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High Tea At Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s Author Lounge

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  Site Where: 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok, Thailand, 10500
May 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

As much as we like shiny new hotels and seeking out the latest places to lay our heads when we’re traveling, there is something about hotels that have seen the years come and go, withstood trends rushing in and passing just as quickly, and over time been woven into the very fabric of a city.

That’s why we sought out Mandarin Oriental Bangkok recently, one of the city’s oldest luxe hotels, having had its place on the banks of the Chao Phraya River since 1876 – that’s more than a hundred and thirty years of history. Specifically, we headed to the Author’s Lounge, so named in honor of the various literary greats that have walked through the doors of the hotel (from Somerset Maugham to John Le Carré and Joseph Conrad to Barbara Cartland).

Here, inside its whitewashed walls, sitting on white wicker furniture, and among potted palms and bamboo, is a window to a different time, one of steam trunk travel, genteel afternoons spent at leisure between cricket matches (or so we imagine), and of course – taking high tea.

Being in Bangkok, we opted for the Thai Tea Set, which brings a local twist to the traditional English concept. Three tiers of sweet and savoury treats are more than enough for two people, and include such things as a Thai curry and lotus seed puff and honeyed crisp vermicelli in rice flour shells.

Tea is by Mariage Frčres, a French maison de thé that’s been around since 1854. One of the choices is the Oriental blend - named after the hotel of course - a black tea with jasmine and mandarin orange, which we found delicious.

Arrival and departure from the hotel can be done in style by taking the complimentary water taxi to and from the Taksin pier nearby. This also allows you to enter via the riverside gardens and see the original hotel sign on the historic façade. It is worthwhile though to take the time to wander through the lobby, where massive flower displays rotate based on the seasons. From the Taksin pier, you can easily connect to Bangkok’s rapid transit system (BTS) at Saphan Taksin station, by far the fastest way of getting around the oft traffic-choked city.

The Thai High Tea Set is THB1,200 ($40) per set, serving two people. The various tea blends are THB290 ($10). A Superior Room at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok starts from THB10,950 (about $370) a night.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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