The 9 Best Afternoon Teas in Singapore
When it comes to the great British afternoon tea, Singapore has quite the array to choose from. Here, we round-up the good, the delicious and the utterly indulgent that are sure to have you waddling home afterwards. Prepare your waistlines, you'll be booking at least one of these immediately.
Afternoon tea at Colony will take you back in time. The restaurant itself is grandly decorated in soft gold and white hues with vintage furnishings and images of eras gone by. Take a minute to admire the black and white photographs depicting the 18th Century arrival of the British in the East Indies, then retreat to your seat for the gourmet feast that awaits.
Available until 28 December, the high tea ‘Journey’ is a five-tiered ode to Singapore’s culinary heritage. The daintily-made savoury dishes from across Asia and Europe include lobster rojak, beef with camembert and a tandoori chicken ‘puri’. The impeccable presentation sees them served in tiffin boxes, the last of which comes filled with a salted egg custard-stuffed crustacean.
And be sure to save room for dessert, as The Patisserie awaits with an unlimited array of every sugary treat you can think of. Exquisite petit fours, creamy gelato, soft chocolatey cookies, freshly baked scones, pots of berry cheesecake and creme caramel...the list goes on. You can keep coming back for more, and trust us, you will - one visit to The Patisserie won’t be enough!
As for what you’ll be sipping while savouring all of the above, the ‘Journey’ afternoon tea ups the elegance with a flute of Möet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne. You can also take your pick from Colony’s specialty teas and enjoy their custom tea blends of ginger or lavender syrup.
Address: Ritz Carlton Millenia, 7 Raffles Avenue, Level 3, Singapore, 039799
(‘Journey’ Afternoon Tea available Monday-Saturday: 3.30pm-5.30pm until 28 December)
Plan your visit in advance and book your table at Colony here.
2. Clifford Pier
Source: Fullerton Hotels
If you’re looking for a sophisticated spot to indulge in festive afternoon tea in Singapore, make your way to the historic masterpiece that is the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Or more specifically, Clifford Pier.
The team here has put a merry twist on the traditional; transforming the best of the holiday season into handcrafted high tea creations. A touch of Asian flair has been added too, ensuring locals, expats and tourists alike will delight in the weekend afternoon tea buffet.
Prepare your taste buds for an extensive, mouth-watering selection that spans cold appetisers, a dedicated fruit rojak station, Indian pratas and authentic Singaporean dishes. Top picks include the crispy mantou buns drizzled in spicy chili crab gravy, and don’t miss the mini vol-au-vents filled with rendang turkey, or the braised pork belly buns either!
Craving more of the classic festive flavours? You’re well catered for here with bite-sized platters of honey glazed ham ragout, marinated turkey in puff pastry and turkey roulade. And it doesn’t end there.
The dessert offering has been updated for Christmas and New Year too. You’ll be hard pushed to choose between sweetly spiced stollen, old fashioned pecan tarts, Christmas fruit cake and the Fullerton’s prized black forest log cake, so you’ll be happy to hear you can sample them all. And because the brains behind Clifford Pier know that there’s no afternoon tea finale like freshly baked scones, their tropical fruit-infused versions with homemade kaya make for a delectable conclusion to your meal.
Upgrade to the premium afternoon tea for an additional $78 to make this a real celebration with free-flowing Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Address: Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore, 049326
Monday-Friday: 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
Saturday: 11am-2pm, 3pm-5pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
Sunday: 11am-2pm, 3.30pm-5.30pm
This holiday season, enjoy Clifford Pier’s afternoon tea buffet, available until 30 December.
3. The Knolls
The five-star Capella hotel on Sentosa is home to The Knolls; a Mediterranean restaurant with a relaxed waterfront setting and views of the South China Sea. It’s a place often heralded for high tea, and for good reason.
Their set - called the Capella Tea Experience - is served in The Knolls’ intimate Chef’s Table area, where the open kitchen concept means you can watch with intrigue as your food and drinks are prepared. And there’s plenty to keep you entertained as the distinctive blend of flavours from Europe and Asia sees unlikely ingredients combined with great success.
This culinary idea is epitomised from the very first plate: beetroot-cured salmon sandwiches enhanced with the creamy zing of kaffir lime mascarpone, and caramelised foie gras that comes topped with a spiced laksa dressing and served with spinach polenta. Following this is a homemade capsicum and truffle muffin, and delicate braised turnip with mushrooms, prawns and tomatoes.
Soft and crumbly chocolate chip scones are the humblest of the Capella’s tea-time sweet selection. They’re served alongside creative Asian desserts like Japanese yuzu curd with roasted sesame praline, a decadent white chocolate mousse with mango and passionfruit, and an aloe vera and lemongrass gelee.
Diners can also enjoy cups of green, black or oolong tea, or one of The Knolls’ Indian ayurvedic teas. They’re named for the three doshas of the body, each of which has distinct flavours and properties linked to the balance and support of that dosha.
