15 March 2008

A Day of Decadence

When a classy yet free-spirited girl like myself needs a little decadence in her life, where else to go but Bangkok's most famous hotel...the Oriental! Founded in 1876, the Oriental is not only a fabulous five-star hotel located right on the banks of the Chao Praya River but it is regularly recognized as one of the best hotels in the world, according to one of my favorites...Travel & Leisure magazine!

After a little Saturday morning jaunt to Chatuchak Market (a definite favorite weekend hotspot) for some last minute gifts, I escaped the 100 degree heat and sought refuge at the posh Oriental Bangkok for a lovely English afternoon tea. Now, I know the Oriental does not look like much from the outside (refer to picture above) but inside it is nothing but absolute fabulousness for the rich and famous, like myself of course.

One of the reasons why the Oriental Bangkok has earned its grand reputation is because over the years, famous authors have sought refuge here. The likes of Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness people!), Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage anyone?) and James Michener (Tales of the South Pacific of course!) have all shacked up at the hotel at one time or another. Now, the Oriental has a special Author's Lounge which is located in the historic part of the hotel where these intelligent minds stayed. Here, you can enjoy one mean English afternoon tea!

Entering the Author's Lounge, you are literally transported to the early 1900's when these famous works of literature were written. Awash in white and beige, the Author's Lounge is filled with overhanging foliage, stark white wicker furniture and the sweet scent of afternoon tea. Needless to say, I was in absolute heaven. There are several wings to the lounge, and I was graciously escorted to the right wing where all single people have tea by their lonesome.

All around the Author's Lounge, there are books galore! Here is the reading room (adjacent to the right wing), where you can make yourself quite comfortable on the over-sized brown leather sofas and lazily read famous works of literature by all the brilliant minds who once stayed at the Oriental. The whole place is peaceful and the staff waits upon your every need. Time for tea please!

Okay, let's be real, are there any words needed for a spread like this? First and foremost, I just want to say that I studied abroad in London, England - home of the delicious scone (one of my favorite foods, hands down). However, these scones from the Oriental were hands down the best scones I have hand in my entire life. Served with strawberry jam, rose petal jam and some other not-as-tasty jam, I could have easily enjoyed three plates of them. Simply divine.

Along with the killer scones, I ate fruit cake and pound cake. Moving down, there were fresh berries with clotted cream (another favorite of the day), a chocolate & macadamia nut cookie, fruit tart, coffee layered chocolate cake, biscotti and a chewy, fudgy brownie. On the bottom were a nice array of English sammies - salmon & cream cheese, egg salad, cucumber, another one that I had no idea what it was and a yummy English mince meat pie. All this topped off with a pot of Oriental tea - a black tea with hints of jasmine. Like I said, pure decadence.

Seriously, I ate almost all of this spread (at least a good 3/4 of it!) while reading (or rather indulging in) People and Shape magazines which I bought at the Oriental bookstore. You know how they say everyone has a divine experience with God at sometime in their life? Well, I think mine was the 2 hours I spent lounging at the Oriental Bangkok hotel yesterday. Talk about dying and going to heaven!

No comments: