Five Best: Hotels for high tea

Rhiannon Batten finds the chicest spots for the hottest drink of the season

Monday 29 April 2013 06:59

Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, India

This is Mumbai's most dramatically located hotel - by the sea, opposite the Gate of India arch. The hotel's old palace wing remains the city's classiest pit stop. Of its many cafés and restaurants, the Sea Lounge offers an unusual Asian high tea.

The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai (00 91 22 5665 3366; Doubles with breakfast start at US$275 (£145). Asian high tea 575 rupees (£6.95).

Mount Nelson, South Africa

At the foot of Table Mountain, and surrounded by acres of palm-filled gardens, the pink-frosted Mount Nelson is one of Cape Town's grandest hotels. Opened in 1899 by shipping magnate Sir Donald Currie during the Boer War, young reporter Winston Churchill was a regular. More recently, Salma Hayek checked in when she was in town. Many guests come just for the afternoon tea - a smorgasbord of smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, gourmet pies, jam scones and all manner of teas. Michael Winner was so taken with it he dubbed it the best in the world. Make of that what you will.

Mount Nelson Hotel, 76 Orange Street, Cape Town (00 27 21 483 1000; Doubles start at 3,460 rand (£306) including breakfast. Afternoon tea 110 rand (£9.80).

The Berkeley, England

Definitely one for the girls. Not only has The Berkeley introduced Girls' Night In, an overnight package where you get a manicure and a tub of Ben & Jerry's thrown in with your room, but it also helped revive the fashion for afternoon tea with its Prêt-à-Portea experience. This is served daily in the Caramel Room, and involves catwalk-inspired éclairs, cakes and fancies such as Diane von Furstenberg puffs and Jimmy Choo buns.

The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London (020-7950 5490; Doubles start at £229, room only. Prêt-à-Portea from £31 per person.

The Windsor, Australia

The grand dame of the Melbourne hotel scene boasts towering ceilings, oodles of marble and National Trust classification. The high point of a weekend visit is the Windsor's afternoon tea, including Chocolate Indulgence (served from April to September), Classic Indulgence (October to December) and Ice-cream Indulgence (January to March).

The Windsor, 103-115 Spring Street, Melbourne (00 61 3 9633 6000; Doubles start at AU$275 (£113) including breakfast. Afternoon tea from AU$33 (£14).

La Maison Douce, France

"Sweet House", an upmarket B&B on France's Ile de Ré, is a model of understated chic. Its antique-filled rooms and pretty gardens are the ideal place to relax after a hard day's lolling on the beach. One of the selling points, apart from the World of Interiors-style décor and the laid-back, indulgent ethos, is the à la carte afternoon tea, which is served on divine French crockery.

La Maison Douce, 25 rue Mérindot, St-Martin-de-Ré (00 33 546 092 020; Doubles start at €105 (£75), room only. Afternoon tea from €4 (£2.90).

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