Afternoon Tea Review: The Raffles Hotel Singapore

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Venue:

The Raffles hotel is architecturally beautiful on a grand scale, and is arguably one of the most prestigious hotels in Singapore. The Raffles Hotel has been serving afternoon tea for more than 100 years. When my fiancé and I arrived, we were directed by a hotel attendant to que outside the Tiffin room- which is located around the corner from the entrance. The line was long, and it was terribly humid and wet.

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Service:

The service was wonderful. Upon arrival, a waiter took our drink orders immediately. I ordered a glass of Champagne and a pot of English Breakfast tea. My fiancé ordered a Singapore Sling and a coffee. The waiter came over again to explain to us the proceedings of the Raffles afternoon tea. The waiter also stated that we could order more food for our three tier stand if we ran out- which I though was very generous.

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I just love how Singaporeans have a real appreciation for designer bags. When I went to put my Louis Vuitton bag on the floor, a waiter came over promptly with a little stool and popped my bag on to it. Come on Perth, lift your game! Food and beverage service was regular and prompt. Overall, I found the staff to be friendly and obliging.

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Food:

Afternoon tea tea at the Raffles hotel is served semi buffet style. A three tier is presented to each table with a selection of sandwiches and petite desserts. The buffet table features a dim dum selection, and a variety of scones (including one savoury variety), cakes and fresh fruit. The sandwiches and scones were fresh and tasty, however I didn’t particular like the sweets on offer, but that really comes down to personal choice.

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Overall Experience:

Is it the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had? No. But if you’re a high tea lover like myself, then I recommend that you make a reservation for the Raffles hotel next time you go to Singapore, as it is the most iconic place in Singapore to enjoy afternoon tea. Reservations book up fast, so make sure you book a few months in advance.

The Raffles Hotel Singapore

Afternoon Tea is served in the Tiffin Room 3:00pm – 5:30pm daily

1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673

Bookings Are Essential Via Website:

dining.singapore@raffles.com

http://www.raffles.com/singapore/

 

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Afternoon Tea Review: W Hotel

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The W Hotel is located in Leicester Square in the heart of the West End.
The W Hotel offers an awesome, music inspired afternoon tea.
I ended up finding time in our already busy schedule to book this one, because it looked like it would be a lot of fun.

Venue:
The decor in W Hotel lounge is very gentleman friendly. I think it is safe to say that my partner was actually impressed with the look of the venue. I would describe the decor as polished, modern, stylish and with a glam rock inspired charm. In the foyer of the W lounge, just outside of the elevators, is a mass of incredible looking disco balls. This gorgeous feature really adds a glamorous touch to the entrance of the lounge and bar. It also ties in nicely with the music inspired theme of the hotel. When my partner and I walked through the lounge, we observed the massive wall of collectors plates featuring the images of various famous musicians. Not unlike the disco balls, it gives the lounge area an impressive wow factor.

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We were escorted to our table in a spacious area in the corner of the restaurant, and facing a window overlooking Leicester Square. We were seated on a big comfortable couch, which was relaxed and fit with the informal theme of the afternoon tea. Our table was adorned with polished silver tea ware and simple white crockery.
I especially loved the tea pot!

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Service:
The service in the W Hotel lounge was quite good. As soon as we were seated, a hostess took our drinks order and confirmed my dietary requirements. Our hostess was particularly busy, however she managed to stop by regularly to ask if we were enjoying everything, and to see if we needed anything else. Both my partner and I felt that the service we received was both prompt and friendly.

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Food:
For drinks, I ordered my usual pot of English breakfast tea, and my partner ordered his usual coffee.

Our food arrived promptly after we received our beverages. Our hostess explained to us that each item on the three tier stand is inspired by a famous song.

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Of course, as always, we started with the finger sandwiches and the scones.
The hostess recommended that we begin with the scones, as they were fresh out of the oven. My partner started eating his ‘Rule Britannia’ scones first, and I tucked into the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ inspired sandwiches. My vegetarian sandwich fillings included: egg mayonnaise, red peppers and mushroom, cheese, tomato and lettuce, and avocado and sweet onion. My partners standard selection included: egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and Greek yogurt and roast chicken and lemon butter. The sandwiches were tasty, however the bread was a little on the dry side.

