We’re spillin’ the tea on where to go for the best cuppa.
By Ashima Sethi
Living in a city like Bangkok, it can be difficult to find any downtime. Between being stuck in Sukhumvit traffic on the weekdays, to packing the weekends with social outings, sitting down and taking a moment to breathe is a rare occasion for many. I think this is a big reason why the concept of having ‘high tea’ is actually quite romantic. You’re treating yourself to a slow afternoon of sipping on delicious tummy-warming drinks, nibbling on bite-sized treats, all while accompanied by some of the people you love most. If you’re seeking this respite and are looking to indulge in a memorable high tea, here are some of our favourites.
THE AUTHOR’S LOUNGE, THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL
The Author’s Lounge (pictured in featured photo) is undoubtedly one of the most famous places in the city to have high tea as it exudes a very special old world charm. The lounge is a tribute to the many famous writers who have stayed at the hotel since the late nineteenth century, which has drawn in a lot of visitors who wish to have tea in the same lounge as their favourite artists. The lounge offers three sets. The first is the Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea, which takes inspiration from Japan, the fresh seafood, and Sakura season. The second is the Oriental Afternoon Tea, which incorporates a lot of Thai flavours; and finally the Vegan and Gluten-free Afternoon Tea, which is perfect for those who have dietary restrictions.
Price: THB 1,500++ per person; THB 2,200++ for the set and a glass of Champagne
For more information visit www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok
THE HOUSE ON SATHORN
Paii at The House on Sathorn does a truly unique Thai-style afternoon tea that offers both savoury and sweet items. The spread reflects the restaurant’s take on modern Thai cuisine and includes delights such as the mixed seafood yellow curry tart, grilled pork neck burger with larb mayo, tamarind eclairs, lemongrass-sago caneles, pistachio jasmine macarons, and more. Beyond just the food, you can enjoy your pots of tea (all sets include your choice of two pots of TWG tea) on the terrace for a special al fresco experience.
Price: THB 1,450++ for the Heritage Afternoon Tea Set; THB 1,990++ for the Madam Staro Afternoon Tea Set that also includes two cocktails; THB 4,000++ for the Hotel Royal Afternoon Tea Set that includes two glasses of Champagne.
For more information visit www.paiibangkok.com
THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOK AT CHAO PHRAYA RIVER
If you find yourself riverside and in need of a few hours of lounging, look no further than The Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. Their afternoon tea is hosted in the lobby lounge, which has open views over the beautiful property, as well as indoor-outdoor seating options. The tea offers a mix of both savoury and sweet delicacies that take inspiration from French patisserie. Highlights include a foie gras mille feuille with fig, a white asparagus and herb tartlet with char roe and lemon, a smoked salmon sphere with white chocolate, lime and oscietra caviar, and a jasmine tea ganache paired with a mango compote and almonds.
Price: THB 1,450++ per person
For more information visit www.fourseasons.com/bangkok/
YÃO RESTAURANT, BANGKOK MARRIOTT HOTEL THE SURAWONGSE
For a unique Chinese-inspired take on afternoon tea, head to YÃo Restaurant. Head Chef Bruce Hui has introduced ‘yum cha,’ which pairs aromatic teas with a selection of homemade dim sum to uplift the spirit and senses during a relaxing afternoon. The set includes several savoury items including shrimp shu mai, xiao long bao, pan-fried turnip cakes with XO sauce, abalone in golden soup, and more. The set also includes desserts, such as custard puff pastry and sago with coconut milk and cantaloupe. As the hotel is centrally located, you can tuck into these delights with views of the city skyline for a memorable afternoon.
Price: THB 1,888++ per person, per set.
For more information visit www.yaobangkok.com
TEA LOUNGE, CAPELLA BANGKOK
The city’s most luxurious riverside property offers an equally as luxurious high tea that is served in their designated tea lounge, which boasts views of the Chao Phraya and the calming lily ponds that frame the property. The lounge offers a list of premium teas, herbal and floral infused teas, as well as all the classics. On the menu are a mix of savoury delights and items crafted by Executive Pastry Chef, Sylvain Constans that are served from the dessert trolley. Examples of what you can expect include prosciutto with tuna tartar, chives and cured egg yolk; Taraba crab with herb remoulade, cucumber, and citrus on a flax seed wafer; a hazelnut sponge paired with jasmine cream and a passion Chantilly; and a chocolate Earl Grey tart.
Price: THB 3,000++ for two; THB 1,000 more for Champagne
For more information visit capellahotels.com/en/capella-bangkok
HANUMAN BAR, SIAM KEMPINSKI HOTEL BANGKOK
Nestled inside the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, Hanuman Bar is the perfect place to meet up and relax with your loved ones. Their summer-inspired afternoon tea draws inspiration from the English afternoon tea tradition, but infuses Asian elements to create a fusion menu. Offering a mix of sweet and savoury, the tea features delicacies like a vanilla and pineapple tartlet with coconut whipped cream; an assortment of scones served with housemade jams, lemon curd, and clotted cream; lobster and prawn canapes; a caramelised onion and bacon tart with shaved manchego, and more. For drinks, the hotel has a list of Ronnefeldt teas that have been exclusively blended for the property.
Price: THB 1,290 per set.
For more information visit www.kempinski.com/en/bangkok/siam-hotel
THE LOBBY LOUNGE, THE ANANTARA SIAM BANGKOK HOTEL
Having high tea at The Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel is an experience worth ticking off the list. As one of the most beautiful properties in the city, it boasts a sprawling lobby lounge area and indoor koi pond where you can indulge in one of their specially-curated tea sets. Apart from their classic selection, the hotel often collaborates with high profile people to do themed sets. Ongoing at the moment is their House of Glamour Afternoon Tea in partnership with Christian Develter and Tube Gallery, which offers a mix of sweet and savoury treats like salmon mousse curry with nori cracker; a chicken butter puri served with onion boom, pesto and mint jelly; and sous vide duck in a crispy sandwich.
Price: THB 1,950++ per set for two.
For more information visit www.anantara.com/en/siam-bangkok