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No, it’s not pretentious at all. In fact, we love the concept of afternoon tea, especially when you can take time out at 4 pm on a weekday and sip on some exotic brews, and bite into delicious sandwiches and sweets. Perhaps we should thank the expat community in Bengaluru for this, but there are a few places in the city that serve a generous spread of high teas. From cucumber or ham and cheese sandwiches, to scones, fruit tarts, macarons and pastries – the fare might not be drastically different from one another, but they definitely have a personal touch to the whole concept.
Take the one at Taj West End for example. Available between 3.30 pm – 6 pm, the high tea menu at Mynt is quite tempting. From the Japanese Sencha, Jasmine Whole Leaf, to the Earl Grey and Peppermint tea, they offer teas to suit different taste buds. To go with it, a treat tray that includes open sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber and dill sandwiches, crispy fish fingers with tartare sauce, lemon tarts, frosted cupcakes, coffee macaroons, to name a few, makes the whole experience rather exotic.
The Ritz-Carlton Bengaluru could not have their afternoon tea simply either. You get to eat the salmon and brioche sandwiches, tomato olive and basil quiche, macaroon, financier, madeleine, along with some of their special brews. It’s quite posh, be assured.
The Oberoi Hotel too offers one – albeit the fact that you can’t walk in and ask for afternoon tea. To be booked 24 hours in advance, the high is open from 3 pm - 6.30 pm only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The menu has a spread of sandwiches, such as the cheese & ham, salmon, cucumber and mint, smoked chicken and mayo. The sweet treats include macaroons, brownies, English fruitcake, and fruit tart, to name a few. And they have scones on it too. You can choose from their selection of tea (or even coffee for that matter), or spike your evening up a bit by going for a cocktail.
But these are the curated ones; there are a few places where you can create your own afternoon tea without making an announcement. Infinitea in Indiranagar, one of my go-to places for everything tea related, serves a wonderful variety of tea (from traditional to exotic brews and tisanes even) that can be paired with sandwiches, salads, pastries and more. Yes, their scones might require a magnifying glass to be spotted and comes with whipped cream, but I don’t care much for that.
An afternoon at Koshy’s on St. Mark’s Road lets you relax over a steaming pot of ginger tea with some cream of chicken sandwiches and mutton cutlets. And if you are feeling Asian on a particular day, stop over at Yauatcha for their afternoon tea session. From Dragonwell Green Tea to the High Mountain Oolong and Kashmiri Kahwa, to name a few, you can easily down quite a few cups here. And eat some dim sums along with it.
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Priyadarshini is an independent journalist from Bengaluru whose life pretty much revolves around food, good music, literature, and cinema. She’s worked with different publications over the past 10 years, and has written about travel, theatre, films, books, music, food and lots of food! She’s travelled wherever her feet and budget would allow, discovering cultures through local palates and social behaviour, and in an ideal world would probably resort to using food and music to resolve any dispute.