Most of my closest friends and loved ones have bear witness to my relationship with this timeless affair. I can have tea in the early morning, noon, evening, and even just before bed. But one I've always been excited about is having tea and tea-paired goodies on an afternoon. There's just something special about enjoying tea and snacks a la British royalty while chatting the afternoon away. It's laid-back, it's intimate, it's a treat to the palate, and it involves tea and goodies -- just my kind of thing!
There are a good number of cafes and hotels in the metro that offer afternoon tea sets, and I'm just so happy that one of my favorite hotels in Metro Manila, Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, Manila now caters to afternoon tea time enthusiasts like myself at their signature lobby lounge, the Connect Lounge on the 24th floor.
Okay, I guess I exaggerated a bit. One can always enjoy tea, coffee and light snacks or even meals at Connect Lounge or even at the Cafe Pronto on the ground floor. But there's something more appealing and satisfying when you know you're getting a beautiful afternoon high tea set on a multi-tiered stand. σ(ﾟｰ^*)
The Connect Lounge at Marco Polo Manila is adjacent the front desk, and it's a very relaxing high ceiling-ed space beautifully illuminated by tall windows, perfect for enjoying light snacks, lounging, meetings, intimate catch-up sessions, or even a session of "me" time.
|Choose from these flavored baguettes -- corn, parsley, squid, tomato, or classic|
At the lounge's counter, cold cuts, seafood, a variety of sauces, breads and sweets are displayed to showcase what those who'd avail the afternoon high tea sets can expect. There are also juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages available for additional charge, as only tea, coffee, hot chocolate and iced tea are included in the afternoon tea time set.
Afternoon High Tea
For a late Saturday afternoon, there were quite a few patrons who availed the afternoon tea sets. The window seats were all occupied, which was quite a shame since those seats have a nice view of Pasig City and beyond. Still, our couch seating wasn't all that bad. It was actually the perfect spot to do some photography. Hue hue! （○゜ε＾○）
If you're keen on getting a window seat though, I'd highly suggest to call up for reservation, since it's highly sought-after. By the way, the interior photos above were taken after we finished our late afternoon tea time. Just saying.
|Vanilla tea for me...|
|Coffee for my date|
Connect Lounge carries a decent selection of teas to choose from like Jasmine, vanilla, green tea, peppermint, Earl Grey and English Breakfast. Personally, I like getting the hot tea better since you can always have the pot refilled with hot water. Meanwhile, the boyf had to order an extra cup of coffee to keep up with me and our food. (ര̀ᴗര́)
|Sherbet of the Day|
As we wait for our afternoon goodies, we were served the Amuse Bouche -- a pair of dainty sherbet skewers beautifully placed in an icy bowl. For our visit, we were given Mango and Watermelon sherbets.
And then came our three-tiered afternoon goodies! ೕ(˃̵ᴗ˂̵ ๑)
The top layer carries English scones with strawberry jam and cream, a British afternoon tea session favorite, and a personal favorite of mine to pair with tea ever since I discovered the wonderful world of afternoon tea time.
Salami on corn baguette, shrimp on tomato baguette, smoked salmon on squid ink baguette, chicken on parsley baguette
The middle layer has four open-faced tea sandwiches which you can mix and match from Connect Lounge's available breads, toppings and dressings. You can also choose to just get their standard combinations, or trust the chef to make you their best pairings.
As for us, we thought we'd leave it up to the chef. And it didn't disappoint. I was just happy that each of the special flavored baguettes was used, instead of the classic. You can also choose to have all meat toppings with just a single type of baguette, if that's what you fancy.
The last layer is dedicated to pastries and sweets available for that day. Selection changes daily, so there's always something new if you're a frequent guest. Like with the tea sandwiches, you can also choose to customize your desserts should you wish.
After finishing our three-layered tray of goodies, we were served with the last treat from the set -- Chocolate Fondant. Soft and freshly-made, this molten chocolate goodie is served with cream and chocolate syrup on the side. Though personally, its chocolate gooey lava is already enough to satisfy the chocoholic in me. The cream is a nice addition though. But if I have to nitpick, I wish they'd dial back the sweetness a little.
Our afternoon tea time at Marco Polo Manila is truly one for the books. Most hotels charge higher for afternoon tea sets, but Connect Lounge's rate of P788 nett is very reasonable. Apart from being treated to a good selection of afternoon noms and hot drinks, the refined ambiance and view make the afternoon session all the more fun and enjoyable.
Now, let me reserve a date for my next afternoon tea time at Marco Polo Manila! v(*’-^*)ｂ
Connect Lounge, Marco Polo Manila
24/F Marco Polo Hotel, Meralco Ave.,
San Antonio, Pasig City, Philippines
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