Discover The Top ‘High Tea’ Places Around The World

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James

An Afternoon Tea tradition became a fashionable social event during 1880 when upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o´clock.

Axis Bar & Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Axis Bar & Lounge | Photography credited to Axis Bar & Lounge

In bustling Singapore, the ‘tai-tai life’ – a colloquial term for a life of constant enjoyment and endless luxury – is one of envy. Indeed, true hedonism is when there is no compromise or limit to what one can enjoy – and Axis Bar and Lounge could just be your escape to hedonistic paradise. Aptly situated in the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, one of the world’s foremost luxurious hotels, prepare yourself to be awed by its breathtaking skyline of cosmopolitan Singapore. Overlooking scenic Marina Bay, its Afternoon Tea menu treats you to a multi-sensory experience with its revolutionary creations.

Upon stepping into the Lounge, the interior design of Axis Bar and Lounge exudes a chic, contemporary design that combines elements of wood, leather, ebony, and metal to achieve an overall style and sophistication. Award-winning chefs of Axis Bar and Lounge ensure their guests have fresh gastronomic experiences when they visit by rejuvenating their menus monthly – each time with a new and upbeat theme. From unique tea blends sourced locally to fruits unique to Southeast Asia, the chefs at Axis Bar and Lounge push beyond the conceptualization of a typical Afternoon Tea of scones and muffins and surprise its guests with sheer dedication and creativity.

Offering an enticing mix of style, service, and comfort, Axis Bar and Lounge continues to exceed the boundaries of luxury while upholding its dedication towards innovation and style – creating moments of delight for each and every guest who walks through its doors.

Words by Tammian How

Afternoon Tea at Bergdorf Goodman, New York

Bergdorf Goodman, New York | Photography credited to Bergdorf Goodman, NYC

You can already get a feel for what to expect when you enter the iconic Bergdorf Goodman store, located on New York City’s fashionable Fifth Avenue and 58th Street while heading to their charming restaurant on the 7th floor with astonishing views to Central Park. Bergdorf Goodman, the landmark department store known for its upscale designer apparel and accessories, takes tea aficionados into the world of its Dammann Frères tea selection, which includes the following ten choices: Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey, Jardin Bleu, Goût Russe, Citrus Rooibos, Yellow Lemon, Nuit À Versailles, Anji as well as Chamomile and Peppermint tea.

Afternoon Tea at Bergdorf Goodman is a wonderfully relaxing experience. Served daily from 3-5pm, it features a menu of savory tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones, fruit preserves, Devonshire cream and a variety of petite sweets, presented on a three-tiered tray. In addition to the regular Tea Service, guests can upgrade to the BG Tea Service Royale, which includes the aforementioned delicacies accompanied by a glass of Veuve Clicquot yellow label brut champagne.

The tea and food selections, as well as the pleasant and impeccable service, truly make the Tea at Bergdorf Goodman an afternoon delight.

Words by Karynne Summars

Afternoon Tea at Ritz Hotel, Madrid

Ritz Hotel, Madrid | Photography credited to Ritz Hotel, Madrid

Located in the heart of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art – between the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen Bornemisza magnificent museums – the Ritz Madrid hotel is the place to be if you find yourself in the city, thirsty for art, fine luxury and that kind of familiarity you miss the most when you are away from home, be it for vacation or for work.

Perhaps the most iconic activity related to this ambitious space, where its walls are covered in more than a hundred years of history, is the Ritz Afternoon Tea, in which Beatriz Parreño, the emblematic tea designer, will bring you the tastiest customized tea from where real tea tradition was born. The finest porcelain sets and bright silver cutlery will make you feel like home from the very first sip. The tea designer acquires entire harvests, from China or India mostly, which she later turns into unique blends you will simply fall in love with.

The tea tasting, of course, comes with delicious traditional pastry on the side, starting with English scones that turn into a true delight when accompanied by fresh homemade butter and sweet marmalade. On the second level of a bright silver three-tier stand, you will find salty bites. Soft sandwiches with Spanish ham, salmon, and vegetables representing a mix of Spanish and British goods that will just make your day. Completing your tea tasting journey, you will most probably be tempted not to touch the splendid variety of sweet buns and colorful macaroons because of how beautiful they look, but do trust us, it’s so worth it! If you’re a fan of genuine luxury and a tea lover, this will be your dream evening for sure!

Words by Laura Ivina Spiridon

Afternoon Tea at 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel, London

11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel, London | Photography credited to 11 Cadogan Gardens Hotel

In one of the most affluent neighborhoods of London on a quiet street of Chelsea hides a true gem of pure luxury – a boutique five-star hotel called 11 Cadogan Gardens. Located in a beautiful 19th century Victorian townhouse the hotel offers its guests a high level of privacy and exclusivity.

One of the hotel’s signature services is an Afternoon Tea served at the classically styled drawing room. With an exquisite grand stone fireplace and smooth jazz playing in the background, there is no other place to be for those who seek complete relaxation. A magical environment filled with a warm and calm ambiance invites guests to begin their refined experience with a crisp glass of the finest champagne followed by a selection of traditional homemade sandwiches. The selection of teas spans from familiar English breakfast to intricate Japanese Sencha teas. Following the selection of traditional sandwiches, guests will move to freshly baked scones and pastries served with Cornish clotted cream and mouth-watering strawberry jam, which takes traditional afternoon tea to the next level of excellence and perfection. Flavor combinations are exceptionally intriguing, including zesty lemon and poppy seed financier and lime cheesecake, are served alongside perfect crispy raspberry and white chocolate macaroons. Bourbon vanilla choux with fresh strawberries accompanied by exotic mango soup with yogurt foam will leave guests with lasting memories of some unique gourmet creations.

11 Cadogan Gardens is a place any true Hedonist would enjoy – a unique place to visit, which will leave anyone feeling relaxed and spoiled.

Words by Karina Brante

Afternoon Tea at El Palace Hotel, Barcelona

El Palace Hotel, Barcelona | Photography by El Palace Hotel

To experience the best of the Afternoon Tea tradition in Barcelona indulge yourself with a trip to one of the city´s finest hotels, El Palace. The combination of the majestic beauty of the tea room and the exquisitely set tables for an afternoon tea – delicate bone china cups and saucers, silver cutleries and a beautiful orchid in the vase – is a sight of the beauty that needs a moment of appreciation.

Traditional Afternoon Tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches and scones accompanied with the clotted cream and pastries. Nowadays the tradition underwent slight changes and each country has adopted its own choice of ingredients when it comes to sandwiches and selection of the teas. Here, in El Palace, among the classical Ceylon tea, you have a list of many more – green, jasmine, mint, rosehip – to satisfy every taste. But the main things remain unchanged, like scones with the special Devonesque cream and tiny pastries with raspberries and cream as well as chocolate éclairs – their historic presence on the three-level serving dish is invariable.

El Palace is a chic place where reservations are needed beforehand. The luxury of the afternoon tea stretches to the smallest detail, from the illustrated menu on the table to the moment of the tea being poured into the cup from the silver teapot. And not to miss the red velvet sofas, which give the final touch to the royal-like experience.

Words by Olga Martinova