicken and Blue Cheese Sandwich as well as Tuna Ekura with Blinis and Vegetable Vol-Au-Vent. For the sweet-loving diehards, a wide array of desserts beckons. From Pannacotta with fresh strawberries, to Blueberry Crumble Tart to an assortment of flavored bon-bons, macarons and scones, these delish treats are just heavenly.
A Brew-tiful Spread
What screams national day more than locally inspired treats? To celebrate Singapore’s 56th birthday, The Deli at Goodwood Park Hotel created a limited set with a repertoire of classic snacks and local-inspired delights. The set which is available for purchase till September 30th, comes in two and three tiers. Among the sumptuous hawker-style delights are the not-to-be-missed Mini Chicken Curry Shepherd’s Pie, Chendol Pannacotta, Royal Chocolate Crunchy Hazelnut Cake, along with fusion sandwiches like Chicken “Bak Kwa” with Cheddar Cheese, and Otak-Otak and Egg Sandwich. Don’t forget to pair these traditional local flavors with a classic and unique blend of TWG teas.
For the Kettle-Heads
Craving petite finger food and the elegance of the traditional English afternoon tea? At the Anam Cam Ranh in Vietnam, afternoon tea is an exciting affair. Served at The Colonial’s outdoor terrace, the eatery offers a comfortable environment as customers relish “High Tea Colonial” afternoon tea featuring ham and cheese sandwich, Caprese Burger, Bailey’s Cheesecake, coconut tarts, macarons, and simply divine English and raisin scones with jam and clotted cream.