Tea time is all about taking time out to enjoy the moment over a hot cup of tea – and nowhere else is this ritual so beautifully performed than in St. Moritz. While shoppers bustle along the town’s illuminated lanes, there’s nothing better than settling into an antique armchair in the timeless lobby of Badrutt’s Palace – known as Le Grand Hall – and savouring sweet idleness with a delicious cup of tea in an exquisite atmosphere. For the full experience, we recommend indulging in a small selection of delicacies from the in-house patisserie. We promise you won’t regret it. The menu boasts 28 different types of tea from around the world. India, Morocco, England – sit back, relax and take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.
Until the mid-1840s, the English aristocracy only ate breakfast and dinner. According to legend, this changed because of Queen Victoria’s lady-in-waiting, Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford. Because she often felt rather hungry in the afternoons, Anna would request bread, butter and tea at around five o’clock. After a while, she began inviting her friends to «afternoon tea», where sandwiches and small cakes were served alongside freshly brewed tea. These gatherings quickly spread throughout the entire kingdom and soon became a tradition. British tea time was born.
In St. Moritz, afternoon tea is a special experience. The tradition of taking tea at around midday was already well established in many of the grand hotels, mainly among the English holidaymakers, who began flocking to St. Moritz 150 years ago. The English fell in love with St. Moritz after Johannes Badrutt, the hotelier and founder of winter tourism, turned the coldest time of the year into the cosiest. In Survetta House, guests can enjoy afternoon tea over a game of bridge in the lobby of this grand hotel, where a pianist provides live musical accompaniment and, during peak season, a world-champion bridge player is on hand to offer guests a few insider tips.
You can also indulge in a cup of Earl Grey and a few guilty pleasures in the refined ambience of St. Moritz’s traditional coffee houses and cosy tea rooms. We recommend trying a slice of Engadin’s famous walnut tart in the world-renowned Café Hanselmann, which boasts an idyllic view of Lake St. Moritz. Alternatively, you could round off the tea-time experience with a selection of their handmade pralines.
A stroll through the pedestrian area in the heart of St. Moritz is characterised by the fragrant aroma of English tea and freshly roasted coffee wafting from the specialist Glattfelder shop, which has been delighting tea lovers for 80 years. The range extends from local Alpine herbs through to blends from India and East Asia, so you’re sure to find something that’s precisely your cup of tea.
The Hauser restaurant and café features a tea room and a legendary confiserie, and is an absolute must. Not only does it serve an exquisite British high tea, there are also three types of Engadin walnut tart on offer, as well as Grisons Birnbrot (pear bread) made according to the confiserie’s own recipe. At Hauser, afternoon tea is always an unforgettable experience.
Did you know that the hotel lobbies of St. Moritz’s luxurious grand hotels are open to everyone – almost every hour of the day and night? They provide the perfect setting for a stylish afternoon tea in elegant surrounds. In the majestic Kulm Hotel, guests can look forward to more than 40 varieties of tea, accompanied by multitiered cake stands laden with sweet and savoury delights. There is surely no nicer way to spend an afternoon than chatting with friends over steaming black tea, English cucumber sandwiches and – that British afternoon tea classic – scones with clotted cream and jam. Freshly brewed pots of tea are also part of the afternoon ritual in the stylish lobby and bar at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains. This luxurious high tea experience is similarly rounded off by devilishly tasty snacks.
Tea time in St. Moritz means five-star service and a culinary experience par excellence. Exquisite biscuits and an endless variety of tea provide pure pleasure for the palate and make this sunny Alpine town a dream destination for visitors from Switzerland and beyond.