Taking a few hours out to enjoy a delicious high tea in swanky surrounds is one of my favourite afternoon activities, especially when I’m on holiday in South East Asia.
Thailand, although proudly never colonised, has taken to this colonial tradition with flair. It does involve eating tasty treats after all, and that is a tradition most Thais can happily support.
In the lovely northern city Chiang Mai, some of the best high teas are found at 5-star hotels. These are my top picks:
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa:
Old world charm meets modern luxury at Anantara, formerly known as the Chedi Chiang Mai. Once upon a time this sprawling riverside estate was the home of the British consul and it’s not difficult to imagine yourself back in a more elegant era as you sit on the terrace and sip artisanal tea. Afternoon tea is available every day by appointment and the options suit most tastes and budgets. A three-tiered stand of savoury bites (pie, quiche, roll, sandwich), warm scones with jam and cream, and sweet treats (macarons, tarts, cake, crème brulee) is served with tea or coffee of choice for 750 baht per person. For an additional charge, add a glass of wine or sparkling. Order just one tier of treats with tea or coffee for 450 baht per person.
To book, call +66 53 253 333
|Anantara Chiang Mai high tea|
Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai:
This magical resort on the outskirts of town resembles a Thai fairytale castle. Really, it has to be seen to be believed. Turrets, towers and sweeping staircases fit for princesses. The resort’s cake shop has gained fame throughout Thailand for its whimsical sweet creations and perfect macarons of every flavour description (think mango and sticky rice, durian, chilli and more). Each afternoon, a Victorian-style tea salon is open from 2-6pm, serving tiered stands of perfect morsels. For those who enjoy the temptations of a buffet spread, Kasalong Sweet Spree can’t be missed. Set up in the Kasalong Cake Shop each Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the buffet heaves under the weight of scrumptious satay, savoury quiches, fluffy scones, dainty sandwiches, macarons of every hue and a king’s ransom of bite-sized cakes, tarts and biscuits. At 425baht plus tax (approximately 500 baht total), this afternoon tea spread comes with tea and coffee.
To book, call +66 53 888 888
|Dhara Dhevi high tea|
137 Pillars House:
A beautiful boutique hotel in the Wat Ket area, 137 Pillars House has found its way onto stylish must-visit lists around the world since opening two years ago. Classic Afternoon Tea is served here from 2.30pm-5pm in the graceful gardens or the heritage homestead overlooking the pool. A three-tiered stand offers elegant tastes of local and international goodies. The menu changes regularly and might include rich chocolate cake, mango mousse, raisin scones and shrimp roll. The price per person is 600 baht plus VAT and service charge, or 1100 baht per couple. Indulge further by adding a glass of Prosecco (900baht++ per person), or a bottle of Champagne (4,999baht++ for 2 people).
To book, call +66 5324 7788
|Gorgeous setting for tea at 137 Pillars House|