The beginning of May is full of festivities for me: my partner and I both celebrate our birthdays, only three days apart. And this year, I wanted to plan something special, something different that I would remember vividly. While there are many excellent restaurants in Bangkok, I opted instead for an afternoon tea, and in particular one that takes place in the city’s #1 hotel: I chose the Mandarin Oriental!
As explained in my last article (which you can read here), the Mandarin Oriental has been a Bangkok institution for over 140 years. It was Thailand’s first upscale hotel, and today it remains hugely popular with luxury travelers.
The afternoon tea that takes place every afternoon in the Authors’ Lounge is in line with the establishment itself: EXCEPTIONAL! It’s even considered to be the best in the capital, and that’s saying something! It’s hard not to give in to the lounge’s undeniable charm; brightly lit, it’s in a style from another era, with gorgeous white wicker armchairs, a grand staircase, and small adjacent rooms offering a view of the garden. You’re literally transported to a different time, when numerous writers would frequent the hotel!
Choosing between East and West
In terms of the menu, there are two options: an “Oriental” afternoon tea, or a “Western” set, each complete with tea by Mariage Frères (one of my preferred tea brands that I talk about in this article). You can even dress up the occasion with a glass of Roederer champagne if you’d like! We decide on the Oriental set as it’s clearly more original and less traditional from our point of view than the Western tea.
We begin the experience with our tea (called “Paris-Bangkok Voyage,” a real delight!) before receiving a number of dishes: morsels for us to sample, displayed on a sublime porcelain tea set. The presentation is so beautiful that it’s almost difficult for us to start eating! But rest assured, such delicious-looking food can’t be left untouched for long!
Time for the Tasting
We begin our feast with the scones (special mention for the mango scone, just unbelievable!) accompanied by homemade jam. Then we move on to the Thai nibbles, each one tastier than the last, and luckily for us not very spicy! Finally, we indulge in a selection of Thai-influenced pastries made with mango, coconut, and other exotic flavors. We’re even treated to a cake specially made for our birthdays, a thoughtful gesture we won’t soon forget!
And the Service?
As for the service, I was curious to see how we would be welcomed at this luxury hotel which sits at the top of the rankings, and might even be considered the best Asian/Pacific hotel — no small feat! And honestly I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the service and the availability of the hotel personnel, with the small caveat that in such a palatial hotel, the wait can be a bit long.
It was definitely a memorable birthday! This is without question an address to keep in mind if you enjoy afternoon tea! While I can’t judge the Western set, I’d recommend trying the Oriental tea, which is more typical of the region and very original!
- Author’s Lounge website here !
- Every day from 12pm to 6pm.
- Price : 1450 bahts per person (approximately 38€), 2090 bahts per person with a glass of champagne (approximately 55€)
- Remember to book your table !
- Dress code : Smart dress code for all guests, including children. Gentlemen are kindly asked to wear smart shirt, long trousers and closed shoes.