If coffee is the fancied beverage of choice for breakfast, then tea has to be the dainty but regal ruler of the afternoon. The Brits have gone beyond the concept of tea as a drink and made it into a light, late-afternoon meal, while similarly in Hong Kong, people observe the tradition of yum cha, which, although loosely translates as ‘drinking tea’, has actually become more synonymous with dim sum. The practice of afternoon tea has enjoyed a revival from its colonial days in Singapore, with hotel lounges and tea parlours offering a variety of tea to satiate patrons from yuppies on a lazy off-day to girlfriends clustering together for a gossip over tea and scones.

 

Lobby Court at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

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The earliest versions of afternoon teas used to be pompous, elaborate affairs only partaken by the wealthy upper class. Adorned by high marble pillars and a luxurious grandeur, Lobby Court serves up an exquisite afternoon tea that retains this opulence while remaining affordable and inclusive. Try their English three-tier tea set decked with teatime favourites like finger sandwiches, fresh crumbly scones and teacakes while being attended to by waitresses in cheongsams and serenaded by the live music.

The special National Day Afternoon Tea ($42++) is available until the end of August, which serves local delights with a modern twist like Chilli Crab in Tomato Buns and Pandan Scones.

$52++, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350, Tel: 6213 4486

 

Alkaff Mansion Ristorante

Image: alkaff.com.sg

Afternoon teas are typical for those seeking light bites and petite portions. But if you are feeling particularly peckish, Alkaff Mansion’s Italian Afternoon Tea Buffet, available every Saturday from 11.30am to 3pm, promises a charming and indulgent experience that fills you up. Soak up the old-world décor as you help yourself to the generous spread of authentic Sardinian dishes and a visit to their live crepe suzette station. After all, what better way to enjoy a true teatime experience than within a former colonial building set amidst lush greenery?

$48++, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178, Tel: 6510 3068

 

Fresh Fruit Labs

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For an offbeat afternoon tea unlike the conventional posh ones on offer, you might have chemistry with the science laboratory-themed afternoon tea set at Fresh Fruits Lab. The set-up is impressive, with the tea set coming in a full ensemble of laboratory apparatus containing juices served in test tubes and a conical flask, juicy meatballs in glass bowls, and a tiramisu complete with a toffee sauce syringe—we see that the folks at FFL have gotten teatime down to a science.

$19, 351 Changi Road, Singapore 419818, Tel: 6677 6741

 

The Knolls at Capella

Capella Hotel at Sentosa is known for many things—a staycationer’s dream, their peacock-roaming gardens, and the plush, spacious rooms. They also include one of the best afternoon tea spots in their resident Mediterranean restaurant, The Knolls. Boasting an extensive tea list of over 30 varietals from around the world, their afternoon tea selection also has unmissable mini-treats to allow for quiet midday musings with panoramas of the South China Sea.

$39.90++, 1 The Knolls, Capella Singapore, Singapore 098297, Tel: 6591 5046

 

Arteastiq

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If you believe that art and tea can (and should) go hand-in-hand, Arteastiq at Mandarin Gallery is the place to be. For $52++, you can enjoy an artisanal tea set for two that comes in “bird cage” stands. The selection is just as eclectic, with a crispy Beijing Duck Pancake, Matcha Cheesecake and Mushroom Vol au Vent, which are savory mushroom and capers pastry cups. Wash them down with a porcelain cup of pomelo tea and express yourself artistically with Art Jam, which allows you to take home your own painted canvas for an additional $48.

$52++, 333A Orchard Road, #04-14/15, Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897, Tel: 6235 8705

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