More than just cucumber sandwiches and pots of Earl Grey tea, the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Bali Resort hosts one of the most elaborate and delightful Afternoon Tea spreads on the island. Celebrating the hallowed tradition that was nurtured at the first St. Regis hotel in New York, the stretch of gourmet treats will have you wishing Afternoon Tea continued throughout the day.
A Distinctive Legacy
Over a century ago, the first St. Regis swung open its palatial bronze doors on New York’s legendary Fifth Avenue, marking the beginning of the St. Regis story that we know today. Now, with over thirty luxury hotels and resorts located in the best addresses around the world, the St. Regis has managed to maintain the traditions that have won them so many fans, with one of those traditions being their decadent Afternoon Tea. Born of a distinctive legacy, the Afternoon Tea at the King Cole Bar today remains a treasured tradition at The St. Regis Bali Resort.
The St. Regis Experience
It is hard to ignore the old-world elegance of the King Cole Bar, with its deep mahogany hues, rich woods and classically patterned chesterfield sofas. Whether you are propped outside on the sophisticated veranda overlooking the luscious gardens of the St. Regis, or relaxing inside the cool and collected air-conditioned tea room, the melody of the classic piano paints a wonderfully vintage picture. In fact, it is decorated in such a traditional fashion, I can imagine New York’s finest all those years ago, sipping on teas and chattering over sweetly decorated cakes.
In true St. Regis style, a smartly dressed and very professional “Tea Master” appears, together with his library of knowledge about the spectrum of teas on offer, from classic Earl Grey, to herbal and fruit infused teas. Even as a coffee lover, I decide to swap the bean for the Tea Master’s fresh leaves. Try the Passionfruit infused tea for a pleasant mix of tropical fruit with the lively taste of rich black tea.
Next, the Afternoon Tea tier arrives, featuring a selection of sweet and savoury gourmet treats. Prawn rolls and curried samosas may not be the first thing you think of for Afternoon Tea, but it will soon become your preference. The samosa pastry is shatteringly crisp, with the perfect amount of doughiness on the inside, mixed with curried potatoes and fantastic spices.
For a more traditional bite, the award-winning pastry team, driven by the award-winning culinary team, presents memorable afternoon tea classics such as scones, finger sandwiches and spongy cakes. Warm plump scones are filled with clotted cream and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. A slice of marble cake is delicate and crumbly, while a quaint little cookie offers a delightful crunch.
If the two tier Afternoon Tea set isn’t enough for you, fear not, because an extensive display of naughty and nice treats await you at the Afternoon Tea spread, from warm mushroom purées to homemade ice creams and sorbets. The legendary lobster pie is one not to miss, made with warm pastry and filled with succulent lobster. Homemade smoked salmon and grilled vegetable sandwiches are bite-sized and bursting with luxury, but just make sure you save some space for the sweet stuff.
French Pastry Chef Vincent’s caramel macaroons offer stiff competition to the authentic delicacies found in Paris. With their clean and crispy exteriors shading an exquisitely gooey centre, they are the best I have ever tasted. His red velvet cupcakes represent his tremendous talent for playing with presentation. The deep cerise-coloured sponge dramatically contrasts with the light pink swirls of icing, finished with a drop of a fresh raspberry.
Then there are the blueberry tarts, reminiscent of stringy spaghetti to please your inner child. Cradled within a vanilla-infused tart lies a scoop of rich blueberry-flavoured creaminess, topped with swirls and twirls of vanilla icing.
Cue the inner child again, because a majestic chocolate fountain stands at the centre of the desserts, flowing with velvety milk chocolate. Below, skewered strawberries and marshmallows wait for you to dunk and dip them into the river of rich deliciousness. Only the finest chocolate is used for the fountain, curated by Chef Vincent.
A Traditional Tipple
Why not enjoy the St Regis Bali Resort’s Signature cocktail alongside your Afternoon Tea? Not only is it another tradition upheld from the St. Regis story, but Bloody Mary’s are always best enjoyed in the afternoon.
In 1934, bartender Fernand Petiot arrived at The St. Regis New York, bringing with him a unique vodka and tomato juice cocktail, originally named the “Red Snapper”. While this name may not have stood the test of time, Fernand’s spicy concoction certainly has, and the Bloody Mary remains the signature cocktail of the St. Regis today. At The St. Regis Bali Resort, the Bloody Mary receives a tropical Balinese twist, aptly named the Bali Mary. Served in a Champagne glass, it is the perfect accompaniment to the exquisite Afternoon Tea.
However, if you’re already feeling a little too naughty after the sea of sweet treats, then try the strawberry, mango and banana smoothie. Bursting with fresh fruit, you can complete the perfect afternoon on a healthy note, unless you go back for seconds, of course.