The scones were warm and buttery, and were filled with raisins. Not as fluffy as how I usually prefer my scones to be, however they did taste delicious with the strawberry jam and clotted cream.

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I must admit, the sweets were what I was looking forward to the most. One glance at the menu, and my taste buds went into overdrive. Plus I thought it was really cool how each individual piece was inspired by a song title.
The varieties included:
‘Sticky Fingers’ described as vanilla meringue with attitude.
‘Sweet Emotion’ a delicate chocolate sweet with a strong taste of passion fruit.
‘Every Rose Has A Thorn’ was a rose flavoured fancier with rose petal jam on the inside.
‘Purple Haze’ was a purple and white sponge with marzipan icing. Not a fan of marzipan, so I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.
My favourite was the ‘Cherry Bomb’, chocolate and cherry with a strong hint of mascarpone, and dome shaped in appearance.
My other favourite was the ‘London’s Burning’ mousse, a decadent chocolate pudding with a hazelnut crunch.

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Overall Experience:
Overall, my partner and I enjoyed our rock inspired afternoon tea at W Hotel.
I left London bound for Australia that evening, so it was a great way to wrap up my afternoon tea experiences in London.
The ambience of the lounge was nice, and there was a pleasant odour coming from the bar area. There was soft music playing in the background, which to my surprise wasn’t from the rock genre! The venue is spacious and there is plenty of room for patrons. I really liked the music inspired venue, I thought the food was delicious, and we received friendly service. W Hotel is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Leicester Square, especially if you have male company!

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W Hotel
Afternoon Tea is served daily, between 2pm and 5pm.
£25 per person.
Add £10 for a Hendrix Gin Martini.
Please note that a discretionary service charge of 12.5% is added to the bill.
Bookings are Essential.
Reservations can be made via the W Hotel website: http://www.wlondon.co.uk/en/w-hotel-bar
Or by Telephone: +44 (0)20 7758 1000
Address: 10 Wardour St Leicester Square, London.

Afternoon Tea Review: The Ritz Hotel London

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The Ritz Hotel in London is often regarded as the ultimate and finest afternoon tea institution in the world, and is a member of the prestigious Tea Guild.
The Ritz Hotel first opened its doors in 1906, and has since been frequented by many celebrities and important public figures.
I always envisioned attending The Ritz later in life accompanied by my best friend, however as it turned out, my partner was transferred by his company to work in London for six months, so when the opportunity presented itself I didn’t hesitate to make a reservation. Firstly, I must warn you that if you are wishing to make an afternoon tea reservation at The Ritz, you must book at least 2-3 months in advance. Afternoon tea sittings fill up fast, and it can be rather difficult to get the time and date of your choice.

Venue:
I think it is fair to say that the venue speaks for itself.

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Afternoon tea is served in the Palm Court section of the hotel,
What words can I use to describe the decor of The Ritz Hotel London?
Elegant, sophisticated, traditional, regal, stunning, historical, posh, classic and prestigious are the adjectives that come to mind when I think of how to describe this gorgeous establishment.

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Beautiful high, decorative ceilings, stunning crystal chandeliers, columns made from marble, polished floors and golden touches. The Ritz Hotel London is truly fit for a king.

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Our table was decorated in a way that you would expect from The Ritz; besutifuk high quality linen, dainty crockery, polished silver and traditional tea ware. Elegant and traditional were the first two words that popped into my mind when I sat down at our table.

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Service:
Unfortunately, for the purposes of an honest review, I cannot continue to discuss how beautiful the venue is. Instead I must move on to what I regard as terrible service. I was very disappointed with the service at The Ritz. Firstly, I felt that service we received was impersonal. My partner remarked that it felt like the waiters didn’t care about us. Unfortunately I have to agree with him. Our tea and coffee arrived 45 minutes after we ordered it, and we had to ask staff multiple times where it was, and when it would be coming. Our scones didn’t arrive until an hour after being seated, and by the time we received them, we didn’t feel like eating them anyway. Lastly, when my partner eventually received the coffee he ordered, the handle of the mug was far too hot to touch, and therefore he was unable to drink it. He was quite upset about this because not only had he waited 45 minutes for it, but he was thirsty and needed a drink. Once again, he waited about 20 minutes for the cup to cool down. When it still hadn’t cooled down, I managed to flag down a waiter. I asked the waiter if there was anything he could do for my partner because the cup was too hot to handle. The waiter’s reply to me was very condescending; as he then picked up the cup, looked at my partner and said “there is nothing I can do, maybe you need to wait for it to cool down?” My poor partner then asked for a glass of water instead, before the waiter simply just walked off. We had very minimal interaction with the waiters. One of the waiters explained the selection of food on the three-tier stand to us, and another waiter poured my tea. For a prestigious establishment such as The Ritz, I would have expected a very high quality of service.

