So where would you go, in Penang, if you wish to have a quiet tête à tête with your best friend over a traditional English Afternoon Tea? Why … to 1885, of course.
1885 – named for the year that The Eastern & Oriental (The E&O) Hotel was established, is a classic colonial-style dining venue located along the corridor linking the Victory Annexe to the Heritage Wing. Everything about the place oozes traditional colonial charm – from the curved doorways to the elegantly paneled walls, classic chandeliers, heavy scalloped drapes framing tall windows and starched white table linen. If not for the sometimes-boisterous clientele eagerly awaiting their teas, one can almost imagine being transported back in time to 1885. During our staycation at The E&O, we had a chance to chill-out at this beautiful restaurant.
Available daily, the Afternoon Tea is served from 2pm till 5pm and customers are to come in a pair as the food is portioned for two but each person gets an individual pot of tea. The tea list offers a pretty good selection with teas like Earl Grey, Jasmine Gold, Mint & fresh, Greenleaf, Morgentau, Raspberry Royal, Pure Camomile and more.
Buttery plain and raisin scones with cream and strawberry jam are served on a fine-boned china plate. The cold cream was a bit too smooth to be of the clotted type. A typical English offering – afternoon tea is meaningless without these crumbly delights.
Daintily-cut sandwiches and some puff pastries on a double-tiered tray make their entrance next. In various shapes and sizes, the sandwiches are made from various types of thinly-sliced breads like whole wheat bread, poppy seed brea, village bread and the regular white bread. Fillings comprise of roast beef with grain mustard mayonnaise, Scottish smoked salmon with lemon butter, chicken with horseradish cream and of course, the inevitable cucumber with cream cheese! Sandwiched in between these sandwiches are a couple of puffy voulevants stuffed with creamy egg mayo and alfalfa strands.
Finally a platter of pretty petite fours is placed on our table – a sweet finale to the afternoon tea indeed. They look too pretty to eat. There are cheesecake squares topped with cream and almonds, cream and chocolate tarts, baby macarons, glazed madeleines and chocolate rolls filled with decadent cream – truly a dessert lover’s fantasy.
At RM56++ per person, this afternoon tea is immensely popular, particularly during the weekend. Reservation is highly encouraged. Of course it’s much better to go on a week day – there’s less likelihood of running into over-enthusiastic tea aficionados (young and old alike) who might just encroach a bit too much into your quiet tête à tête.
The Eastern and Oriental Hotel
10 Lebuh Farquhar