If asked to list my favourite daytime indulgences, a carefully put together afternoon tea would top the list. A close second would be a thoughtfully curated (quality over quantity) Sunday brunch with champagne or G&Ts. I am easy like that.
But I do have a weakness for afternoon tea. Besides, it effectively takes care of that dead space on your calendar – that time in the late afternoon when nothing gets done and it’s too early to put on the LBD.
Experience shows it’s easier to get friends to commit to a cup of tea in the afternoon - it clashes with, frankly, nothing else on the calendar. And with Bangkok officially opening up, these three-afternoon tea experiences need to be savoured.
Begin with tea for the fashionista at the Park Hyatt Bangkok. Do the cakewalk in your Jimmy Choos to the Living Room on level nine for this Jimmy Choo themed Afternoon Tea created by Executive Chef Christian Hinckley and his team. For a limited time only: Through November, until December 3, 2021 (THB1,000 ++ per person; Contact +66 2 012 1234, or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The delicate creations celebrate the brand’s iconic style and its permanent core collection of shoes and handbags. The sweet line-up includes coconut and mango cheesecake with sago and pandan, Lemon meringue cream puff with milk chocolate and yuzu, Dark sweet cherry vanilla cake with Irish cream, Passion fruit cake with almond marzipan and Peanut butter croquant with dark chocolate and champagne gelée. And, of course, classic scones.
The savoury chapter is just as delightful. I just love the Salmon Roe and sour cream brioche. The playful foie gras macaron with raspberry jam and hints of pepper is a pleasant surprise. A thick layer of foie gras sandwiched between two crunchy and chewy macrons; what’s not to love! The tiny Avruga Caviar Tartelette with green peas and the sweetness of dill flowers is quite a revelation. Then there’s that reimagined rarebit with parma ham, tomato tartare, burrata, and basil. All served with a fine selection of tea from Mariage Frères or illy coffee. Most tend to eat savoury first followed by sweet, but I prefer dodging between the two ends: one sweet, one savoury, one sweet, one savoury… till it’s all gone.
Siam Kempinski Throws a Tea Party
Over at Siam Kempinski, right through November, Executive Pastry Chef Franck Istel is inspired by all-time European classics for ‘Afternoon Tea at Kempinski – Flavours of the Greatest’. Ronnefeldt tea or coffee is paired with classic savouries and sweets at this tea ceremony which begins with savoury delicacies like the traditional ham and cheese sandwich, mini chèvre (goat cheese) cheesecake, Tasmanian smoked salmon canapé, mini lobster brioche, and smashed avocado with apricot compote, quail egg and caviar on toast.
The very considerable sweet end features strawberry pistachio choux, blueberry-white chocolate Chantilly macaroon, opera cake slice with espresso coffee cream and chocolate ganache, passion fruit and strawberry mini cubes scones (plain, raisin and Valrhona chocolate scones) and a deliciously soft lemon chiffon Gugelhupf cake. Plus, a refreshing housemade green apple sorbet.
Do speak to Tea Master Ging Nipaporn Hanwichai before deciding which Ronnefeldt tea you want to pair with your afternoon indulgence —served from 2 pm to 5 pm at the lobby lounge and Hanuman Bar (THB 990++ per person; +662 162 9000; email@example.com). The ‘Afternoon Tea at Kempinski – Takeaway Set’ is for THB 1,250+ per set and is paired with two servings of Ronnefeldt tea; 24-hour advance order.
The St. Regis Bangkok’s The Nature Lab
I am told that the St. Regis Bangkok’s new afternoon tea set – The Nature Lab – is packed with micronutrients. Glance through the menu, and ginger, pomegranate, lemongrass, turmeric, wheat germ, vitamin C form the backing track to the indulgence in store.
Served right through November, this sensory experience at The St. Regis Bar is paired not with tea or coffee but with healthy beverages in flasks and nutrient shots. Or opt for themed mocktails (at an extra THB 250++ per glass).
Savoury delights include Boston Lobster Salad paired with Tomato and Pomegranate Immunity Booster Shots, Norwegian Smoked Salmon Roulade with Herbal Cream, Shrimp with Spicy Tom Yum Sauce on brioche, Lemongrass Infused Chicken with Truffle Balsamic Mayonnaise and Seared Duck Breast with Orange and Ginger Dressing.
Antioxidant ginger takes the lead role in the sweet chapter with Lime Laser Ginger Chouxand Pineapple Ginger Cone with Wheat Grass Gel. In contrast, liquorice features in a Raspberry Mousse with Coconut Licorice Dacquoise.
The chef reimagines the scone too – Pistachio Yoghurt Scone and Chia Seed Scone served with caramel garlic spread. (THB 1,600++ per set including tea or coffee for two persons; +66 2207 7777, email firstname.lastname@example.org; 2pm – 5pm)