I celebrated my birthday recently. I made plans to go to my favorite Spanish restaurant, which serves the best paella and callos, with free birthday brazo de mercedes to boot. But I sadly learned that they had closed permanently! RIP, Paellas y Mas.

So I had to change my plans and decided to have afternoon tea at the Writers Bar instead. My dad is not a fan of tea, so it was a ladies’ day out with my mom, sister, and niece. And it turned out to be one of my best birthdays ever!

The Writers Bar at the Raffles Hotel is designed like a library (I still don’t know if the books are real). It’s not grand like the Peninsula Manila, which is rightfully famous for its ornate lobby. But because the Writers Bar is small, it’s cozy and homey, and it feels like you’re having tea with the Dowager Countess in the library at Downton Abbey. I’m a huge Anglophile (and overall nerd), and I adore the ambience at the Writers Bar. They regularly change themes for their afternoon tea, and when we were there Russian Afternoon Tea was on offer. We were treated to Russian delicacies such as King’s cake, pirozhki, pickled herring blinis, and kanapki – which were all seriously so good. There were also cranberry and orange scones with lemon custard and my mouth is watering right now.




Even the foyer was decorated accordingly, so we had our tea with Dostoevksy and Tzar Nicholas II (I think?) himself.


The entrance to the Writers Bar



“Carson, we’ll have tea in the library”.



They even surprised me with cake while the pianist played the birthday song!


My birthday cake



Another bonus was the pianist playing Kalmar and Ruby’s “Thinking of You” from Three Little Words!



Our server Hazel was also a gem. It was a wonderful birthday, and I know I will be back. Spasiba, Writers Bar and Raffles Hotel!