Food:
I am pleased to report that the food was delicious.
For drinks, we had a glass of champagne each. From the tea menu, I selected The Ritz Royal Blend, while my partner ordered a latte. I thoroughly enjoyed my tea, and I highly recommend it.

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The finger sandwiches were tasty and the bread was fresh. There were also different varieties of bread on offer; including white, rye onion and caraway. My vegetarian fillings included: cheddar cheese and tomato, cheddar cheese and chutney, egg mayonnaise, hommus, and tomato and salad. My partner’s selection included: ham with grain mustard mayonnaise, egg mayonnaise, cucumber with cream cheese, Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter, and chicken breast with horseradish cream. We received an ample amount of sandwiches (12 each!). A waiter also came around to offer us some more. I think they should offer guests a different savoury option, such as a quiche or a tart. Otherwise people fill up too quickly on bread.

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The scones were the last to arrive, and I am happy to report that they were well worth the wait. They were warm and fresh, and light and fluffy. The clotted cream and strawberry jam were the perfect accompaniment to what I now regard as the best scones that I have ever tasted.

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The sweets on offer were sensational. If I took anything away from this experience, it’s that those sweets were to die for! Unfortunately there were only four varieties, and one of each (except for the two macarons). This meant that everything had to be cut in half. However, they were all so delicious that I just couldn’t share them with my partner! (Horrible, I know!) There was one passion fruit and coconut tart, one chocolate cake, one vanilla slice and two
salted caramel macarons. My favourite was the vanilla slice, however that passion fruit and coconut tart was simple incredible!

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Last but not least, at the end of the sitting, a waiter with a cart went around to each table and offered a choice of two cakes. Unfortunately I cannot remember the first option, but I chose the second option which was a slice of lemon drizzle cake. It was a lovely moist cake with a nice hit of lemon zest.

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Overall Experience:
The ambience of The Ritz hotel was wonderful. The sounds of the pianist and the string quartet filled the room and added to the posh image projected by the hotel.

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When I looked around, I noticed that everyone was wearing their finest garments; men in their suits and ties, and ladies in their gorgeous frocks.
Overall, I was impressed with the absolutely stunning venue, and the quality and taste of the food, however the service was lacklustre, and I feel that this is just totally unacceptable for The Ritz. Despite my poor experience with the service, I still recommend making a reservation if you are determined to have The Ritz experience. However, I don’t think The Eitz even comes close to making the cut for the number one afternoon tea venue in the world. As I previously mentioned in my most recent review of The Royal Horseguards hotel, service is imperative in hospitality and can have a profound impact on one’s afternoon tea experience. I feel that The Ritz needs to work on this.

The Ritz Hotel London
Afternoon Tea is served daily, with sittings at 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
£47 Traditional Afternoon Tea
£59 Champagne Afternoon Tea
£58 Celebration Afternoon Tea (with Birthday Cake)
£74 Celebration Afternoon Tea (with Champagne)
Please note that there is a discretionary charge of 12.5% that is added to the bill.
Please note that there is also a strict dress code.
Bookings are Essential.
Reservations can be made via The Ritz website: http://www.theritzlondon.com/tea.html
Or by Telephone: +44 (0)20 7300 2345
Address: 150 Piccadilly, London. W1J 9BR

Afternoon Tea Review: London Hilton Park Lane

Afternoon Tea at London Hilton Park Lane was one of the afternoon teas that I looked forward to the most. If you look up afternoon tea photos from the London Hilton Park lane you will notice how incredibly delicious, colourful and fun it looks. The hotel overlooks the lush green scenery of Hyde Park, is nestled in the heart of Mayfair, and is only a short distance from Buckingham Palace.

