Afternoon tea began as a tradition in earnest in England’s 19th century, as a means to while away the hours—and burgeoning appetites—between lunch and dinner. Singapore, however, plays on a wholly separate level when it comes to high teas, having raised the bar by reinventing and elevating classic treats (quite literally, when it comes to the multi-tiered cake stands that those delicacies come served upon).
There’s no algorithm better than one’s own tastes by which to judge the standard of an afternoon tea, so we have no suggestion more expansive than to sample every afternoon tea set in Singapore. If that’s an impossibility (and it almost certainly is), Vogue Singapore has taken the liberty of compiling some of our absolute favourite high tea offerings. From cucumber sandwiches to fruit tarts to the absolutely indispensable scone, cream, and jam combination, here are a few celebrated spots where you can sate your sweet (and savoury) tooth.
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The Grand Lobby’s Afternoon Tea, Raffles Singapore
Travel from the Lion City to the capital of Austria without ever leaving your ornate chair—Raffles’ historic Grand Lobby, in addition to its mainstay Classic Afternoon Tea, has introduced a Viennese tea for the rest of the year. Executive pastry chef Tai Chien Lin has crafted a delightful selection of classic Austrian treats, including spins on Vienna sandwiches, lobster crostini, and rich chocolate Sacher cakes. Pair it with Raffles’ custom-blended coffee or Mariage Frères premium tea.
Guests can also choose from a range of specially curated cocktails, including the elderflower-saffron Eighteen Sixty Seven, apricot-peach Tea Time Radler, and spiced rum Rumptopf Milk Punch. After Vienna moves on from Singapore, diners can also look forward to Raffles’ Festive Afternoon Tea in December
The Vienna Afternoon Tea will run from 14 October to 16 December
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The Floating World Ukiyo High Tea, 2am:dessertbar
After a successful collaboration bringing a Cakes of Versailles High Tea to life at their intimate Holland Village restaurant-bar, 2am:dessertbar and Janice Wong are back for another spectacular high tea experience. This time, working with Singapore-based contemporary womenswear label Ong Shunmugam, they have lovingly put together a set menu based around Asian dining table rituals.
Expect soba noodles, passionfruit tarts, and miso pork dumplings; taking inspiration from Shunmugam’s new collection of Suvarnabumi porcelain, Wong has crafted a delectable culinary experience she calls “Ukiyo” or “the floating world.” This concept embodies mindfulness without stress, a perfect balm for the modern era. With travel likely off the cards for the remainder of the year, Wong and her collaborators invite guests on a journey to experience a little taste of Japan.
The Floating World Ukiyo menu will run from 14 November to 6 December
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Brasserie Les Saveurs, The St. Regis Singapore
St. Regis’ magnificent French restaurant, Brasserie Les Saveurs, is more evocative of a classical era than our own. Fitting, then, that its high tea should be as refined and traditional as its setting. The fresh bakes of signature scones, madeleines, and financiers gradually give way to sweet indulgences like the Lychee Ganache Macaron, Vanilla Rose Tartlet, and Coconut Mousse with Praline Cream and Yuzu Cremeux. Served with an array of fruit curds and jams, the sweet platter is complemented by its savoury cousin, which presents guests with choices like Lobster Brioche with Caviar and Cured Salmon Pumpernickel Bread with Salmon Roe. Exclusive teas, custom coffees, and a house champagne are also on offer to pair with your silver two-tiered afternoon meal.
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The Landing Point, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
The Fullerton prides itself on taking care of a guest’s every need, and its afternoon tea isn’t exempt from that value-oriented policy. Offering options for gluten-free, non-dairy, vegan, and vegetarian dining, The Landing Point’s afternoon tea can be enjoyed whilst overlooking a panoramic sweep of Marina Bay. Between taking in the interior marble mosaics and the exterior waterfront, choose a tea menu and prepare for indulgence.
Until 31 October, The Fullerton is offering a Pink Afternoon Tea in support of awareness for breast cancer, with delicacies like the Coconut Pandan Lamington and Yoghurt Mango Passion Pavlova accompanying the savoury menu’s Maple Glaze Tea Smoked Duck with Blueberry Bread, Corned Beef and Pickled Quail Egg, and Smoked Tasmanian Salmon. From November, The Landing Point will launch a special Best of Both Worlds Tea. Featuring a collaboration with Singaporean-Australian Masterchef Audra Morrice, the Both Worlds menu boasts bold flavours from culturally-blended dishes like Beef Rendang Pot Pie and Kueh Pie Tee.
The Landing Point serves tea 3-5pm Monday to Friday, and in two seatings from 12-6pm on weekends and public holidays
The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178
Reservations: 6877 8911 / [email protected] / Online
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ATLAS Afternoon Tea, ATLAS Bar
ATLAS Bar may be best-known for its afterhours drinks and heady atmosphere, but in the afternoons its chefs are also well-equipped to whip up a medley of sweet and savoury bites alongside your choice of tea. From Milk Oolong to Huoshan Yellow Bud, Aromatherapy in a Cup to Doke Diamond, you’ll be spoiled for choice, and that’s only amongst the beverages. Brown butter scones, passionfruit cheesecakes, and banana cream pies abound at the Bar six days a week, as do pumpkin quiches, truffled eggs, and smoked salmon. ATLAS’ Afternoon Tea is late-night Singapore’s worst-kept secret—much to every tea-lover’s delight.
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Tea Lounge, Regent Singapore
The Regent hopes to harken back to that most quintessential of English customs: that of a simple, refined afternoon tea. With its Afternoon Tea and Weekend High Tea sets, the hotel seems to have easily cinched that lofty aspiration. Taking its cue from the rolling hills of the English countryside, the Tea Lounge serves up dainty sandwiches alongside some of the finest teas in the country. Whether your palate tends more towards Beetroot and Goat Cheese Mousse Tarts or Candied Ginger Cinnamon Scones, you’ll come away with your thirst for a fully-serviced, finely-tuned high tea experience. Also recently introduced has been the #TakeRegentHome afternoon tea set, a 3-tier set of finger sandwiches, pastries, and other desserts available for takeaway or delivery.
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SKAI High Tea, Swissotel The Stamford
Swissotel’s lively grill restaurant SKAI situated on the hotel’s 70th floor, iconic city views are sure to partner nicely with its afternoon High Tea. With a choice of five teas specially selected by TWG connoisseurs, the Tea’s menu offers up Kaviari Oscietre Caviar alongside Sautéed Mushroom Quiches, Foie Gras, Sesame Coux Puffs, and Raspberry Pistachios Sables. Madagascar Vanilla Scones can be lavishly slathered with Devonshire Cream, Strawberry Marmalade, or Oriental Orange Jam. Only at SKAI can guests nest among the clouds as they tuck into one of Singapore’s most exquisite and intoxicating high teas.