Thursday, May 31, 2007

High Tea at The Oriental

Today the population of Bangkok awoke to the news that the Thai Rak Thai, the political party of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had been dissolved, and a further 110 party executives had been banned from politics for five years. Instead of the violent street protests many observers had predicted, there was relative calm. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the judgment read by the constitutional court lasted a full nine hours and went well past most sensible peoples' bed times the previous night. Conveniently, today also happened to be the public holiday Visakha Bucha Day (Buddha's birthday) so we all had the day off. Seeing that this was an auspicious day, it seemed like the perfect time to waddle on down to the Oriental Hotel for high tea. I would spend this Buddhist holiday acting in a very un-Buddhist like fashion.

The Oriental Hotel is often described as one of the finest hotels in the world. Today's venture was my second time on the premises. It's a strange place full of the upper crust and the pretenders. The wealthy well dressed rub shoulders with the equally wealthy and slovenly. A Louis Vitton store sits directly across from the main entrance. This is certainly a place to see and be seen. For others it's simply a place to see as it has a colorful history. Many famous authors spent time at the Oriental Hotel over the years. The oriental proudly lists these great men for their guests to see. High tea is served in the Authors lounge where a dress code is strictly enforced. No sandals, no backpacks, no undesirables.

Here's the Author's Lounge where even people with little or no writing ability can can enjoy high tea.


Here's a nice display of what kind of teas are available.



On to the food. Our party opted for four! Traditional Tea sets. This included the usual suspects: scones, a selection of jams, clotted cream, finger sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and of course tea.
We started with a nice lime sorbet.

Next came everything else!
Scones:

Tea:

Spread:




This was all a little too much and rather expensive by Thailand standards. A whopping 900 Baht gave us each the privilege of drinking tea like good old-fashioned colonialists in a country that never suffered the indignity of being colonized by a foreign power. We skipped dinner.

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