It’s no secret that we at India Unbound like high tea. It’s fair to say that some of the office LOVES it. (Especially if there’s also a glass of champagne with it!)
Whenever we are on a tour of India or travelling in Sri Lanka we do look for new places to have high tea. It can be a great way to see and experience some of the grand heritage or luxury hotels of India and Sri Lanka if you aren’t able to stay at them and is a gentle nod to the countries’ colonial pasts.
For us, high tea allows us to pause and take in a bit of our surroundings, enjoy a cuppa and some tasty treats and watch the world go by. We love the scones and sandwiches served on the cake stand, a silver milk jug, home made jam and a tea cosy!
Here are 3 of our favourite places to indulge in the afternoon as part of a Sri Lanka itinerary, in no particular order.
#1 Galle Face Hotel, Colombo – This icon of Colombo has many draw cards for hotel guests and outside visitors but I would strongly recommend making time for the regular daily high tea. The high tea is served outside on its wide verandah with the fans whirling away overhead and the sound of the waves crashing nearby. The high tea is served in courses – starting with an iced coffee and followed by a cake stand with scones, finger sandwiches and a nori roll. Next comes a plate of hot savories and finally a sweet Sri Lankan pancake filled with coconut and jaggery. It’s a substantial afternoon tea with excellent service.
(We ordered a glass of prosecco separately from the drinks menu to go with it!)
# Tea Trails – I know we have raved about Tea Trails before, but there are lots of highlights about staying at these Colonial-era restored tea bungalows in Sri Lanka’s tea country. One of those is the afternoon tea! You can’t just drop in to Tea Trails for afternoon tea, you can only indulge if you are staying there but it’s just another reason to visit for a few nights. Afternoon tea is served on the verandahs everyday but the tea menu at Tea Trails is exquisite and worth trying as many as you can. If you are a party of four – you can each have your own pot with a different variety of tea – it’s no problem for the staff at Tea Trails. But the whole afternoon tea is great – fresh baked chocolate cake, scones and smoked salmon sandwiches. Delicious! (We love the fact they use tea cosys to keep the pots warm!)
Here too you can have a glass of sparkling if high tea with champagne is what you fancy. High tea is best enjoyed after a walk through the tea plantations to work up an appetite.
An elegant setting, remarkable service and great views – high tea at Tea Trails ticks all the boxes.
#3 Amangalla Resort, Galle – It was just chance that took us to the verandah of the stunning Aman hotel in Galle, Amangalla Resort, on a recent afternoon during a visit to Sri Lanka. Maybe luck or maybe the impending storm, but we are glad it did. This has got to be one of our all time favorite afternoon tea spots in the world! Amangalla has a couple of options for high tea – a full high tea or just a serve of hot scones. We ordered the scones and they were amazing. Warm, straight from the oven and served with thick, delicious cream and homemade jam. They didn’t last long at our table! It came with the choice of a boutique tea.
The service is understated and exceptional. We sat and enjoyed watching the dark storm clouds roll over Galle and loved the atmosphere at this great hotel.
(PS – As the photo shows we also ordered a glass of prosecco from their drinks list to go with the scones…why not? Absolute perfection!)