If it ain’t in tiers, it’s not worth the midday calories

There’s just something about being served tea in a gilded three-tier stand that makes it extra scrumptious (and it has nothing to do with looking good for the ‘gram.) Whatever your budget, if you’re hunting for a spot of tea around the island, here are the best places to indulge and feel good doing it.
 

10 Scotts


Afternoon tea at Grand Hyatt means a humble two-tier dessert packed with cupcakes, macarons and cakes—as well as a whopping “semi-buffet” spread of hams, cheese, seafood, sandwiches and sushi. If for some reason you’re still peckish, there are hearty meat dishes too, like braised beef cheeks, Irish stew and Shepard’s Pie. It’s a little pricier at $50 on weekdays and $53 on weekends, but comes with free-flow of gourmet TWG teas and coffee. Open Mon-Sun (12-2:30pm), Sat-Sun (3-5:30pm) for high tea
 

1864 The Bar


You’re paying for pure luxury over at Sofitel City Centre Singapore’s 1864. At the cosy lounge beside French restaurant Raccines, a set for two costs $88 and comes with a four-tier stand of truly premium delights. Think smoked quail eggs with truffle aioli tartine, gourgere with béchamel of emmental cheese, and desserts like chocolate ganache on brioche accompanying the classic scones. Comes with freshly squeezed juice and your choice of TWG tea or Nespresso coffee. Open Mon-Sun, 3-5pm, for high tea
 

Atrium


In the floating pods of Pan Pacific Singapore’s Atrium bar, have your choice of East or West afternoon tea. The English Afternoon Tea set comes with three tiers of innovative tea-time finger foods—savories like Applewood smoked salmon in a waffle cup, and roasted pumpkin on a scarlet tomato slider; and sweets like chocolate scones, pina colada cheesecake, and an addictive chilled early grey chocolate. But it’s the newly added Peranakan Afternoon Tea we prefer, switching out the tiers for a three-layered tiffin carrier. Inside, there’s Muar Otah kueh pie tee, mutton rendang sandwiches, and Nyonya curry on French baguette. The assortment of old-school kuehs is a nice touch too. $42 per person, or $80 for two. Open Mon-Fri, 2:30-5:30pm for high tea
 

Chihuly Lounge


The luxurious joint at the Ritz-Carlton offers an eight-course weekday afternoon tea set on weekdays ($49 per person) and a high tea buffet during the weekends. The latter menu changes every three months and currently includes gourmet sandwiches, pan-fried gyoza, wagyu beef, and goose liver parfait. The dessert spread is equally extensive with banana cream pie, scones, lemon mille-feuille and an assortment of chocolate truffles. For that $58 price tag, just skip lunch and head straight here. Open Mon-Fri (12-5pm), Sat-Sun( 2:30-5pm) for high tea
 

Clifford Pier


It’s another heritage-themed afternoon tea set, this time along the beautiful bay at Clifford Pier. Step back into your grandmother’s kitchen (assuming your grandma was Peranakan), and feast on Nonya chicken curry and roti jala wraps, kurobuta pork kong bak baos, chili crab baos, XO carrot cake, and wagyu beef rendang croquettes. In-theme sweets like pandan swiss rolls, mini kopi and almond butter bunds, and even Indonesian bika ambon kuehs round up the spread. It’s $45 per person with your choice of local or Western coffees and teas; and $55 to add a glass of Primo Amore Moscato. Open Mon-Fri (3:30-5:30pm), Sat-Sun (3-5pm) for high tea
 

COMO Cuisine


When they aren’t putting out pretty plates of clean eats, Dempsey Hill’s COMO Cuisine makes full use of its fairy garden setting to present a Hi-Tea Set ladies will love. $70 gets you a “tower” of bite-sized eats like flaxseed mille-feuille, trout remoulade tian, and spiced scones. Desserts are a colourful affair, with pandan profiteroles and calamansi tartlets rounding out the top tier. Wash it down with your standard coffees or a selection of teas (from lychee red to a signature COMO Ginger Tea)—or splash out on champagne for $15 more. Open Tues and Fri, 3-5pm, for high tea
 

Crossroads Bar


This airy, spacious bar at Swissotel Merchant Court switches up its Afternoon Tea ($42 per person) menu frequently, so you can always expect a new experience when you return. The current ‘Autumn in Hokkaido’ incorporates key ingredients from the island—including Hokkaido scallops, lavender, green tea and yuzu. From a dainty two-tiered stand, nibble on seared wagyu sandwiches in miso mustard sauce, Somen noodle salad with Hokkaido scallop and ikura, and Japanese sweets like green tea egg tarts and fluffy Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes. Scones remain consistent on the menu, so look forward to that. Open Mon-Sun, 3-5:30pm, for high tea
 

Dean & Deluca


Only available at the HillV2 branch, the weekend Afternoon Tea Set comes with three generous tiers of buttery pastries, macarons, and bite-sized cakes. You’ll also get scones and sandwiches like the Smoked Salmon & Pickled Cucumber, plus tea, which isn’t a bad deal considering the set for two is $35. Open Sat-Sun, 3-6pm for high tea
 

Marmalade Pantry



Photo credit: The Marmalade Pantry Facebook

Once an icon of afternoon tea, always an icon. You can head to all three outlets of The Marmalade Pantry—Oasia Hotel Downtown, Oasia Hotel Novena, and ION Orchard—for High Tea ($38 per set), which comes packed with egg and cress, beef and horseradish, and shrimp finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones with clotted cream, and your choice of any two of their famous cupcakes. Each set comes with two pots of Gryphon teas too. Open from Mon-Sun, 3-6pm for high tea
 

