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Published May 25th 2013
Is this the best high tea in the world?
There are always certain traditions that take place when you travel, certain things that you look forward to in every country.
Often when you name a country to a traveller, they will immediately think of one thing that made their time there the most memorable.
For me, if you say "Singapore", the first thing I will tell you is to "take high tea at Raffles".
High / Tiffin Tea at Raffles *Image from Raffles website
In our family this has become an institution and the must do activity every time we visit Singapore
High tea at the Raffles Hotel is usually between 3pm and 3:30 pm for arrival (ending around 5-5.30pm).
However, if you arrive as early, this is not a problem as they have some lovely little shops and a courtyard that you can wander through and look at some beautiful items, such as scarves selling for $495, that you could buy in the local markets for $3 (definitely not the same though), watches that are 3 for $10, for $660 and then the usual Gucci and Tiffanies stores.
Amongst the beautiful ambiance and the pleasant settings, I really enjoy the history of the hotel.
My children love to delight in the tales of dining in the very same bar that a Tiger wandered through so many years ago and created history.
High tea is often taken in the long bar of the Raffles Hotel, it is a elegantly set out room. Our table is beautifully set with silver cutlery, teas and coffees and a 3 tiered delight for the children plus one for us - lovely!
Looking Good (at the beginning), Decidedly fatter when it was time to leave. *Image copyright Lesley Mitchell.
A harpist fills the air with beautiful melodies and a heaving buffet of delicacies await us.
Our selection for the day included: hot chocolate in silver pots for the children, teas and coffees for us, an amazing three tiered tower. Then from the buffet: cranberry bread and butter pudding, vanilla pod sauce, scones with clotted cream, fresh raspberries, creme caramel, dumplings, cucumber sandwiches, dragon-fruit, chocolate tarts, chocolate eclairs, chiffon cake and (especially prepared as we are vegetarian) samosas and spring rolls.
Nothing like your own hot chocolate in a silver pot to make you feel like a princess. *Image copyright Lesley Mitchell
A few travellers suggestions: Get in Quick: As you sit there delicately taking in your tea and beautiful surroundings, I would suggest you jump up to the buffet quickly because after a short time everyone will have enjoyed their teas and will suddenly jump up to get to the buffet and form a huge queue.
Special Meals: If you advise them in advance of special dietary requests, including vegetarian or gluten-free they will allow you to have the entire buffet, but they will also bring you some selections specifically organised for your needs.
Try things you think you know: Some of the foods you will have seen before, for example on the day we were there dumplings were on offer. We have had vegetarian dumplings many, many, times before - although it is unbelievable how the same food can taste so different in different places; the dumplings at the Raffles Hotel were the best dumplings I have ever tasted.
Don't eat prior: A little word of advice is make sure you do not have lunch before you come to the high tea as the buffet tables will be heaving with all manner of delicacies and you really do want an empty tummy to be able to enjoy them to the full.
Walk it off: When it is time to waddle out, you may need to do some serious walking for the next 6 hours or so!
FOOT NOTE: High tea for our family was around AUD$196 for the 4 of us (2 adults, 2 children) and upon returning home we asked the kids what was the most memorable part of the journey, they both said 'high tea at Raffles'. Forget the expense, it's an experience, just go!