Nothing screams tai tai life more than sitting down for an afternoon tea with friends. OK, maybe shopping at Hermes is descriptive of that life. And getting chauffeured around. But high tea is defo on the to-do list of any tai tai.
But they’re not the only ones who can enjoy it. Why not go for an elegant afternoon tea to catch up with friends over a range of sweet and savoury bites? For a touch of indulgence, pair these miniature treats with premium tea and some chilled champagne. These days, afternoon teas are not just your run-of-the-mill three-tiered options. Here are some recommended spots to head to for a relaxing afternoon.
Anti:dote Lounge, Fairmont Singapore
This cosy spot adjoining Anti:dote’s main bar is where you and your girlfriends can sip afternoon tea and marvel at the exquisite white leather-clad jewellery drawer-chest filled with elegant sweet and savoury bites.
There are 14 creations to munch on, including smoked salmon with lemon cream cheese on rye, duck rillette with mustard and chestnut snow, and braised abalone tart with leek and potato. Sweet gems include sweet potato coconut cone, blueberry brandy cheesecake, and Anti:dote’s signature grand cru bonbons. There are freshly-baked plain and blackberry scones to boot – halve them and slather with homemade raspberry jam, Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd.
The Anti:dote Tea set at $50 per person also comes with a choice of accompaniments: 63°C truffle organic egg served with texture of cauliflower and crispy foie gras, or slow-cooked egg with seasonal truffles and chives.
Elevate your afternoon tea with a glass of Prosecco ($12), or go all out with free-flow Prosecco for S$30. All afternoon tea sets are complemented with free-flow fine TWG teas. The culinary team has even thoughtfully crafted a gluten-free menu also at $50 per person. Available Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 5pm , Friday to Sunday, 12pm to 2pm (first seating), 3pm to 5pm (second seating)
Fairmont Singapore, Tel: 6431 5315, www.fairmont.com/singapore/dining/antidote
L’ESPRESSO, Goodwood Park Hotel
L’Espresso is rolling out its new Victorian English Afternoon Tea from June 1 to July 22. Besides the signature favourites of freshly baked traditional English scones, pastries, cakes and sandwiches, the buffet will offer a range of newly created English-inspired teatime treats.
Kick off with savoury bites such as the Coronation Chicken with mango chutney and almonds open-faced sandwich, and ‘Three Little Pigs’ (smoked pork, gammon and meatloaf) finger sandwich. Hearty hot items include braised pork with stout in hot pot served with homemade brioche, Toad in the Hole (a classic sausage bake), fish and chips with malt vinegar; cottage pie; as well as mini corned beef and leek quiche. There’s even a live carving station featuring baked salmon florentine puff served with wild rice and horseradish cream.
Next, sink your teeth into the bread and butter pudding; sticky toffee pudding; strawberries and cream trifle; mini sherry trifle and treacle tart. L’Espresso’s ever-popular plain, blueberry and raisin scones are best enjoyed with lashings of jams, marmalade, Devonshire clotted cream and butter.
The afternoon tea is offered at $48 per person from Fridays to Sunday (12pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 5.30pm) and $45 from Mondays to Thursdays (2pm to 5.30pm). The price includes two servings of premium coffee or TWG Tea. You can accompany your decadent session with a glass of champagne at $72 from Fridays to Sundays or $68 from Mondays to Thursdays.
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Tel: 6730 1743, www.goodwoodparkhotel.com
Chef’s Table, Capella Singapore
Start the weekend a day earlier and enjoy a guilt-free Wellness Tea Time on Friday at Capella. The Chef’s Table dishes out five courses of gluten-free and dairy-free options. Tuck into wholesome bites as you sip the selection of holistic Ronnefeldt Ayurvedic teas.
Savouries include the tempeh portobello slider, cauliflower crust pizza with shiitake ‘bacon’ and sprouted whole grain bread with tomato tapenade. Vegans can try the delicious root vegetables and hummus tart made from gluten-free flour. The scones are also given a healthy twist with a serving of raspberry chia-seed jam and whipped coconut cream.
