We love contrasts, especially when the time has a part in it. Just like the new and old came together at Mandarin Oriental Authors' Lounge, the same happens at The House on Sathorn. For sure, in a completely different way with high-rise urban jungle circling the premises. Skyscrapers took a back seat and became something like a stage curtain to expose the charming mansion – House on Sathorn. This view makes it a perfect place for indulging afternoon tea in always busy Bangkok. Read on and check our House on Sathorn high tea review to make sure if this will be your next afternoon tea destination.

House on Sathorn high tea
This is a place nostalgic souls should visit at least once in a lifetime.

About the Place

The house on Sathorn is around 130 years old building with a rich history. Probably the most high-spirited when it became a hotel about 95 years ago. After 18 years of welcoming guests, this beautiful building became the first Russian Embassy in Thailand.

House on Sathorn review
Recently renovated house on Sathorn is 130 years old heritage gem.

Obviously, even buildings need a break from the politics, given the fact that the mansion was left empty after half a century of housing an Embassy. Now, after the 16 years long break The House on Sathorn is open for all gourmands as an important part of the culinary map of Bangkok.

  • Beautiful colonial buildingIsn't it beautiful?
  • House on Sathorn courtyardTwo shades of yellow embrace the guests with warmth and comfort.
  • House on Sathorn reviewTo us, it felt the best to sit on the open inner courtyard and relish the shade.

How Does it Feel to Be in the Center of This Archeological Site?

In a nutshell, it's fantastic. A few factors contribute to this, first is well-executed restoration completed in cooperation with the Department of Fine Arts. It really is a well-preserved heritage landmark that never goes out of date. Two shades of yellow embrace the guests with warmth and comfort.

skyscrapers behind old building
High-rise urban jungle is circling the premises on each side.

Quite the opposite from the towering skyscrapers all around it. Same goes for the green shuttered windows and graceful moldings that make you forget about the glassy gray beasts all around. It is a place where new and old collide in style. As can be seen, it felt the best to sit on the open inner courtyard and relish shade with a high tea set.

House on Sathorn courtyard
The inner courtyard is even greener thanx to the green-shuttered windows.

The House on Sathorn Afternoon Tea Set

Our Heritage afternoon tea set included the individual choice of TWG tea, a welcoming scoop of strawberry sorbet, a plate with four savories for each of us, scones, and sweets to share. One can also choose the Madame Staro afternoon tea set or Hotel Royal afternoon tea set, which comes with additional bubbles, but treats are the same.

House on Sathorn high tea
We were eager to try The House on the Sathorn afternoon tea.

TWG Tea at The House on Sathorn

For the occasion, we went for the Imperial Lapsang Souchong tea and English breakfast tea.

TWG Imperial Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

The most noticeable is the pleasant smoky aroma, which comes from the traditional smoke-dried process. In this case, they use the Chinese pine, which leaves the flavor and aroma of the burning pine wood. Honestly, this is a characteristic that we are more used to in the liquor than the tea. Even so, the smokiness leaves room for notes of dry longan and classic black tea. On the flavor specter, it's more masculine and pungent than the ordinary cuppa.

wooden artwork
The house is an architectural gem that fills you up with nostalgia on every step.

English Breakfast

Our second choice is the classic blended black tea with a substantial energy boost and a slight bitterness at the finish. I especially liked the smooth mouthfeel and its full-body. The name is somewhat misleading as it could be interpreted that it was “invented” in England. As it turned out the blend dates back in 1843 to New York City.

floor to ceiling lights
Nightfall brings the best out of this chandelier.

The man responsible for the mix was an English immigrant, Mr. Richard Davies who happens to be a tea merchant. He made a successful breakfast blend which others quickly imitated. But it wasn't known as the English Breakfast until the queen Victoria tasted it in 1892 on her trip to Scotland. She liked it so much that she returned to London with tea supply.

Bangkok art
An example of new and old complementing one another.

Amuse Bouche: a Scope of Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry sorbet with vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon for lovely wooden notes is a good start. That is true even when sorbet is rock solid and since it let us enough time for photos that isn't something to complain about. Despite the frosty looks and the ice cube texture, it tasted nice after being exposed to the outdoor heat.

Strawberry sorbet
Strawberry sorbet with vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon is a good start.

Scones

For us, the highlight of scones related part were the jams and Devonshire clotted cream. If the scones wouldn't be glued to my teeth, I'd gladly forget about them. To some degree I did, especially after having some coconut marmalade full of coconut flesh and just enough amount of condensed milk.

House on Sathorn high tea
For us, the highlight of scones related part were the jams and Devonshire clotted cream.

The sweet mango jam captured the juicy ripe mangoes perfectly and went well with clotted cream. Last spread that we finished before the scones was the strawberry jam. It somewhat reminded me of the strawberry sorbet we had earlier, only jam was sweeter with tasting notes of mulled wine. Luckily there is more to The House on Sathorn afternoon tea than the plain scones, which were off.

Thai house details
The green shuttered windows and graceful moldings make you forget about the glassy gray beasts rising high all around the mansion.

The House on Sathorn Heritage Afternoon Tea Savories

First to go was the juicy spinach tart with light dough and delicious filling abundant with greens. Considering the light flavors, we continued with the crab and cucumber Bao sandwich. The Bao stands for the soft steamed rice bun, just perfect for the subtle crab meat. If only the seasonings would be more gentle and let the crab shine through. With intense curry and coriander, the delicate crab could easily be replaced for some other protein. However, it made the bite lighter and cucumber crunch landed in it beautifully.

