Words: Aisling Cullen Photos: Monica Tindall
Before moving to the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur, I was living in London, and an ex-beau of mine would take me to Lincolnshire most weekends where we would spend our time cycling around the fields and lakes, breathing in the fresh country air and eating afternoon tea at Belvoir Castle. Little did I know, afternoon tea was invented in Belvoir Castle. In the 19th Century, the Duchess of Bedford was the first to initiate afternoon tea by inviting friends to the castle for tea and pastries to combat that ‘sinking feeling’ she would get around 4pm. Afternoon tea, Le Goûter, was soon adopted by the French, and no matter the origin, I’m delighted to participate in the tradition, especially when the latest offering is at KL’s newest boutique hotel, Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur.
There is no shortage of venues to get afternoon tea, but a good one can be hard to come by. Enter Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, which recently opened in the city centre. This building was formerly 10 shop houses, and the style of the heritage architecture has been retained in the façade. Inside, the décor is more reminiscent of a cool New York style, with exposed brick walls, parquet flooring and fashionable furnishings. The restaurant, Brasserie 25, has streams of daylight entering into the stylish room, adorned with modern chandeliers and a wall of wines.
We were greeted in the restaurant with a friendly ‘bonjour’ from the French hostess, setting the scene for the type of cuisine that would be served to us. Indeed, Hotel Stripes offers a French/Malaysian afternoon tea, which is a bit of a twist on what is readily available in KL.
We started with a selection of Malaysian savouries – a sardine puff, spring roll and steak frites with sambal sauce. The wait staff delivered these items in style, handsomely dressed in crisp new uniforms and white gloves, with the hot items inside an attractive hammered copper box.
A local label, Cameronian Gold Blend, is the house pouring tea (grown in a hill station only a few hours drive north from Kuala Lumpur), and our cups were filled at every opportunity by the attentive and friendly staff.
The stars of the afternoon tea for us were the pastries, French style of course. The almond financier cake was moist and crumbly, and the raspberry macaroon had a slight tartness to it. Also on the platter was a lemon tart, apple tart, madeleines, marshmallows, jellies, and meringue sprinkled with cocoa. These delicious pastries are free-flow, making the afternoon tea great value for money.
Le Goûter at Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is served daily from 3pm – 6pm, and costs RM60 nett for 2 people.
Reasons to visit: Catch the good value opening price of RM60 nett for two people and at the same time be some of the first to check out KL’s latest boutique hotel.
Valet parking at the Stripes Hotel is RM20 for 3 hours.