Over the Songkran holidays in the middle of April, we were treated to the visit of several friends, many of whom I first met through Xanga. One afternoon, some of us gathered for tea in the lobby of the Erawan Hotel. Afternoon tea is one of those treats I enjoy because it is relaxing and provides a sense of sophistication. In fact, in the afternoons during fifth and sixth grade, I would go to my friend David’s house after school. His mother always served milk tea and freshly baked croissant, which I think ignited my appreciation for afternoon tea.
The Erawan, a Grand Hyatt hotel, is conveniently located in the center of Bangkok and its tea service is surprisingly affordable. About 450 Bt (US$15) gets you a large pot of tea and a tall tray of snacks, more than enough for two people to share. A string trio plays in the corner of the lobby, the service is attentive in keeping with Thai custom, and there is no rush. You can spend an hour or two just feeling pampered and very refined.
In researching this entry, I learned that I have been incorrectly using the term “high tea”. This type of afternoon loose leaf tea with cakes and small sandwiches is actually “low tea”. “High tea” refers to a more complete meal that is served in the early evening. Thanks, Wikipedia!