Pamper yourself at a high tea sesh with your girls
I don’t know about you, but as a kid, I imagined high tea to be a luxury only available for the rich and fancy. I would picture a group of tai tai clad in designer wear from head to toe, laughing daintily as they sipped on organic tea from a tiny silverware, and nibbling on canapés beautifully arranged on a floral tiered stand.
While our sunny island is home to many drool-worthy high teas spots, I find most of the prices bo hua given that we are being served morsels of food. Hence, this list is for people like me who wish to step tai tai, but do not want to spend like one.
1. Wildseed Cafe
Image credit: @ngweelee
Tucked away in Seletar Aerospace Park, Wildseed Cafe offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Make yourself at home in this charming colonial house, and pamper yourself with their Afternoon Tea Set ($40++ for two).
Start off with some fluffy and buttery madeleines, continue with their Mini Brownie before refreshing your palate with bites of their Chicken Pinche Petit Sandwich. Interestingly, their afternoon tea set offers soft-serve as well. Whether its coconut or milk flavoured, the ice-cream is a sweet ending note to a restful afternoon.
Address: 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore 798387
High tea hours: Daily 2pm to 5pm
Tel: 9649 9116
2. Violet Oon
Image credit: @violetoonsingapore
Violet Oon is one of Singapore’s pre-eminent authorities in Peranakan food, so expect to find legit Nyonya kueh in their Singapore High Tea Set ($58++ for two). There are 13 different sides in the platter, including their signature Kuay Pie Tee, so you can definitely stretch your dollar.
Special mention goes to their Kueh Dah Dah. Sink your teeth into this fluffy pancake roll and savour the candied aftertaste of gula melaka. For those who prefer savoury flavours, their Chilli Crab Tartlet with Quail Egg will wow you with its spicy kick.
3. d’Good Cafe
Image credit: @dgoodcafe
Recharge with the high tea set, Interlude ($42++ for two) at d’Good Cafe! This three-tiered set features a plethora of treats which are handcrafted daily, including their Matcha Swiss Roll and Cranberry Scones. Dip the latter in their house-made Matcha Spread and relish in the bitter and grassy aftertaste.
4. Hotel Fort Canning
Image credit: @hotelfortcanning
Hotel Fort Canning revamped their Signature High Tea Set ($28++), available at both The Salon and Tisettanta Lounge. Look forward to an assortment of mini sweets and savoury bites with your choice of coffee or TWG tea, while unwinding in their beautiful park. My favourites from this set are the Summer Berries Cheese Cake and Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese.
5. LIME at PARKROYAL on Pickering
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If you missed LIME at PARKROYAL on Pickering’s Christmas buffet, a cheaper alternative would be Tiers Of Joy ($52++ for two). Pick either a cup of coffee or TWG tea to pair with three tiers of mouth-watering savoury and sweet treats such as Snow Crab with Green Apple Open-Faced Sandwich and Coconut Pandan Mousse. The set also comes with unlimited coffee and TWG tea so self-declared caffeine addicts can drink to their heart’s content.
Address: 3 Upper Pickering Street, PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore 058289
High tea hours: Daily 3pm to 6pm
Tel: 6809 8899
6. Beach Road Kitchen
Image credit: @jwmarriottsg
The Afternoon Tea ($25++ per person) at Beach Road Kitchen may not come with a fancy stand, but it does come with free-flow desserts. With assorted macarons, chocolate pralines, and tiramisu, the selection here will satisfy any one with a serious sweet tooth.
Address: 30 Beach Road, JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, Singapore 189763
High tea hours: Mon-Fri 3pm to 5pm
Tel: 6818 1913
7. EagleWings Loft
Image credit: @caramellechaos
Thanks to the influx of cafes, KAP Residences Mall is enjoying a mini-renaissance. Leading the change is EagleWings Loft, a nautical-themed cafe which boasts an impressive high tea selection. Share Duo on Deck ($45++ for two) with your BFF and treat yourself to Smoked Salmon Brioche, crunchy Raspberry Scones and more.
8. Fresh Fruits Lab
Chemistry was my favourite subject in secondary school. Thus, when Fresh Fruits Lab’s lab-inspired plating started making waves on Instagram, it immediately caught my attention and made it to my list of ‘must-visit cafes’. Satisfy your inner geek by drinking cold-pressed juices out of beakers, and digging into tiramisu served atop a tripod and wire gauze from their photogenic Hi-Tea Set ($38++ for two).
Address: 351 Changi Road, Lorong Marzuki, Singapore 419818
High tea hours: Daily 3pm to 6pm
Tel: 6677 6741
9. The Marmalade Pantry
Image credit: @themarmaladepantry
I used to frequent The Marmalade Pantry for brunch, but next time, I’ll head down for their High Tea Set ($38++ for two). Choose two pots of Gryphon tea and any two cupcakes to go alongside buttermilk scones with strawberry preserves and clotted cream, as well as savoury finger sandwiches. Some top cupcake picks are Lavender Sugee ($5++ a la carte) and S’mores ($5++ a la carte), so be sure to keep a lookout for these flavours that are on rotation!
10. TWG Tea
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TWG Tea is synonymous with atas tea blends, so it’s no surprise that their tea time set menus are just as classy and luxurious. If you’re a tai tai on a budget, their 1837 ($19++) is best suited to you. Pair a cup or tea with your choice of two muffins, one tea-infused patisserie, or two scones.
11. Brunches Cafe
Image credit: Brunches Cafe
Exploring Brunches Cafe is akin to a treasure hunt. From the rotary dial phone to the gramophone, you’ll stumble upon a litany of old-school gems at this vintage cafe. The jewel in the crown is this refurbished Mini-Cooper, converted into a seating booth; every spot is simply too IG-worthy to pass.
Image credit: @yi_chieh_wu
Once you’re settled in, lean on the leather sofa and tuck into the Brunches High Tea Set ($36++ for two). Housed in an intricate birdcage, this set offers a myriad of sweet and savoury treats, including mini burgers, tarts, and cakes, as well as a complimentary pot of tea. End your afternoon with their Cooling & Inner Strength ($7.50++) drink and enjoy the reinvigorating notes of red dates and dried longan.
Be a budget tai tai
With these affordable high tea spots, you no longer have to fret over where to hang out at with your girlfriends. Comment down below if your go-to high tea spot is less than $30++ per pax!