MO Bar


No longer the haphazard Axis Bar and Lounge it once was, the newly revamped MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental serves a wicked afternoon tea. In the day, the sultry bar is transformed into the perfect place for luxurious bites and a spot of people-watching, through the full-length glass windows overlooking the Esplanade. The Afternoon Tea Set ($48 per person or $88 for two) is packed with only the most premium of savoury eats—ranging from Boston lobster mini buns to Kueh Pie Tee with wagyu short rib, to an affecting foie gras lollipop. The flavours here are truly one of a kind, and a far cry from run-off-the-mill tea sets. Even the accompanying vanilla scones are done well, achieving that perfect balance between moisture and density. The tiers come in only at the end, in a two-tier stand of equally decadent desserts switched up seasonally. You also get your choice of a pot of coffee or tea from TWG Tea—we’d recommend the fruity, fragrant Pacific Route Tea (with mango and apricot notes); or the Singapore Exclusive Blend made just for the hotel. Open Mon-Fri (3-5pm), Sat-Sun (12:30-2:30pm and 3-5pm) for high tea
 

Renku


A personal favorite of ours, Renku Bar and Lounge is Marina Bay Sands’ first 24-hours premium bar lounge. There aren't exactly tiers here, but there is a custom-made gueridon trolley wheeling your treats that's a worthy substitute. The unlimited buffet of finger sandwiches, scones and desserts is delightful, but the piece de resistance is the five-star tea service. Pick from 13 unique artisanal blends (like the pandan earl grey black tea, or MBS exclusive jasmine tea Marina Pearls), and feel free to switch out to another pot any time throughout your meal so you can taste the full line-up. It’s $48 on weekdays and $53 on weekends, but definitely one for the tea fanatics. Open Mon-Sun, 2-3:30pm and 4-5:30pm for high tea
 

Tea Lounge


On weekdays, Regent Singapore’s Tea Lounge serves some of the most delicious scones in town, along with premium finger sandwiches like watercress crepes with Alaskan King Crab and bites of wagyu beef on rye. Coffee lovers will be stoked to know that the beverage options include pour-over coffee using beans from Common Man Coffee Roasters. The $48 price tag also entitles you to one dessert off the menu.

Come the weekend however, the tea lounge switches things up with a hefty Weekend High Tea Buffet ($65) of local and Western savory eats—like lobster laksa, dim sum, roast beef and Norway salmon confit. No tiers here, but you might be stuffed to tears. Open Mon-Fri (12-5pm), Sat-Sun (12-2:30pm and 3-5:30pm) for high tea
 

The Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La


It can’t get any more value-for-money with Shangri-La Hotel’s afternoon tea set for two at just $38. Inspired by Singapore’s culinary heritage, the set includes local favorites like curry and chili crab puffs, bi hiam finger sandwiches, otak otak with mantou and taro balls on the bottom-most tier. One tier up is kuehs galore, with ondeh ondeh, rainbow lapis and pandan kueh dadar; while the finishing sweets feature scones with a local twist—think gula melaka and pandan—and even a durian mousse. Every set also comes with pork satay and pulut hitam, so come hungry. Open Mon-Fri (3-5pm), Sat-Sun (4-6:30pm) for high tea
 

The Knolls


At The Knolls, you can choose from the English Tea, Japanese Tea, Peranakan Tea and Nonya Tea sets, which consist of classic items like smoked salmon and egg and chive sandwiches, lemon pound cake, unagi tamago rolls, matcha profiteroles and even otak-otak sandwiches. Nothing like dining in the beautiful setting of Sentosa Island too. Tea sets start at $39.90 per person. Open Mon-Fri, 3-5pm for high tea
 

The Landing Point


This lovely waterside cafe offers luxe offerings like Boston lobster cornet, smoked salmon mille-feuille with caviar, pistachio-crusted smoked duck in olive bread roulade, and sakura gold macarons, served on a classic three-tiered plate. $45 with a free flow of coffee and TWG teas. Open Mon-Sun, 3-5:30pm for high tea
 

Violet Oon ION Orchard


No one does Peranakan food quite like Violet Oon, so you’ll be pleased to know their new flagship branch at ION Orchard now serves high tea too. The Singapore High Tea Set ($56) serves two, and comes with three tiers of exquisite savoury and sweet heritage bites. Aside from Oon’s siganture Kuay Pie Tee, find chicken on crispy wanton skin, otak on Belgium Endive, and chilli crab tartlets with quail egg; the sweets include kueh dah dah, bubur cha cha panna cotta, and the Financier—a traditional Eurasian moist cake laced with brandy. More universal bites like scones and cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches pad out the set. The outlet also serves Violet Oon’s gorgeous cakes a la carte, at the restaurant-group’s first cake counter of freshly baked cakes. If you find yourself debating between the Pandan Gula Melaka Cake ($16) or Pineapple Gula Melaka Cake ($16), just get both. Open Mon-Sun, 3-5pm, for high tea
 

WOObar


If you’ve got the time, a trip to Sentosa is well-worth the effort for W Singapore—Sentosa Cove’s ever-changing high tea set, called W T Time ($65 on weekdays; $75 on weekends). Your three tiers of goodies come in an adorable silver birdcage that serves two, and include fun bites like mango sushi with crushed pink peppercorn, crispy foie gras with duck rillettes, and scones with literal injections of clotted cream. Without a doubt, the best part is enjoying it against the backdrop of the hotel’s pool and Sentosa. Open Mon-Sun, 3-5pm, for high te