Vata (air), for example, is the dosha for happiness and creativity, for which they list an aromatic tea with notes of cocoa, dates, lavender and elderberry. The second dosha, Pitta (fire and water) is the energy principle for charisma, eloquence and good digestion. Its tea is named ‘Light My Flame’ and is an invigorating mix of ginger, lemon and mint. The final dosha - Kapha (earth and water) - is paired with a gently spiced green tea blend, and is linked to stability of body and mind, and a strong immune system.
Address: Capella Singapore, The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore, 098297
Make an online reservation for high tea at The Knolls.
Inside the intriguingly gothic building that is ParkView is a photo-worthy bar and restaurant that practically belongs on your Instagram feed. Atlas is a grand and gorgeous hall with Art Deco style interiors inspired by the Golden Age.
With such impressive decor, it makes for an ideal spot to spend a leisurely afternoon. Their high tea is hand-made to order, and begins with bite-sized delights like a petite pumpkin quiche, lobster crostini, iberico jamon and a trio of delicate finger sandwiches.
Once you've had your fill of savoury, it's onto the sweet, where you can treat yourself to a delectable passionfruit pavlova, pistachio and banana cream pie, raspberry financiers and key lime meringue; all made in miniature. We're also big fans of the strawberry panna cotta and brown butter scones.
As for accompaniments, their tea menu ensures you can choose your perfect blend to enjoy alongside the edibles. Their prestige selection includes a rare Chinese tea called Huoshan Yellow Bud, an Indian honey-infused black tea known as Doke Diamond and a berry Roobois that melds vanilla and elderberry. Another popular choice is the Emperor's Genmaicha; an appetising green tea with floral notes and aromas of toasted rice.
It's impossible to miss the towering three-storey gin cellar that forms the decorative piece de resistance at Atlas, so if you're in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail post-afternoon tea, there is quite the list to choose from. Our recommendation? Go for one of the vintage martinis, made with premium gin dating back to 1910. It makes for an amazing signature sip that you're unlikely to forget in a hurry.
Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore, 188778
(Afternoon tea is served Monday-Saturday: 3pm-5pm)
Get your camera ready for your visit to Atlas.
5. Tea Room
Cosy and secluded, the Tea Room is set to a laid-back soundtrack with a casually elegant ambiance in the lobby of the Amara Hotel.
You have two three-tiered options to choose from at the Tea Room, both of which are priced at $48 for two people and include a pot of premium TWG tea. In case you were wondering, they have also both appeared on lists of the most highly recommended and reasonably-priced high tea in Singapore.
The first is a Japanese take on afternoon tea that sees the kitchen side-step the traditional in favour of flavours inspired by the land of the rising sun. It’s hard to choose which to savour first; so tempting is the plate of salmon sashimi and soft shell crab rolls that will appear in front of you like magic. Also on the Japanese savoury tier are unagi canapes, scallop and tako sushi, and spicy tuna with onsen egg.
It comes beautifully and authentically presented, and includes a creamy Japanese cheesecake, vivid green matcha macaron, chocolate brownie and matcha and red bean roll for dessert.
The second set is an homage to the time-honoured British delicacies that make up classic English afternoon tea. Among these savoury treats is a smoked salmon finger sandwich, ham croquette and beef ragout tart, while the dessert tier is sure to sate your sweet tooth with miniature panna cotta, pistachio financiers, chocolate tarts, raisin scones and coconut macaroons.
As is customary with afternoon tea, each bite is petite in size yet deliciously satisfying and clearly made with panache. The tiered displays are well deserving of a photograph and - when paired with the Amara’s flawless service - are guaranteed to have you recommending the Tea Room to friends.
Address: 165 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Amara Hotel, Lobby Level, Singapore, 088539
(High tea available Monday-Friday: 2pm-5pm and Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-5pm)
Make your way to the Tea Room for traditional or Japanese afternoon tea.
6. National Kitchen by Violet Oon
If the words ‘Violet Oon’ don’t already set your taste buds a-tingling, allow us to introduce their sensational high tea. As with all their menus, this national treasure shines a culinary spotlight on Peranakan cooking; combining all the Singaporean flavours you know and love with the bite-sized styling and indulgence of the great British afternoon tea.
The award-winning kitchen has perfected their take on it; starting off with savoury tiers topped with chilli crab tartlets with quail’s egg and juicy prawn kuay pie tee. Joining them is a crisp wonton filled with coronation-curry chicken and a delicate cucumber and cream cheese open-faced sandwich.
Dessert is a showcase of much-loved Asian sweets like Kueh Dah Dah (coconut cooked in gula melaka syrup and wrapped in a delicate pancake) sugar and banana-topped roti jala and Kueh Lapis. The latter is a vibrantly coloured steamed cake with layers of pearl tapioca and homemade pandan. And because it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them, there are house-made gula melaka scones on offer too, served here with the traditional clotted cream and jam.
As for the place itself, anyone who has dined in the National Gallery outpost of Violet Oon will attest to its decorative awe. The restaurant is housed in the iconic City Hall building and is as visually stunning as any of the galleries of the museum, with crystal chandeliers and streaks of glistening gold, royal blue and jade green to accent the dark wood. It truly is a beautiful space that’s sure to impress any guest… and that’s before you’ve even tasted the food!