House on Sathorn high tea
Half of the savories had too little filling which left the cucumber being the striking part.

The star of our next high tea finger sandwich was also from the sea. Given the European roots of croissant, the Scottish salmon seems like a reasonable choice. Its smoky file was surrounded by creamy spread and fresh cucumber, which to my surprise added most of the flavor.

Croissant sandwich
The smokey salmon fille was surrounded by creamy spread and fresh cucumber in the middle of a croissant.

Last of the savories was the mini bun filled with prosciutto, cheese, good sized tomato, and a thin cucumber slice. What was unique about this bun was its slightly sweet taste and again the cucumber being the star.

House on Sathorn
House bar is well stocked and cozy.

The House on Sathorn Afternoon Tea Sweets

Quite a long list of sweets counted the eleven different western influenced treats. All were bigger than usual afternoon tea sweets, which were perfect for sharing between the two of us.

House on Sathorn afternoon tea sweets
Sweets were bigger than usual afternoon tea treats, which were perfect for sharing between the two of us.

My Favorites

School book example of cheesecake deserved the golden cake board for many reasons. Starting with the fresh shiny blueberries on top and the wonderfully cheesy, moist taste, which wasn't too sweet. Among my favorite sweets was also the plus size citrus macaron. It had everything - plenty of lime filling, fragile meringue that melted away and elegant looks with a lime on top. Very impressive was also the Canelle de Bordeaux with a wonderfully caramelized crust and soft spongy interior.

Canelle de Bordeaux
Canelle de Bordeaux with a wonderfully caramelized crust and soft spongy interior tasted delicious even without the cherry on top.

House on Sathorn view
We love contrasts, especially when the time has a part in it.

Classic Win

True classics that I remember from my early age are the tasty double baked Italian cookies that I loved dipping into the tea. That habit came to life when we got mixed nuts biscotti as a part of our afternoon tea at the house of Sathorn. I loved the dominating taste of pistachios as well as the insane crisp.

hazelnut dessert
Hazelnut-caramel Paris Brest with lush hazelnut cream and crunchy hazelnuts was incredible.

The Macau egg tart could be described as the Pana Cota on the puff pastry, which is a wonderful combination. In the first place, it was the creamy filling where most of the taste was coming from, but also the crunchy puff pastry added its share.

raspberry tart
The raspberry tart with white chocolate filling tasted artificial and ruined the perfectly fine dough.

Among the classics I liked were also the 64% Valrhona Chocolate Cake and Peach Melba. The chocolate cake was more fulfilling, with fruity notes provided by fresh banana puree in the moist chocolate filling. Right the opposite carries out the Peach Melba, which was sort of a light peach pudding topped with raspberry cream.

old pulteney
Award-winning Scotch whisky collection on display.

Sweets That Could Be Better

It is only fair to mention a few pieces that to our taste need some improvement. For us, the candy fruit mosaic cake lacked candied fruit and it felt more like dry bread. Next is the raspberry tart with white chocolate filling. Here the chocolate filling tasted artificial and ruined the perfectly fine dough. The last one, the pistachio mascarpone comes with the watery cream and unpleasant taste that doesn't go away any time soon.

pistachio dessert
Some sweets were great, but others like this one need to be improved.

Critique

The House on the Sathorn is a gourmet destination, and as such, I expected nothing less than perfection. The location itself is an absolute gem, but the service spoils the experience to some degree. Same goes for the overused tea set full of scratches and out of the contest to the surroundings.

used glass teacup
The overused tea set isn't the best choice, especially because is out of the contest to the surroundings.

Food wise a few savories had too little filling which left the cucumber being the striking part. Some of the afternoon tea sweets could be way better if only they wouldn't go for the ready-to-use ingredients. Maybe this is the reason the scones were too mushy and tasted unpleasant.

  • inside the House on SathornDuring the three-year restoration period, the Department of Fine Arts contributed its expertise for impeccably executed work.
  • House on Sathorn reviewIt really is a well-preserved heritage landmark that never goes out of date.

Conclusion

The house on Sathorn is an architectural gem that fills you up with nostalgia. It is not only stunning but also the perfect contrast to the modern surroundings. All that and their culinary reputation makes The House on Sathorn one of the best places in Bangkok for high tea. We were eager to try their food especially because of their culinary expertise and frankly we expected more than we got. Regarding the taste of the savories, we agree it could deliver more flavor, but it was beautifully displayed on the wooden board.

the dining room at the House on Sathorn
Chef Fatih Tutak brought The Dining Room on the list of Asia's 50 best restaurants.

Sweets outnumbered the savories, with some being awesome but there were some that were unpalatable. In fact, The House on Sathorn is a place nostalgic souls should visit at least once in a lifetime. Even though our experience wasn't perfect, we loved every minute we spent in this old "heritage bubble."

  • House on Sathorn reviewBeing part of this "heritage bubble" in the middle of bustling Bangkok sure is special.
  • old typewriterExploring the premises lead us to many vintage items.
  • beautiful pillarChinese immigrant Chai Sua Yom had an eye set for the esthetics when he was building his home.

House On Sathorn Afternoon Tea Review Card


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Price and Location

Afternoon tea set for two at House on Sathorn will cost you about 50 USD. Here is a link to a location for easy navigation.



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