As a tea drinker, I am always on the "look-out" for the finest tea shop in town. This healthy beverage picks up my sagging energy especially in the afternoon when I am almost consumed with weariness. It serves as my energy booster. A cup of warm tea always saves my day.

Last weekend, after our Aquaria beach trip in Calatagan, Batangas, my friend and I alighted at Ayala station from Taft to attend a Sunday mass at Mother of Mary's Hope Chapel in Landmark. With our pack bags still with us, we directly went to the chapel.

After the mass we excitedly proceeded to Greenbelt 5 and giggled upon reaching the lobby where TWG Tea situated.

It's an opulent Tea Cafe originally established in Singapore, so luxurious that by looking at its interior alone, an aura of grandeur and glamour can be easily felt.

I was nervous.

Not on its terrific facade but on how things gonna be running. It was my first time to visit a high end tea shop. And I was incredibly afraid to mess up. But my excitement was bigger than my anxiety so we sashayed inside as if we're one of the regular customers. I always wanted to have an Afternoon Tea Party on my birthday but never got a chance to organize it. And this tea trip was my friend's birthday treat to me. 

Finally, we settled in a remote corner because we wanted to observe how the richy richy patrons behaved. We did not dream to put ourselves into some great embarrassment so a little observation was a perfect start.

TWG Tea, though Asian in nature, follows a very European attitude in dining, the etiquette, the setting, and all those intricate details of how to behave in an upmarket tea cafe.

TWG Tea in Greenbelt 5

Tea Party!! 

All smile while waiting for our Tea!!

But here's the funny thing. As the waiter handed down the menu book, my friend and I exchanged curious and hilarious glances. My eyes rolled into great amusement while gazing at the complicated menu book. We did not know how to choose the tea set, a little bizarre  because the list had several options and confusing terms. The waiter sensed our hesitations, so he moved forward and explained the complicated list! It saved us from trouble,

Based on royal etiquette, this is the correct manner of holding a tea cup

European setting is quite amusing when it comes to table manners. Unlike other culture, Europe has a very sophisticated and tricky rules and codes over table etiquette. There should always be a certain process of delivering food, placing a set of cutlery, goblets, blurting orders, etcetera.

The complication sometimes lies on how to hold correctly the tea cup, other races never follow an etiquette in sipping tea, but in Europe, especially the aristocracy, that's something they take so seriously. A certain  dimension of the Tea etiquette must be fully understood, otherwise  one will be bitterly judged as socially ill-mannered.

When I made a research years back about an Afternoon Tea Party,  I learned that the correct manner of sipping tea is to hold the saucer when raising the tea cup and sip leisurely (oh please don't gulp it!), the tea spoon must be placed vertically in a 6:00 0'clock arrangement. Only a tea spoon must be used when putting honey, milk or sugar. And it should not be stirred  frequently!

After a few minutes with lots of observation, frequent browsing on the menu list, finally, our nerves settled down and everything went smoothly.

For our tea food, I chose scones and tea cucumber sandwich because these are perfect afternoon tea partners. Scones are buttery and sweet, so it can perfectly balance the bitter taste of tea.

At TWG Tea, per order is not really expensive. At 540.00 we already had four tea cups of Green Tea, three thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches and two scones with cream and jelly.

Considering that this tea cafe exudes grandeur and glamour, the prices per tea set already compensate the experience.