We were invited to afternoon tea at the E&O last Sunday by Ain, a friend and longtime client who had flown into Penang for business.
Ain runs Beckets Property, a company which deals with condominiums and bungalows in Langkawi and the UK.
She knew of our 12th year anniversary and wanted to celebrate this with us when she came to Penang. (We’ve had afternoon tea here before but none in celebration of our Redbox Studio’s 12th anniversary so this was extra special!)
The E&O Hotel is always a beautiful nostalgic hotel famous for many memories, particularly as one steeped in history. Built in 1885 by the Armenian brothers called Sarkies, the hotel houses some 100 elegant suites.
Some suites are famous because Rudyard Kipling stayed there! Other notably famous folks who’ve stayed in this grand old dame include writers Somerset Maugham and Hermann Hesse, Sun Yat-sen, even Lee Kuan Yew!
The refurbishment has upped the ante for this hotel with old world charm. The suites still have heavy keys instead of magnetic cards. The bathroom is spacious and inviting and what’s quaint is their toilet seat made from wood! Brass knobs and fixtures give the suite such an English air. There’s ambience and then there’s Ambience, especially if you have a personal butler at your beck and call (think of the very English butler called Jeeves?).
The Sunday we were there for tea the sky was overcast and cloudy. Ain remarked it looked a bit dreary, like England! The sea was stormy and rain was soon starting but as we were ensconced inside 1885 with cucumber sandwiches and delectable pastries for tea, we felt very much like the Duchess who inspired the habit of taking afternoon tea!
I can’t remember which Duchess it was now but she had a ‘sinking feeling’ each afternoon so she had some bites to last her till the next meal. That is how afternoon tea caught on! Trust the Brits to be so utterly quaint!
It truly was a splendid English afternoon tea at the E&O Hotel! (I kept thinking of the Mad Hatter when we were having tea!)