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I’m sorry, but even I do not like tea THIS much. I thought there were no limits to what I would do for a good cuppa, but I was wrong! Take a look at this….
http://www.viralnova.com/dangerous-trail-huashan/

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Indocafe, Singapore

35 Scotts Road
Singapore 228227
Tel. 6733 2666

Try some high tea Peranakan style at Indocafe. Peranakan is a blend of Malay and Chinese cuisine that is delicate, subtle and fragrant. Served with a choice of teas (black, oolong or flavoured) or unique home blended Indonesian drip coffees. Cultural performances are also on offer as a special treat, every day from 3.30pm
to 4pm with high tea. SGD $38++ per person.

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I didn’t, until last week at Singapore’s Conrad Hotel. It’s as easy as one, two, three.

1. The teapot asleep.

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2. Wake the teapot and the water drains downwards, leaving the tea bag high and dry.

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3. Pour and enjoy!

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Clever! Now I need to find the same design for loose leaf tea, because, really ….. tea bags? Honestly!

Darjeeling Nouveau 2013 from TWG

Darjeeling Nouveau 2013 from TWG

Spring on the Equator is a bit of a non-event, so when the Darjeelings arrive, it’s like spotting the first blossoms on bare trees.

TWG in Singapore has just received the new first flush 2013 harvest of Darjeeling teas, air-flown from India. There are 12 single estate teas plus this “Darjeeling Nouveau” blend to taste and compare. I hope to try them all…

Traditional folk music on the Perfume River

Hue  in central Vietnam is the country’s former imperial capital and now protected as a Unesco world heritage site for its citadel (think forbidden city and Last Emperor on a smaller scale) and impressive emperors’ tombs scattered around the outskirts of town.

It’s early July and Vietnamese tourists make up the bulk of visitors here. We joined them for a rather corny evening boat cruise on the Perfume River, with traditional folk songs and music.

Turning the tinkle of crockery into a musical instrument, tiny teacups are played like castanets at amazing speed, producing a chiming sound almost like bells!

My favourite part was when this musician had finished performing, she zipped her teacups away inside a furry pencil case shaped like Mickey Mouse, who would keep them safe and sonorous for the next batch of tourists!

Teacups as castanets in Hue, Vietnam

Geneva’s Laughing Teapot

It was a very quick trip to Geneva this March, but there was time for a power chat to catch up with Pilar, my fellow tea aficionado (ok, we are fanatics….) at La Théière qui Rit (The Laughing Teapot) in Geneva’s old town. You can hardly make it into the tearoom over all the enormous cakes! My tastebuds were laughing.

La Théière qui rit
15, rue de la Cité
1204 Genève
Closed on Sundays
http://www.noogo.com/theiere/menu.php

I stumbled upon this tearoom and patisserie in the most unlikely location at Penhas Road, near Lavender MRT, when two girls asked me to take their picture in front of the window full of cakes. Behind the enticing display lies a world full of pastries, macaroons, savoury dishes and all things high tea, served until 10pm. Some of the furnishings are slightly Louis XVI and Kirsten Dunst’s Marie Antoinette would certainly not feel out of place here.

The loose leaf teas are served in teapots in hand filled bag. The quality is average and many are flavoured, but the overall experience aspires towards afternoon tea at La Durée on the Champs Elysées, and is definitely worth the trip.

Antoinette has four addresses in Singapore: Penhas Rd, Mandarin Gallery and Palais Renaissance at Orchard, and the Scarlett Hotel in Chinatown.

30 Penhas Road
Singapore 208188
Tel 6293 3121
MRT: Lavender 
www.antoinette.com.sg