“Raffles stands for all the fables of the exotic East” W. Somerset Maugham.
The colonial Raffles Hotel was immortalised in novels by contemporary authors W. Somerset Maughan and Rudy Kipling.
Upstairs on level three, the Raffles Hotel museum declares that “Kipling was something of a struggling writer when he set foot in Singapore in 1889, two years after Raffles Hotel opened. Between 1887 and 1889 he travelled around the world, penning his observations for publication in the Civil and Military Gazette, and the Pioneer, two Indian newspapers.
A decade later he became a famous author and his enterprising publisher compiled and published the columns in two volumes entitled From Sea to Sea. Kipling’s statement ‘Feed at Raffles’ was readily utilised by the Sarkies in the advertisements – often with unique embellishments.”
The literary works of Kipling and of author W. Somerset Maugham sit safely behind glass - with pride of place in the Writers Bar – beside numerous restaurant awards.
I’m half an hour early as the old grandfather clock in the residents foyer at Raffles Hotel strikes three times. Afternoon tea in the French style commences in the Writers Bar at 3.30pm – a new offering at Raffles Hotel, commencing just over two weeks ago. Across the grand entrance hall the Tiffin Room is busy in anticipation of the busloads that will arrive for the buffet high tea.
The Writers Bar offers a selection of black and green teas, and an exquisite selection of patisserie. On my visit this week, I selected a tea blend 1837 Black (the black tea with berries and caramel notes) and the Raffles Chocolate Millefeuille (delightfully composed of many layers of Valrhona chocolate and ganache – and topped decadently with gold leaf). Each choice of patisserie is beautifully presented with chocolate dipped glace orange, hand made marshmallow (scissor cut from the day’s marshmallow horse shoe) a chocolate, an individually wrapped salted caramel and a perfect piece of fruit.
Tea Collection for Afternoon Tea
Royal Maharanjal – Darjelling (black tea – India)
Nuwara Eliya (black tea – Sri Lanka)
Tamaryokucha (green tea – Japan)
French Earl Grey (black tea with bergamot and blue flowers)
1837 Black (black tea with berries and caramel notes)
Pink Garden (green tea with rose and berries)
Weekend in Shanghai (green tea with cherry blossom and mint)
Tibetan Secret (green tea with lemongrass and candied grapefruit)
One glass of Champagne Delamotte Brut NV
French Afternoon Tea Menu
Passion Fruit Raspberry Tartlet
(served as One Patisserie only or One Patisserie and Tea Set – one glass of Champagne is additional)
While I do enjoy milk with lessers tea, these treasures demanded that the tea was fully enjoyed – black. The sweet sip of the berries and caramel were a beautiful and elegant marriage with the pretty and petite chocolate creation of Raffles Executive Pastry Chef Gael Etrillard.
Though afternoon tea can be taken with tea or Champagne, there are other beverages available at the Writers Bar: including the famous Singapore Sling or the colonial medicinal connection of Gin & Tonic. This week, I sipped both at Raffles – the Singapore Sling in it’s Long Bar birthplace – and my gin with cucumber (denoting the use of Hendrick’s gin) in the Raffles Courtyard Restaurant and Bar.
1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
+65 6337 1886