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Best afternoon tea around the world? Well, it’s just about 4:00 PM and it’s time for afternoon tea. No not high tea, afternoon tea. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t it high tea? Great question and I’m so glad you asked. In short, afternoon tea is the fancier of the two with cakes, scones, and sandwiches and lighter fare whereas high tea was meant as a heartier meal for the after work crowd had at a “high” table or bar.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram or have read some of my other blogs, you know by now that I grew up in the Bahamas. The Bahamas was under English rule and to this day many customs and traditions observed there originate from England. So, tea time was part of my upbringing.
What I want to talk about here is that fancy type of tea, the afternoon tea. If I’m honest, I still have my tea in the afternoon most days which should not confused with afternoon tea where I dress up, meet the girls and spend time “spilling tea” over scrumptious delights. Afternoon tea can range from the just ok to the sublime. Let me share the where and why these five are some of my favorites.
Across from Central Park with views of the horse drawn carriages and the hustle and bustle of New York, it’s the respite of the day where you feel a part of something special. You’ll find the afternoon tea in The Palm Court. They have a “Smart casual dress code” so jeans and sneakers aren’t really welcome.
Go ahead, dress up nice, with your perfect accessories and show off a bit in what is one of New York’s signature locations. Depending on your appetite the menus range from $89 for the “New Yorker Tea” (add a glass of champagne and it bumps up to $109), and the “Champagne Tea” where the food is elevated to include a bit of lobster, and caviar at $119 (a glass of bubbles included). Then the “Grand Imperial Tea” with elevated champagne (Moet or Dom) and caviar (20 grams worth) with a different set of pastries, etc. for $550 for two. Do make a reservation since afternoon tea there is very popular, especially with the “ladies who lunch” crowd.
At the Sanderson, you’re transported to the world of Lewis Carroll in a flight of fancy and whimsy. The beauty is in the details from the place settings to the actual treats. They certainly take cues from the story and you’ll see those cues in just about everything you see and eat. You’ll find the menus within vintage books.
Before you know it, you’ll find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole. Especially with the Mad Hatter’s Tipsy Evening Tea (£58 per person although the basic tea will cost you £40 per person).
The treats are delicious and a feast for the eyes but it’s really about the ambiance and letting yourself be part of the story. Quail eggs and salmon on the savory side, delicately prepared pasties and chocolates and of course don’t forget the scones on the sweet. Do you dare take from the “Drink Me” bottle? Just kidding, it’s all in good fun and absolutely delicious all the way around.
Firstly, this one is near and dear to my heat. I used to live in Bal Harbour and the St Regis was just a short walk away so I would come here often to sit with friends and enjoy the amazing and elegant atmosphere, while noshing on delectable epicurean delights. The St Regis sits between Collins Avenue and the beach. It’s the kind of place where it’s clear from the moment you enter that you stepped into something elevated.
Afternoon tea is between 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Be sure you make a reservation since it’s served in a somewhat limited space. This also means it’s intimate so you won’t have to try and overpower a DJ. Starting at 3:00pm a musician comes and plays piano and elevates the scene ever just so. Fancy and fashionable it sets itself apart from some other more traditional teas. You won’t find dark wood and heavy leather furnishings but instead, clean, modern style that is chic, tropical and, and comfortable all at the same time. Afternoon tea is $50 USD per person sans alcohol. Compared to some others it’s reasonable and you get a full pot of tea per person, and good amounts of treats, but the experience is really what it’s about.
This one is a bit different in that it’s not open to the general public and instead is part of your stay if you’re in a club level accommodation. With Club level access you’re welcome to come morning, noon, and evening and enjoy food, tea, and an open wine bar with some spirits included. This for me is quintessential Mandarin Oriental at it’s best. Of course, the views from the Club are one of a kind with The Petronas Twin Towers on one side and KLCC park on the other. Enjoy the dancing waters in the park that light up at night. It’s calm, serene and elegant.
This version of an afternoon tea makes my list because of how the menu sometimes varies. Based on the time of year, you might have treats shaped like snowmen or hearts for Valentines. At ~$30 USD it’s one of the less expensive options. That doesn’t mean that this is anything less that a sumptuous journey for the palate. Anantara fuses Asian and western dishes, in a gorgeous setting. The Anantara Siam (formerly the Four Seasons), is old school elegance and charm. The treats range from the traditional to the experimental, and if you find yourself in the Ratchaprasong neighborhood at tea time, it’s a lovely place to rest and recharge after a day of sightseeing or shopping.
If you could go anywhere around the world, where would your bes afternoon tea be?
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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