Never an afternoon tea person, but I could really learn to enjoy it. A familiar practice of the colonial days, afternoon tea was started by the wealthy class in England, and has taken a more popular form in Singapore made available in many hotels and tea houses.
I digress and I ask, who goes for afternoon tea in Singapore – other than tai-tais (Japanese, Indonesia, Koreans.. okay I shouldn’t stereotype), friends having off-days together, and those who does not even need to work? Tell me. (‘Afternoon Tea’ is not to be confused with ‘High Tea’ which is originally considered the evening meal of working class, typically eaten between 5 pm and 7 pm.)
Very aptly, the newly opened Halia Restaurant at Raffles Hotel has also started serving afternoon tea daily, and not just the weekends. This afternoon tea service is available from 3-5pm, at $35++ per person per set.
Really, what better place to enjoy afternoon tea than at Raffles Hotel, still full of old colonial charm?
Halia’s afternoon tea selection comes in a two-tier tea stand, with a mixture of sweet and savoury nibbles – which combined can be as filling than an actual meal.
My favourite item there was actually an unassuming soft and light mini muffin. While most would be quite familiar with the sweet ones, the savoury version felt interesting enough with a light touch of saltiness with a pillow-like texture.
Perhaps I do not have so much of a sweet tooth, I was not that excited about the cakey offerings, like Chocolate Royal, Green Tea Tiramisu, or even Macarons. I could gladly offer them up to others.
Instead, I wanted to leave all room for the Scones, which goes very well with the seasonal jam and clotted cream. Halia’s version does not flip to the heavy or dense side and feels gently moist, partly because they are all freshly baked.
This Afternoon Tea Service also comes with a choice of premium teas. And why not pick Halia’s signature drink – the Halia infusion, available hot or iced.
Imagine this beautiful elegant setting, having a bite of a meringue tart while watching the world go back. I can get used to this. If only I do not need to work from 3-5pm.
Halia at Raffles Hotel
#01-22/23, 1 Beach Road, Raffles Hotel, Singapore 189673 (City Hall MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm, Afternoon Tea 3:00pm – 5:00pm