Here, the sweet delicacies are made with unrefined sugar such as maple syrup and vegan chocolate chips. You will get colourful and creative treats such as quinoa and zucchini chocolate tea cake, chocolate hazelnut dome; as well as cacao avocado mousse. The afternoon experience concludes with a refreshing tomato consomme jelly with basil granita. Capella’s Wellness Tea Time is from 3pm to 5pm at $59 per person
Capella Singapore, Tel: 6591 5089, www.capellahotels.com/singapore
Lobby Lounge, Intercontinental Singapore
At InterContinental Singapore, you can unwind over afternoon tea with a glass of champagne and soak in the elegant atmosphere topped with live music. Offered from now to July 15, 2018, the Lobby Lounge’s new Classic Afternoon Tea: Secret Garden is inspired by the children’s classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Award-winning pastry chef Ben Goh presents a three-tiered showcase of savoury creations, along with an elegant box that unveils a collection of Victorian desserts. Highlights include the smoked salmon mousse and chrysanthemum mantou bun, and chicken and peach-rose jam on toast. There’s also a beautiful raspberry-rose lemon pound cake, and Earl Grey chocolate mousse with apricot compote and sea salt chocolate crumble. The afternoon tea includes a range of other treats like vegetable frittata with saffron aioli, and carrot cake with orange-mint mascarpone mousse. Look out too for a ‘live’ station where you can enjoy unlimited servings of à la minute crêpes and ice cream.
The Classic Afternoon Tea: Secret Garden is available from 2pm to 5pm daily. The set is priced at $78 for two persons, inclusive of a fine selection of loose- leaf teas and coffee, and at $108 for two persons, inclusive of two flutes of Taittinger Brut Champagne, plus tea and coffee.
Intercontinental Singapore, Tel: 6825 1008, TheLobbyLounge.sg
Tea Lounge, Regent Singapore
The charming Tea Lounge at Regent rolls out Japanese- inspired teatime delicacies from now until 29 June. The weekday three-tier afternoon tea stand displays savoury finger sandwiches such as sesame tuna maguro on Japanese rice cake, Japanese spider crab meat with pickled ginger, and Hibiki-infused kobe beef roll with uni terrine, among others. Classic scones are matched with a house-made aromatic sakura jam spread, or for something with a twist, try the warm buttery mikan (Japanese citrus) scone.
The culinary team also introduces individually-plated interactive desserts like the Japanese Pearl – a delicate sugar sphere filled with crunchy black sesame, white chocolate yuzu cream, red bean compote, sakura pomegranate jelly and lychee foam, sitting atop a rich Uji matcha gelato.
On weekends, the high tea buffet offers an extensive selection of western and Asian dishes. The spread includes teriyaki and sake-infused wagyu beef tataki, Japanese chicken katsu curry, lobster laksa with rice noodles and X.O. sauce, king scallop congee with sea cucumber and goji berries. There’s even a decadent caviar station.
The Weekday Three-tier Afternoon Tea is priced starting from $45 per person and available from Monday to Friday from 12pm to 5 pm. The Weekend High Tea Buffet is priced starting from $65 per person and available on Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm to 2.30pm and 3pm to 5.30 pm.
From June 18 to 24, 2018, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s assistant pastry chef Reiko Yokota will be making a guest appearance at Tea Lounge. She will be crafting plated desserts such as Citrus Eton Mess and desserts like shiso panna cotta with pomegranate jelly and matcha-azuki roll.
Tea Lounge, Lobby Level, Regent Singapore, Tel: 6725 3245, www.regenthotels.com/Singapore
Brasserie Les Saveurs, St. Regis
Wear your best floral frock and head to St Regis’Brasserie Les Saveurs for a posh Caroline Astor afternoon tea. You will be presented with a three-tiered silver stand filled with exquisitely made sandwiches like the mille-feuille with smoked salmon and dill cream, and focaccia bread with mozzarella, tomato and oregano. There are also assorted scones that come in unique flavours such as candied ginger and pineapple and pandan and gula melaka glaze – partnered with clotted cream and strawberry jam. For more savouries, nibble on Bayonne ham, homemade maki and a range of French cheeses. At the live station, caramelised apple or nutella crêpes and Belgian waffles are whipped up à la minute.
Pair these with fine teas by TWG including the exclusive St. Regis Singapore Tea Blend. Priced at $49 per person Mondays to Fridays, 3pm to 5pm, and $53 per person Saturdays to Sundays, 4 to 6pm.
St Regis Singapore, Tel: 6506 6860, www.stregissingapore.com
For a unique afternoon tea experience that’s not located in a hotel, you can opt for Atlas at Parkview Square. The concise menu includes inventive items such as savoury éclair with grain mustard mornay and A4 wagyu, and Atlas Croque Monsieur, a luxed up ham and cheese sandwich made with Italian premium prosciutto cotto, Spanish cheese and béchamel topped with pickled banana shallot. Revel in the sweet creations such as madeleines, canelés, salted caramel bon bon as well as ATLAS French style scones served with whipped mascarpone cream and homemade strawberry and rose jam.
