To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Charles Grey, and because taking tea is just such a chic thing to do, IT slipped on its prettiest twin set and went in search of five delightful tea experiences.
The Orchid Conservatory, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Is there a more delightful setting to sip tea and nibble treats than under a glass atrium with over a thousand exotic orchids providing a living backdrop?
This recently restored colonial-era gem in the heart of the Malaysian capital offers a traditional and comprehensive tea menu – with a few unique Malaysian tastes thrown in – that is almost incidental, it’s all about the setting; the colour, the dedication and effort, the exquisite beauty of it all.
The Eloise Tea, The Plaza Hotel, New York
This is too precious for words; a whole afternoon tea menu dedicated to the Plaza’s most famous resident, Eloise.
Served in the hotel’s iconic Palm Court, the menu caters to the teeny tiniest of tea aficionados with grilled cheese and organic peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, freshly baked seasonal scones, cookies, chocolate cupcakes, pink pink Jello and chocolate dipped strawberries, all washed down with cold cold pink pink lemonade or peppermint iced tea.
The Tiffin Room, Raffles Singapore
Hide away from the humidity and step into the luxuriant coolness of Raffles’ Tiffin Room, with its light and white interiors and colonial flourishes.
The room is perfectly complemented by the menu (traditional tea offerings, with dim sum and savoury options) and the attentive formal service. The best way to arrive at your table is past the regal turbanned doorman and through the gorgeous guests-only lobby (but you’ll need to book a room to experience this privilege).
The Duchess’ Tea Room, Woburn Abbey, England
It’s said to be the 7th Duke of Bedford’s wife, Duchess Anna Maria, who popularised the tradition of afternoon tea in the 1840s, ordering her staff to make dainty sweets to keep her friends replete between lunch and dinner when visiting Woburn Abbey.
Afternoon tea at The Duchess’ Tea Room is a pilgrimage of sorts for tea lovers who can enjoy finger sandwiches, scones and sweet cakes. What would we have done without the hospitable habits of Anna Maria?
Prêt-à-Portea, The Berkeley, London
Inspired by the colourful hurly-burly of the fashion world, Prêt-à-Portea serves up an ever-changing menu with delectable fancies inspired by celebrated designers: a Christian Louboutin chocolate biscuit (shaped like a shoe with the famed red sole), the Oscar de la Renta flirtatious summer pistachio sponge cake dress topped with poppy seed parfait and edible flower, and a Miu Miu exotic skin tote bag with chocolate pecan moelleux.
How absolutely fabulous, darling.