Merry Tea Time Everyone!

Elevate your winter afternoon experience over an exquisite array of edible festive emojis in the lap of luxury at Peacock Alley

'Tis the season to take afternoon tea to a higher level of indulgence. At least so it is at Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok's plush lobby lounge and bar boasting wraparound windows scoping the emerald greensward of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.

Considerable creative forces have been concentrated on upstaging classic conceptions of afternoon tea with appropriately-themed morsels that pleasure the palate and invoke lingering feelings of festive euphoria.

Moreover, orchestrated by passionate Executive Pastry Chef Andrea Noli from Italy, the perfectionist pâtissiers have been carried away by the season's sentiments of generosity and abundance. Hence the final count of pairings of sweet and savoury goodies for two is nearly 30!

"Growing up in Europe, Christmas is a big occasion for me," Chef Noli ventures. It is the most important holiday of the year that kids and adults wait for. It is a time to get together with family and friends, to share a lot of happy moments and laughter. I would like to bring such moments to share over here, and have created each festive dessert item with a Christmas character. I hope everyone will enjoy them and have a happy time here, sharing good memories together."

Every item is consummately cute and there's not a boring old sandwich in sight.

To the low table arrives two plates radiating colour and form, a mysterious Peacock Alley branded box, three elegant condiments and one other fresh bake, all of which screams to be picked up, conveyed to the mouth with great anticipation and munched into delicious oblivion.

There are no rules but it makes sense to commence with the savoury dainties arrayed around two crunchy cones overflowing with lobster cocktail topped with caviar, egg and one of several brightly-hued edible flowers. The seafood cocktail is light and fresh and the bottom of the cone reveals a touch of curry that makes it all the more delectable.

Other savoury bites range foie gras torchon bounded by shortcrust pastry and topped with the fat-busting zing of raspberry & yuzu gel. Thick tongues of finest Norwegian salmon gravlax topped with roe and dill and folded onto cream cheese-slathered bagel go down rather well, too. As does carabineros prawn Caesar pita wrap. A couple of vegetarian picks range crunchy Thai "tung thong" or "golden money bags" of mildly-spiced minced veggies and, a personal favourite, fresh fig, creamy Brie, balsamic pearls on biscuit.

And so to the Pastry Delights. We start in the middle again with Green Tea Christmas Tree, thick, smooth mocha green tea cream precisely cementing Christmas tree-shaped plates of mocha chocolate complete with star on top. Dark chocolate crunch with fudge topping and fresh raspberry jam filling was similarly decadent. Ditto Grand Marnier Macaron, Andrea explaining that Grand Marnier figures a lot in Italy at Christmastime, here intricately embellished with peacock trademark. Plus Coconut Mousse, Pineapple & Lime Cake, a first rate lemony-cheesy Cheese Cake with crumble base topped with strawberry glace and sprouting chocolate reindeer antlers. Plus another manifestly festive bonbon, Santa Claus Blueberry Choux.

There is no hurry and it adds to the pleasure that once these two plates have been done justice, that still leaves the scones that resolve the mystery, two pieces each of two different flavours that revolve daily, including cinnamon and walnut, passionfruit, red berries, chocolate, and classic. Ours were red berries and classic. The fluffy, buttery scones were just firm enough and the condiments, homemade mulberry and prune jam, lemon cream, and clotted cream, made it all too, too delightful.

And yet the final item, really "took the biscuit": Chef Noli's grandmother's Stollen recipe served so hot you have to hold it between your teeth before surrendering to its layered cinnamon-spicy flavours.

Freshly-brewed fine coffee or equally fab Mariage Frères' teas accompany, featuring "Noël" gourmet black tea, an irresistible blend of silver needles, mandarin, cinnamon, almond, orange and Bourbon vanilla sprinkled with golden stars. No exaggeration to hail it as most beautiful, delightful and illuminating tea of Christmas. Or select your preferred libation from the extensive tea and coffee list, or indeed the bar which would be extra.

Located on the Upper Lobby, Peacock Alley is open daily from 9am - 10pm. The Festive Afternoon Tea Set, available from 1pm - 5pm, is priced at B2,200++ per set for two, including tea or coffee.

PEACOCK ALLEY Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. 151 Ratchadamri Road. Tel. 02 846 8888 or email bkkwa.fb@waldorfastoria.com.