A look at the best options for a refined and rather indulgent afternoon tea in Chiang Mai.

High tea is the perfectly elegant way to round off a busy morning of touring and activities. Sip on some of the rarest teas in the world while relishing every morsel of the artisan pastries and sweet treats presented to you on multi-tiered cake-stands. Often featured are the traditional Victoria sponge cake, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, cucumber and salmon finger sandwiches – all delicately presented.

Perfectly suited to all weather too, refreshing on sultry summer days, and soothing when the rain falls. A memorable occasion that will be a highlight when reflecting on your time in this historic and soulful Northern Thailand city.

1. The Pink Teahouse, Vieng Joom On Teahouse


Relax at Vieng Joom On, a serene fairytale-like tea-house on the banks of the Mae Ping River. With two locations in Chiang Mai, these tea houses are known for their unusual blends of teas and delicious Thai cakes and desserts. The Pink Teahouse Vieng Joom On is located on Charoenraj Road. Impossible to miss as the exterior walls are painted a bright fuchsia pink. ‘Vieng’ means city and ‘Joom on’ means pink, and the inspiration for this was taken from Jaipur, India’s pink city and the elegant royal palace and houses it is home to. Believing that pink is the colour of love, and that love plays a major role in producing the best-brewed tea, the theme is just right for Vieng Joom On. The more the owner studied tea, the more her passion for it grew, and the teahouses are a manifestation of that interest. Tea is not simply a drink, it has a long and bountiful history that blends well with art, literature, and a way of life encountered across many nations. Vieng Joom On Tea House has up to 50 kinds of premium quality tea on offer. The tea leaves are selected from famous tea planting places from all around the world. Apart from premium teas, Vieng Joom On Teahouse serves refreshing cakes and desserts and the inviting ambience is a perfect spirit soother.

  1. Villa Mahabhirom Tea Room


Sugar palms and hanging orchids line the black-tiled pool and bamboo groves of Villa Mahabhirom, a village complex of traditional, teak-built Thai abodes raised on stilts and filled with eclectic antique art that is found here. The boutique hotel was conceived to create in a relaxed, sophisticated setting that blends history, culture, community, art and craft with a sense of peace and well-being. Located on the road to the historic Wat U Mong, the original seat of the Sri Lankan tradition of Buddhism in Lanna. Founded in the 13th century, the temple is set against the mountains of Doi Suthep. Indulge in an afternoon tea in the Mahabhirom Tea Room where a selection of delicate finger sandwiches and an array of irresistible cakes, enticing petit pastries and freshly baked scones are prepared following the recipes of the princely Baan Mo Palace in Bangkok. A selection of aromatic teas from Thailand’s only organic tea plantation is available to complement the eats.

  1. The Consul’s Garden


The Consul Garden and surrounds were once part of the private residence of William Alfred Rae Wood or W.A.R. Wood, the first British consul in Chiang Mai from 1921-1970. During his time in Chiang Mai, he built three houses for his use. The first is the Le Coq d’Or Restaurant, which has operated there for more than forty-eight years. The second one is behind The Consul’s Garden, and the third lies beyond. After W.A.R. Wood passed away, his wife moved to live with her children in England, selling this piece of land to a British businessman. At The Consul Garden, classic afternoon tea is served with a variety of savoury and sweet bites, including smoked salmon croissant and classic scones. Sip on aromatic floral teas – rose, lily, lotus, chrysanthemum – or the luxury Dilmah’s Exceptional that is well balanced and has its distinct character. Enjoy views across the iconic Ping River and take a stroll in the gardens before leaving to visit the enormous Raintree that was planted by W.A.R. Wood and his wife. The tree is now more than 100 years old.

4. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort


The star of our decadent experiences. When it comes to afternoon tea, where better than the former British consulate of Chiang Mai, which is now the restaurant and bar of the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort. These heritage buildings are just as splendid as when they were when built a 100 years ago. Designed with spacious wrap-around verandas that catch the river breeze, drinks and meals were served in the consulate’s dining room, with many a game of croquet played on the lawn. Ever graceful, the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort embraces this tradition. Their world-famous Michelin-starred pastry Chef Roger Van Damme from Belgium has designed Anantara Chiang Mai’s uniquely decadent afternoon tea menu – fusing colonial nostalgia with a taste of local intrigue. Partake in an artistic tower, laden with goodies. Enjoy an array of savoury pastries and ornate sandwiches, lavish scones with fruit preserves. Indulge your sweet tooth with classic treats and exotic desserts. Sip the brew of your choice from a premium range of Ronnefeldt loose-leaf teas and freshly brewed coffee.

Or better still, toast life and amazing Thailand with an icy cold glass of Champagne.