[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]he newly-revamped Lobby Lounge at InterContinental Singapore gives a different take on afternoon tea. While traditionalists can still partake in the Royal Heritage Afternoon Tea Set, complete with pretty floral teapots of light fragrant brews, what the hotel calls Not an Afternoon Tea has also piqued our interest. Here, guests get to enjoy artisanal coffees neat on the rocks, infused in rich pastry creams, and even shaken into cocktails.

Caffeine buzz aside, everything here – from the swanky chandeliers overhead to the soothing sounds from a smart-suited quartet of musicians – sets the mood for relaxation. Allow yourself to sink into the high-backed chairs with plump pillows, and pick on mini finger sandwiches, cakes and open-faced crostinis served on a three-tier stand.

Little innovative touches add an interactive element to tea, like tiramisu in a chocolate cup served with a syringe of coffee liqueur. Our advice: Use all of it. Scones are served warm from a basket, where staff proffer a choice of coffee or lemon-raisin specked ones before bringing out little dishes heaped with coffee mascarpone and wild strawberry jam.

It’s all very colonial grandeur meets modern design, in a luxurious gem of a hotel hidden right by a crowded shopping mall.

The Lobby Lounge
Level 1, InterContinental Singapore
T 6825-1008

The full list of Singapore’s Best at
G Restaurant Awards 2016.

All tastings conducted incognito with esteemed members of G’s Food Panel.