All you afternoon tea enthusiasts must thank Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford for making the ritual of sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches fashionable in 19th century England. Not to be confused with the more substantial high tea partaken by the middle and low classes in place of dinner, the English upper crust enjoyed their pots of tea with some light snacks around 3.30-4pm.
Today, the time honoured afternoon tea tradition is upheld within the plush, freshly rejuvenated confines of The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur.
On weekdays from 3pm-6pm, you can indulge in the quintessential afternoon tea experience for RM80 (for 2 persons). Besides a triple tier of delicate goodies to savour, the price includes a pot of freshly brewed tea from a choice of 40 Ronnefeldt fine teas.
Depending on your mood or inclination, the selection ranges from black and green teas to herbal and fruit infusions. Alternatively, The Lobby Lounge also proffers various coffee brews for those who prefer a jolt of java. I love The Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur's exclusive blend which combined Chinese tieh kuan ying (Iron Goddess of Mercy) with green oolong; its complex tea flavour tinged with a delicately creamy nuance.
Serenaded by soothing live music from a string quartet, we revelled in the luxurious and tranquil surrounds. Our amuse bouche for the day was a zingy salmon spread with dainty toast pieces. This went like a dream with my choice of Irish Whiskey Cream - a malty Assam black tea with hints of cocoa and the lush aroma of Irish whiskey.
The savoury temptations served during our visit were mini mushroom quiches and chicken pies. According to our friendly and knowledgeable hostess, Adriannah, most of the afternoon tea selection changes frequently so expect enticing surprises to whet the appetite on each visit.
Little Wagyu burgers with mushroom stole the limelight at first bite. Every mouthful was delectably scrumptious but the beef pastrami sandwiches were on point too. These choice morsels were nicely balanced by sips of Jasmine Gold, a fragrant Chinese tea perfumed with jasmine flowers. Even the tuna sandwiches with its subtly creamy filling held its own.
Served warm with clotted cream, fruit preserve and marmalade, we then relished two types of scones. Again, the varieties depend on the chef's selection; it could be plain or flavoured scones: caramel, raisin or cinnamon. We certainly took our sweet time enjoying every bite of this classic offering.
As an ardent chocoholic, the velvety and dense chocolate slice left me smitten as did the airy-light, mango-accented macaron. Amidst more sips of tea, we managed to do justice to the mini cheesecake - its wickedly decadence made me feel like a Cheshire cat that got the cream...
During weekends, the afternoon tea is priced at RM160 for 2 persons. Reservations are advisable to avoid disappointment.
For more information and reservations at The Lobby Lounge, call 03-2142 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org