The ATLAS selection of teas includes the exclusive ATLAS Art Deco Blend, a blend of fine black tea incorporating gin botanicals, with added elderflower and yuzu. For the Prestige Selection, you’ll get teas like the Huoshan Yellow Bud, a rare and refined Chinese yellow tea or Arakai Estate Premium Green – an Australian spring flush green tea. The Atlas Selection is priced at $52 per person, and Prestige Selection is $56. The Atlas Afternoon Tea is served between 3pm to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Make your booking at least two days in advance.
600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, Tel: 6396 4466, http://atlasbar.sg/dining
National Kitchen by Violet Oon
For a Singapore-inspired afternoon tea, make your way to National Gallery for Violet Oon’s teatime favourites. Here, the Singapore High Tea Set at $56 for two persons is served on a specially commissioned traditional tingkat-inspired three-tier afternoon tea stand. There are six savoury bites and six sweet treats to indulge in: buah keluak crostini, hae bee hiam sandwiches, pulled beef sambal pao, nasi kuning with coconut serunding, kuay pie tee and otak on crostini.
Sweet treats include kueh lapis sago, multi-layered baked kueh lapis, kueh dadar, kueh bengkah, roti jala with gula Melaka banana sauce and kesturi pie with citrus curd on a buttery shortcrust base topped with lime and papaya compote. Those who love Violet Oon’s dry laksa can add an extra $16 (for two). The popular rice noodles are tossed with rich laksa gravy and toped with prawns, tau pok and beansprouts.
The Singapore High Tea Collection at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon is available daily from 3pm to 5pm.
1 St Andrew’s Road, National Gallery Singapore, #02-01, Tel: 9834 9935, www.violetoon.com
10 Scotts, Grand Hyatt
For an elegant setting away from the shopping crowds, head to Grand Hyatt Singapore’s 10 SCOTTS for afternoon tea overlooking a cascading waterfall. You’ll get a semi-buffet of local and international favourites with free flow of gourmet TWG teas and coffee made with 100 per cent certified organic Arabica beans. Tuck into charcuterie items like Serrano ham with Cantaloupe melon, before diving into the sustainable seafood bowl with freshly shucked oysters, poached black mussels and lala clams matched with various piquant sauces. Aside from gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, and artisan cheeses, there are hot items such as ham croquettes and crispy blue swimmer crab cakes with sauce remoulade to munch on. Sweet treats include tropical fruit panna cotta, chocolate chiffon cake, lemon pound cake, opera slices and other gems. The scones with blueberry and walnut come with clotted cream, raspberry jam and kaya.
From Monday to Friday, the afternoon tea is at $50 per person, with free flow of coffee, TWG tea, and chilled juices ($53 on weekends). For a touch of indulgence, pay $85 per person for regular afternoon tea plus free flow of Perrier Jouët Grand Brut champagne or selected sustainable wines ($88 on weekends). There are two seatings: 12 pm to 2.30 pm, and 3pm to 5pm.
Grand Hyatt Singapore, Tel: 6738 1234, www.singapore.grand.hyattrestaurants.com
Axis Bar and Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
Axis Bar and Lounge at Mandarin Oriental is a great spot for afternoon tea with a view of the sparkling Marina Bay. In June, the menu is showcasing a range of mango delicacies such as pineapple and mango jelly with coconut emulsion, lemongrass-marinated prawn with chilli mango dip, tuna tataki with coriander and chilli mayo, as well as curried potato, green mango and cilantro pie.
The fruity creations also include mango yoghurt scone, mango palm sugar souffle roll, coconut mango sable tart, mango tapioca shortcake and banana mango bar. If you love tropical treats, this is the perfect menu for you. Pair these with a range of teas from TWG, which includes the Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Blend of green tea infused with ginger and citrus.
The afternoon tea is from 3pm to 5pm, daily. Priced at $42 per person and $80 for two. Note: Axis Bar and Lounge will be temporarily closed for renovations from early July until mid-September 2018.
Mandarin Oriental, Tel: 6885 3500, www.mandarinoriental.com/singapore
Text: Leanne Liew
Additional text: Hidayah Idris