If you ever make a trip to Singapore, and especially if you’re female, afternoon tea is a must. It’s an English tradition, but something that’s done really well in Singapore probably due to our colonial heritage. The Rose Veranda at Shangri-la has always been our favourite place to have high tea, but this place surpasses it in terms of intimacy and quality of the pastries and sandwiches. Rose Veranda is still a whole lot more in terms of value for your buck as it’s a buffet and you get unlimited tea selection as well as cushier chairs.
I guess it’s hard to compare the two venues. Feels like apples to oranges. You don’t get the same level of intimacy as you do at The Knolls. There are no crying infants. The afternoon tea here comes in a tier that’s served. The service is extremely attentive. There’s even a cellist who plays throughout the 3pm to 5pm period. The quiet with just the cello music is very restful. I think I’ll just show you the photos and you can see what I mean.
It started off as a hot day a we entered The Knolls for tea.
The first thing that struck me was the pretty glassware. The servers here were so knowledgeble and attentive to the point that we felt a little shy. I guess we’re used to being left alone to gorge on the food, which is so not what this place is. Here I think you’re supposed to just take tiny bites and relax. That’s the trouble with skipping breakfast and lunch before coming here. We were quite famished at that point. I always try to be elegant, but fail miserably. I am just a natural klutz and country bumpkin.
If you like wine, there seems to be a good selection here. To be honest, I personally would have no idea. I am more a sweet cocktail than a wine drinker. I hardly take much alcohol. I get flushed very easily. I do love champagne, sangrias and frozen lime margaritas on special occasions, but it’s never more than one glass. I am pathetic, I know.
No one was seated at the window as the sun was streaming in.
To be totally and utterly honest, I didn’t find the chairs as comfortable and wished for cushy sofas instead. The quality of the sandwiches and pastries soon made up for this.
Can you see the leg of the cellist? She was performing so brilliantly. It truly added to the ambience.
My tea has a very lovely rose scent. I wish I could have worn it as a perfume. The tea doesn’t require any sugar because it is that good. The teas are from the Gryphon company which dates back to 1918. I tried requesting for and adding a sugar cube, but it ruined the taste. I guess that’s the mark of really good tea? I had the black tea, but there’s also white and herbal teas on the menu. Each tea is priced at S$12 (before taxes of course) if you just want to come here for a pot of tea, which is actually pretty reasonable. A afternoon tea tier with a pot of teas costs about S$38 ++.
So elegant, and everything looks so divine.
Three tiers and my favourite tier with the finger sandwiches. We love these so much, so we ordered more of the egg sandwiches.
I didn’t care for the mousse but my companion said it was good. For the 2nd tier we ordered, we replaced the brownies and mousse with more sandwiches. Felt so greedy, but the portion just seemed too little and it tasted so good.
The madelines has a lovely lemony taste. The scones were stuffed with cranberries. So good.
The chef did such a great job, each item deserves an individual photo starting with the cucumber sandwich.
The egg sandwich, which was my top pick.
The custard filling in this berry tart was just lovely. Perfection.
Loved the taste of lemon.
Loved the taste of orange in this very moist and buttery tea cake.
Generous portion of cranberries in the scones.
And real clotted cream which I believe has a higher level of fat, up to 58% due to the preparation method. In America clotted cream or Devonshire cream as it’s known is considered as butter because of the fat content. You also get strawberries and the loveliest strawberry jam, with your clotted cream. Everything seems to be so carefully selected.
As we left it was pouring. We had such a lovely experience and I would recommend coming here at least once in your lifetime for a special occasion.
The sign at the carpark. You either need to drive or take a taxi here. It’s quite remote and inaccessible otherwise. You can request for a complimentary parking coupon if you dine here, and that will save you some cost.