Smiling faces in traditional Thai costumes open the large doors and welcome me to the majestic Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Upon entering the grand lobby, I make my way towards the oldest section of the hotel, The Authors’ Wing, originally The Oriental; Thailand’s first luxury hotel open some 125 years back.
The Authors’ Lounge, in this beautiful white colonial setting, is the legendary spot for English Afternoon Tea. It was named in honour of the numerous well-known writers that visited the hotel over the years; Joseph Conrad, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith, Gore Vidal, Sir Richard Attenborough, Frederick Forsythe – just to name a few.
Anyways, enough history – time for the present and I need a present for paying so much interest and attention! I order a Traditional Afternoon Tea Set and to accompany that, a pot of Marco Polo Tea (a sophisticated black Tea with aromas of fruits and flowers).
I start with the scones while they’re still warm. The plain and raisin scones were accompanied by Clotted Cream, Rose jam, Raspberry preserve and Pomelo Marmalade.
On to the sandwiches – Smoked Salmon with cream Croissant, Egg and Mayo salad between slices of hot pink bread, Spinach and Mushroom puff pastry, Ham and Cheddar Cheese open sandwich and a Brioche Roll with Sugar cane marinated Smoked Duck.
Next, I tried the Lemon Butter cake and fruit cake. And on the top plate, was the “top” cake; an exquisite dessert with chocolate and hazelnut – crunchy, nutty, creamy, rich layers that disappeared quicker than I could say ‘I’m full’. It just didn’t stand a chance. Also there was Crème Brûlée, Grape Tartlet, Raspberry Crumble, Vanilla Panna Cotta with sweet roasted pear, Butter-apricot cookie, Poppy seed Short bread, and a Champagne Stick.
An incredibly unique experience; and visits here always transport me back in time.