Asia's Finest Afternoon Teas
Few things are more pleasurable in life than traditional afternoon tea with loved ones in a special setting. Some of Asia's grandest hotels offer high teas to rival The Ritz, and indulging in one allows you to explore these iconic buildings even if not staying there. We have picked out a selection of heritage hotels spread across the Far East where you can enjoy a special afternoon tea.
• The Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai: Our pick of the afternoon tea offerings in Shanghai is at the Peace Hotel's Jasmine Lounge, with its Art Deco style and lively atmosphere replicating Shanghai in the roaring '20s. A resident jazz band plays on the weekends, with professional dancers on hand to spin you around the dance floor.
• Eastern & Oriental, Penang: Named after the year the iconic E&O Hotel was established, 1885 offers traditional afternoon tea in an elegant environment. Expect starched linens, silver service, and attentive staff to create an unforgettable experience.
• The Strand, Yangon: The Strand Hotel was the epicentre of colonial Rangoon (now Yangon), so for a nostalgic view of Burma in a bygone era we recommend high tea at the Strand Café. The striking black & white photographs of the country's monks and hill tribes contrast the marble and teak period features.
• The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok: Once an open roofed garden, the Authors' Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental is the place to enjoy afternoon tea in Bangkok, featuring photographs of the many famous writers who have stayed at the hotel. Choose from traditional or Thai tea sets which include home-made scones, finger sandwiches, savouries and sweet treats.
• Raffles Hotel, Phnom Penh: For those travelling in Cambodia, afternoon tea at the Raffles Hotel in Phnom Penh will be an indulgent treat in an oasis of calm. Tasty treats are served in the famous Elephant Bar on restaurant style tables, or on the balcony overlooking the lush tropical garden.
• Raffles, Singapore: Although the rest of the hotel is strictly off limits for non-residents, High Tea in The Raffles' Tiffin Room is an experience not to be missed whilst in Singapore! Served in the original building which dates from 1887, a decadent afternoon tea is accompanied by a soothing harpist.
• Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya: The fourth Sarkies Brothers' hotel, the Majapahit in Eastern Java serves afternoon tea in the 1910 café, consisting of fruit tartlets, samosas and grilled salmon sandwich on a three-tiered platter. After tea explore the impressive hotel gardens and marvel at the Dutch colonial-era architecture.
• The Peninsula, Hong Kong: For a flavour of the colonial style of British Hong Kong nowhere beats The Peninsula, Hong Kong's most iconic hotel. The classic afternoon tea is served daily in The Lobby, accompanied by a gentle string band, which includes freshly baked raisin scones with Devonshire clotted cream.