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Venue:
Afternoon tea is held in the Podium bar and restaurant, which is located just inside the lobby area of the hotel. The decor of the restaurant is quite elegant. The restaurant has a beautiful high decorative ceiling, the lighting is soft and subtle, and the furnishings include beige leather seats and polished wooden tables. We were seated towards the back of the restaurant, at a window table overlooking Hyde Park.

Our table was dressed in a simple manner: white tea ware and napkins, silver cutlery, and taupe coloured place mats.

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Service:
The service was totally faultless. Our hostess was very obliging and she attended to our every need. When we were seated, she kindly explained the menu to us, took our drink orders and double checked my dietary requirements. She even asked us if we were happy with the sandwich varieties on offer, or whether we wanted different fillings. That was a first for me, and I though that our hostess went above and beyond what is expected of traditional afternoon tea service. We were made to feel welcome, and this is something that I feel doesn’t happen as frequently as it should in hospitality. My partner and I never had to wait for anything and the service was always so prompt. We didn’t have a problem trying to get the attention of our hostess either.

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Food:
I’m going to start off by mentioning that my partner and I skipped breakfast that morning. Our high tea reservation was for 1pm, so as you can imagine, we were feeling fairly hungry by that time of the day. We were given an ample amount of food. In fact, our hostess even asked us if we wanted more sandwiches, and then asked us if we wanted more scones. I can assure you that by the end of our sitting we felt as though we were in a food coma!

The Podium bar and restaurant is currently offering The Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, and that’s the one we selected… Wow, where do I start?

For drinks, I ordered the Hilton Royal English Blend, while my partner ordered a Latte. He also remarked that it was the best coffee that he has had so far in the UK.

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The open sandwiches were the first to arrive. I am pleased to report that they were both fresh and delicious.
The non-vegetarian toppings included: smoked salmon and horseradish, honey roast ham and mustard, prawn cocktail and lettuce, cucumber and cream cheese, and egg with cress. While my vegetarian toppings included: mozzarella and tomato, and egg with cress.

My Vegetarian Selection
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My Partner’s Non-Vegetarian Selection
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The scones arrived on the three tier stand, and let me tell you, they were absolutely incredible! We received a selection of chocolate chip, raisin, and plain scones. They were warm, fresh, soft, light and fluffy- the perfect scones. The chocolate chip scones were a real treat, and because they were warm, when you cut it open, the chocolate chips had started to melt. The result was simply heavenly. The accompaniments included clotted cream, strawberry jam and an amazing praline chocolate spread.

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Usually, after eating scones I always struggle with the ability to eat anything else. However, with this particular afternoon tea, I knew that I just needed to persevere, pace myself, and at least attempt to eat some of the tantalising looking sweets that were staring at me on the top tier. On offer was a tier of petite cupcakes: blueberry, white chocolate, chocolate mousse and pistachio. The white chocolate cupcake was the star of the show. It was the most delicious cupcake I have ever tasted in my life! The cupcakes were all so decadent and moist, and were an absolute delight.

The Most Amazing Cupcakes I’ve Ever Tasted!
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The top tier consisted of the ultimate chocoholic’s delight!
Even the board with the sweets on it was made from chocolate!
The sweets included a blueberry whoopee pie, a lemon cheesecake, a chocolate macaron, a really cute meringue lolly pop covered in sprinkles, an iced biscuit with a milk chocolate cremeux filling and a chocolate cake with a gorgeous decorative chocolate on top. I honestly couldn’t fault any of it, as it was all too delightful.

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Of course, there was no way that we could eat it all. Our hostess offered us this beautiful take home box for our left over goodies.

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Overall Experience:
My overall experience of afternoon tea at London Hilton Park Lane was wonderful and I absolutely recommend it. The ambience was both pleasant and very relaxing. There was soft music playing in the background, and we managed to get in before the lunch rush, so it neither busy nor noisy. The venue, the service and the food was all impeccable and totally faultless. I had such a lovely experience here, and if I ever make another trip to London I will definitely be returning to London Hilton Park Lane for afternoon tea.

London Hilton Park Lane
Afternoon Tea is served Monday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 7pm.
£36 Confessions of a Chocoholic
£46 with a glass of Pommery Champagne
A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will also be added to the bill.
Bookings are Essential.
Reservations can be made via the London Hilton Park Lane website: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london-hilton-on-park-lane-LONHITW/dining/podium-restaurant-and-bar.html
Or by Telephone: +44 (0)20 7208 4022
Address: 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE