Posts Tagged ‘Afternoon tea’

Favourite foods to serve for your English Afternoon Tea Party

I have a soft spot for all things British, and I think there’s no better way to spend the weekend than partaking in a spot of afternoon tea. Unfortunately, while there may be cafes galore in Singapore, 2 or 3 hundred I heard, there are precious few places to enjoy a good English afternoon tea. Most of the 5-star hotels in Singapore offer afternoon tea, usually ala-carte on weekdays and buffet-style or all-you-can-eat ala-carte style on weekends, and these are usually costly affairs limited to special occasions.

I’ve been wanting to create my own afternoon tea at home. Been having this idea for several years actually! But since my return from New Zealand where I had a really good scone plus iced chocolate sitting in the gardens and facing some hills, the idea of throwing my own afternoon tea party has been rolling at the back of my mind. It’ll double up as my house-warming party too. Instead of the usual catered buffet of beehoon, fish-balls and stuff, what do you think of the idea of a afternoon tea housewarming party?

I was googling what I could serve for this tea party, and the options were plentiful! It took a little bit of effort to remind myself that a few dainty dishes would go a long way and it’s not about creating a Guinness world record in afternoon tea party dishes. I reckon 3 savouries, 2 scones, and 3 sweet treats would do the trick, just like what you would get in a 3-tiered tea service at the hotels.

Here’s my top picks on what to serve for the quintessential British afternoon tea party.

1. Plain scones with lashings of jam and clotted cream

theknollssconewithclottedcreamandjam

Scones are from my visit to The Knolls at Capella Sentosa

Every afternoon tea has got to have scones in the menu, otherwise, it just won’t be English afternoon tea! Here’s a recipe for plain scones from Mary Berry.

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Afternoon tea at W Singapore Sentosa Cove

When you think of what to do at Sentosa, you think of the sun, the sand and the sea. Yes there are plenty of beach activities to enjoy at Sentosa, but there are also quite a number of luxury and relaxation options too. One such option is to have afternoon tea at the new W Hotel on the Western side of Sentosa.

Of course, afternoon tea options are aplenty too on mainland Singapore, but you will see that W Hotel Singapore’s W T Time aka Drop the Ts presents many small surprises. Chef Matthew Woolford has taken care to put in creative touches such starting with the whimsical use of the birdcage to house the sweet items. We are told the inspiration stems from days of yesteryear where people would bring their songbird cages to the park. I believe you can still find that happening in parts of Chinatown.

W Singapore T Time - Afternoon Tea at W Hotel Singapore (2)

Well there’s all the sweet treats laid out on an open birdcage. Don’t mind the Partner there photo-bombing my photo.

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Fullerton Hotel Afternoon Tea at The Courtyard 2014

I love enjoying a spot of afternoon tea but I’ve been neglecting this ritual thanks to the numerous cafes that have been popping up and taking away our attention. Although both activities seem to be similar in nature, ie relax and chit chat over hot drinks, having afternoon tea strikes me as a much more relaxing affair, and usually more hassle free. Apart from the hotels, there are unfortunately no good afternoon tea places if you are looking for the quintessential English afternoon tea. I wonder who will be the next brave entrepreneur who will fill the gap in this market.

Interestingly, although we love the idea of having afternoon tea and think that it’s such a British affair, I’m not so sure if the Brits think of afternoon tea with such fondness. I do know of British colleagues who scoff at the conversation whenever somebody “mistakenly” states that the British like to have afternoon tea. Also, this idea of having afternoon tea only started to come about in the 1800s, when dinner began to be pushed further and further back from lunch time due to the availability of artificial lighting, resulting in a gap that needed to be filled.

Fullerton Hotel serves their afternoon tea via a three-tier afternoon tea set. The set is refillable, meaning you can order more of the items that you like. Each set also comes with 2 choices of tea, and of course unlimited top ups of hot water.

Fullerton Hotel Three Tier Afternoon Tea Stand (2)

This is the 3 tier afternoon tea set that will be served. The middle row aka the savoury row is always my favourite because I’m a savoury sort of person. I really love these dainty morsels, and they put you n such a good mood when you see them. If only I could have 2 rows of savoury, and just 1 row of sweet treats. Alas, despite 2 rows of cakes, they don’t have a super decadent chocolate cake, which in my world, is mandatory.

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The Terrace at Conrad Centennial Singapore

You know the cafe hopping scene is really heating up when even hotels join in the bandwagon! Check out The Terrace at Conrad Centennial Singapore. Although The Terrace is not officially known as a cafe, I think it has the trappings of one! You want coffee, cakes, pastries, sandwiches, croissants and macarons, they have it all! The best part is you can get hotel service, at cafe pricing.

Conrad Singapore Light bites

The Terrace offers outdoor seating, but I was told you can still sit indoors at The Lobby Lounge, which makes it feel as if you’re having afternoon tea, without having to go for the full buffet. If you’re at Millenia Walk checking out the new cafes there and they’re full (think Commune Cafe and Patisserie G, and Starbucks too for some odd reason), you now know that you can hop across the car park driveway to Conrad Hotel.

Conrad Singapore - Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch $11 nett (1)

Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch $11 nett

First, a picture to entice you to read further. Smile

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TWG Tea Salon at Marina Bay Sands

When TWG first opened in Singapore several years back, everyone was keen to go check out this gilded and Parisien looking tea salon. It was quite unlike all the other tea houses we have ever seen, not that there are many to begin with in Singapore! I for one was attracted by the tai tai look. But because prices were so steep, I just couldn’t bring myself to dine at TWG more than once. $45 for a tea set where you get less food than at a posh hotel, I would frankly rather have my tea at the hotel! IF, however you just purchase the loose leaf teas without any fancy packaging, ie basically the tea leaves are just packaged in a paper bag, that in itself is quite affordable.

TWG at Marina Bay Sands (3)

Recently, I went to check out TWG’s menu again and it seems that there are new additions to the menu. They still have the $40 plus dollars sets, which I find are not value for money. However, if you order the main courses or brunch dishes, those are pretty okay. For example:

  • Pan-seared sea bass $26
  • Marinated cod fish $28
  • Wagyu Steak $35
  • Grilled Chicken $26
  • Wagyu Burger $24
  • 3 mini-burgers $24

TWG - Eggs Benedict (Homemade toasted English muffins with 2 poached farmhouse eggs served with creamy hollandaise sauce and a choice of smoked salmon or turkey $19 (2)

Eggs Benedict (Homemade toasted English muffins with 2 poached farmhouse eggs served with creamy hollandaise sauce and a choice of smoked salmon or turkey $19

The Eggs Benedict was what I ordered, under the all day dining menu. These days my mind goes weak when I see eggs benedict on the menu, but not so long ago, it would have been the English Breakfast that I would have ordered as I wanted a bit of everything! The good thing about eggs benedicts are that they are not fried. I hope you like this egg porn picture because there are few food items that turn me on as much as a flowy yolky egg!

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