High tea, or Afternoon Tea, is served in Amsterdam’s finest hotels, where you can't tell whether you are in NYC, HK or Dubai. Surely, the sandwiches are phenomenal and the staff tutoyers (although you can't tell in English). However, there are also small, cozy tea rooms - perfect hide aways where you can enjoy savouries, scones and of course, tea! Don’t forget to reserve in advance.
Amstel Intercontinental Hotel
In the Amstel Lounge overlooking the river Amstel I was introduced to the concept High Tea. The hand-made shrimp croquettes, the royal setting and the excellent explanation about the teas have never been equalled by any other venue. Don’t forget to polish your shoes and bring your creditcard! Amstel Intercontinental Hotel, Amstel Lounge, Prof. Tulpplein 1, Amsterdam. T. 020.622 60 60
If the Amstel Lounge is fully booked and you really need to entertain guests formally, you can safely rely on Hotel l’Europe’s High Tea experience. However, do visit the hotel beforehand as in 2010-2011 parts of the hotel are being renovated. Excelsior Hotel l’Europe, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2, Amsterdam, T. 020.531 17 05
The cutest and most likely smallest tea room in Amsterdam is Gartine. Gartine used to be a secret hiding place right in the touristy centre, but now is picking up great popularity. A small, medium and large High Tea are served (E9.95-E18.95), as well as breakfast and lunch. Gartine, Taksteeg 7, Amsterdam. T. 020.320 41 32
De Bakkerswinkel has almost become a household name for breakfasts, lunches and high teas in Amsterdam. There are three branches in town, each with a ‘homey’ feeling, fresh bread and lovely cakes. High Tea menus range from E13.50-E28.95 De Bakkerswinkel (Centre), Warmoesstraat 69, Amsterdam. T. 020-489 8000. De Bakkerswinkel (South), R. Hartstraat 68, Amsterdam, T. 020.662 3594. De Bakkerswinkel (Westergasfabriek), Regulateurshuis 1, Polonceaukade 1, Amsterdam, T. 020.688 0632
A friend recommended Bickers aan de Werf to relax, chat and nibble. Bickers a/d Werf is set on Amsterdam’s main waterway: ‘t Ij. The ambiance is supposedly easy going and casual, and service friendly and fast. Sounds like a place worth trying out in Amsterdam! E20 for a complete High Tea (see menu online, book min. 1 day in advance). Bickers aan de Werf, Bickerswerf 2, Amsterdam. T. 020.320 29 51.