Being British, afternoon tea is absolutely my favourite meal, ever. What’s not to like about the chance to tuck into little sandwiches, scones piled high with cream and jam (always the cream first by the way) and steaming tea poured into delicate china cups. My husband happily admits high tea holds zero appeal for him, so I was delighted to discover when I became a mama that this was a treat I could share with my daughters — mama-child bonding over cake!
There are several classic destinations for afternoon tea in Singapore, including the Rose Room at the Shangri-La, but Tiffin Room at Raffles has to come absolutely tippy-top of the list. After all, scores of tourists flock to the famed Tiffin Room each afternoon, so many that it’s nearly impossible to get a same-day reservation. You’ll need to plan ahead.
When my daughter and I arrived, I had let them know I’d be bringing a little one with me, so our table was already arranged with a highchair, colouring books and a Raffles passport (which is like a little treasure hunt for kids to help them explore the hotel). On the crisp white tablecloth was set a silver tiered stand, where some little sandwiches and a few cakes were set out. It’s not an overwhelming offering, so I instantly flagged down a waiter to whisper to him awkwardly, “Is there more than this?“. Thankfully yes, there was! Apart from the little teaser portion of goodies on your stand, there’s a whole buffet area at the end of the room complete with dim sum, fruit, scones and plenty more cakes and sandwiches. The line snakes along slowly, but the place is so pretty there’s plenty to look at, and lots of great people-watching as tourists from all over the world pack into the Tiffin Room.
One slightly disappointing note if you’re an afternoon tea snob was the fact that Raffles surprisingly use teabags instead of loose tea, but the soothing sound of the live harpist soon lulled me back into my happy place, worrying only about how to stop my daughter from just taking one bite out of each treat on the stand before putting it back again!
Between the sandwiches, scones, cakes and colouring sheets, my daughter was happy and peaceful for nearly an hour — long after I had got itchy feet in fact. We finished off our outing with a wander around Raffles, a trip to the loo (where she much enjoyed using the fancy Floris hand lotion) and finally a taxi trip home. An afternoon of sheer luxury, in the company of an almost-three year old? Yes, it’s possible!
Afternoon tea at Raffles is definitely bit of a “touristy” thing to do in one’s own city, but it’s a classic for a reason, and next time you have guests in town we’d definitely recommend this as a fun and easy way to while away an afternoon!
Afternoon tea is served at Tiffin Room from 3.30pm – 5.30pm daily, and costs $58++ for adults and $30.50 for children
Tiffin Room, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
Tel: (+65) 6412 1816