At the risk of reinforcing a stereotype about Brits, we can all admit that tea time is nothing short of a sacred institution. Tea is an everyday beverage with supernatural qualities: a healer of broken hearts, a mark of unconditional hospitality, and a leveller of playing fields (the Queen needs her cuppa just as much as the next person). So it’s no surprise that we wanted to put together a little something in honour of National Afternoon Tea Week. If not for the tea itself, stay for the delicate finger sandwiches, the scones slathered in jam, and the colourful cakes. Without further ado, here are some of our favourite hotels around the world for Afternoon Tea.
Afternoon Tea at The Plaza, New York
It’s hard to find a hotel in the Big Apple more synonymous with Afternoon Tea than The Plaza. This luxury Midtown stalwart lives up to its plush location on Central Park South, having hosted iconic guests for over a century. Choose between two adult menus – The New Yorker Tea or Champagne Tea – both of which feature classics such as beef and horseradish sliders, fruit tartlets and freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream and house-made preserves. Even little ones are made to feel ten feet tall under the towering glass roof of the Plaza’s Palm Court. Children under 12 receive their very own menu, tweaked to perfection for the younger palate.
Afternoon Tea at Raffles Singapore
This landmark hotel with its imposing colonial-style façade and landscaped gardens is the perfect spot for an elevated slice of home from home. Following a recent renovation, guests are now invited to take Afternoon Tea in the hotel’s Grand Lobby. And yes, judging by the size of the chandelier in there, the word ‘grand’ seems pretty fitting. Soak up your chic surroundings or zero in on your three-tiered silver stand laden with edible treasures, complete with miniature desserts and savoury sandwiches. Just try to resist raising your little finger as you sip on a selection of expertly curated teas and champagne – it’s damn near impossible.
Afternoon Tea at The Palace, Downtown Dubai
In a city already renowned internationally for extraordinary tastes, it’s not hard to see why the Afternoon Tea has well and truly taken off. Palace Downtown’s lobby lounge, Al Bayt, is a must-try for chai chuggers and scone scoffers alike. With its hanging lanterns, deep red furnishings and gold embellishments, Al Bayt gives off an Aladdin’s Cave vibe. Along with a striking view of the Burj Khalifa, the crowning jewel of the experience is a central buffet table laden with treats and bright floral arrangements. After a welcome cocktail, guests are encouraged to help themselves to unlimited pastries, sandwiches, juices and teas accompanied by live music. We’ll definitely drink to that.
Afternoon Tea at Carlisle Bay, Antigua
This one is a bit of a curveball, but we couldn’t go without mentioning the Afternoon Tea at Carlisle Bay in Antigua. Not only is daily Afternoon Tea complimentary for every guest at this charming resort, but you also have the luxury of deciding where you’ll enjoy it. That’s right: your cup of tea, selection of savouries, and dainty cakes can be delivered on a platter straight to your sun lounger. There is certainly something to be said about sipping from fine china under the swaying palms, on a breezy veranda, or even from your suite. Location, location, location.
Afternoon Tea at Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa
Set at the foot of Table Mountain, this classical candy-coloured resort puts on an otherworldly display. The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers more than 30 different teas, including a special house blend that features rose petals from the hotel’s grounds. Settle in at the plush lounge before feasting on an assortment of goodies whilst live piano music sets the tone. Don’t leave before trying a South African milk tart on the hotel’s perfectly manicured lawn, where you can have your cake and eat it too.