Address: 1 St Andrew’s Rd, 02-01 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore, 178957
(Afternoon tea available Monday-Sunday: 3pm-5pm)
Special occasion coming up? Afternoon tea at Violet Oon is the perfect choice.
7. Tea Lounge
If you’re up to date on the best drink and dining spots on the island, you’re likely to be familiar with the Regent Singapore’s Manhattan bar and their Basilico weekend brunch, but how about the ground floor Tea Lounge? It’s here in this chic and airy restaurant that diners can enjoy one of the most quintessential afternoon tea in Singapore.
The colonial garden setting and live piano music set the scene for what is sure to be an elegant affair; an assumption only affirmed by the tableside trolley service that begins shortly after you take your seat.
Take your pick from freshly-ground coffee, one of their many tea blends or - if you’re celebrating - perhaps a tea or coffee cocktail inspired by the prohibition era of New York City. Then it’s onto the food. All the exquisitely prepared pastries, sandwiches, scones and cakes that are traditionally associated with afternoon tea are served here on a pretty and photogenic three-tiered display.
If you’re planning your visit during December, however, you’ll be treated to their festive high tea buffet. The gourmet spread includes much-loved local favourites like the signature chilli crab and golden mantou, alongside a few Christmas-themed additions. The centrepiece is a juniper berry-infused whole turkey that sits proudly on the carving station stuffed with a tangy combination of pear and beetroot.
Elsewhere in the buffet, diners can pile their plates high with eggnog-poached prawns, slow-cooked mussels, assorted Spanish cheeses, platterfuls of finger sandwiches, premium caviar, salads and much more.
And it’s not just the savoury that deserves a mention. The award-winning pastry team have been busy giving the sweet treats a festive update too. Gingerbread scones, traditional mince pies and an ‘Oh Deer’ caramel mousse cake are on offer alongside raspberry choux puffs transformed into Santa hats and maple pecan chocolate tarts that taste as divine as they look.
Address: 1 Cuscaden Rd, Regent Singapore, Lobby Level, Singapore, 249715
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-2.30pm, 3pm-5.30pm
(Festive afternoon tea buffet available from 1-29 December)
Get 30% off high tea at the Regent’s Tea Lounge with ChopeDeals!
8. The Providore, Tangs
Is there any better way to relax and refuel midway through a shopping spree than with afternoon tea? We think not, so the next time your retail therapy takes you to Tangs, be sure to pay a visit to The Providore.
You can find it conveniently located on the second storey of this iconic Orchard Road department store. There’s an al fresco terrace that overlooks the hustle and bustle of the street below, as well as intimate indoor space with simple but pretty decor.
The Providore serves one of the most affordable high teas in Singapore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. The set begins with your pick of signature tea, Australian brewed coffee or - we’re happy to inform you - a glass of champagne. Bubbly or warming cup poured, you’ll then be treated to the most scrumptious offerings from their bakery and patisserie. Expect a tempting selection of sandwiches, savoury tarts, sugary pastries, cakes and - of course - scones with jam and cream.
The specific delights change according to which ingredients are in season and what the chefs have been inspired to whip up that day. The ever-changing menu means you can never tire of tea here as you’re unlikely to sample the same delectable combination more than once.
All in all, a pit-stop at The Providore does not disappoint, and is something of a saviour to those seeking tasty indulgence and a little well-earned respite from the retail.
Address: 310 Orchard Road, Tangs, 02-22, Singapore, 238864
No shopping spree at Tangs is complete without high tea at The Providore.
9. The Rose Veranda
High tea at The Rose Veranda is about much more than just tea and scones. They’ve been serving it since 1991, and have since garnered one of the best reputations for afternoon tea in Singapore.
With more than fifty types of artisanal tea to choose from, this is a great choice for the tea connoisseurs among you. The staff are more than happy to talk you through the beautiful display and help you to select your sip; perhaps going for their bespoke ‘tea layering’ option that combines several in a single cup.
Once you’ve chosen your tea (or tea cocktail!), it’s time to focus on the food. Their high tea is served buffet style, and includes a huge array of dishes.
We recommend perusing the buffet before diving in, as you’ll have to pace yourself to enjoy all the classic European delicacies like roast beef on the carving station, quiches, salads and dainty sandwiches that sit side by side with international options such as fiery laksa and gourmet sushi. The sweet table, too, is piled high with sugary treats; our favourite of which are the handmade pastries, fruit tarts and warm baked scones. You’ll be hard pushed to resist the chocolate fountain too. There are fruit and marshmallow skewers just waiting to be dipped in the sweet and silky molten goodness.
Even better? If you pay a visit to The Rose Veranda at this time of year, you can opt for the festive high tea buffet that includes roast turkey, beef Tomahawk, fresh seafood, house-made log cakes and panettone. Delicious!
Address: 22 Orange Grove Rd, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, 258350
Saturday-Sunday: 11.30am-2pm, 3pm-5.30pm
Festive afternoon tea at The Rose Veranda is available until 1 January 2020.