By Elle Faraday
According to the Chinese philosopher and tea enthusiast
T’ien Yiheng, ‘Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world’. Nowhere is
this truer than the oasis of the Siam Celadon and Tea House, on the bustling
Being from the UK, tea is a passion of mine, to the point of having visitors
bring over boxes of my favourite blends from back home. When I have the time, I
love to pop around Chiang Mai seeking places to engage in what is one of the
more civilised pleasures in life. For a while I had been meaning to visit the
renowned Siam Celadon and Tea House and this week I finally made it there for a
spot of lunch. The establishment is a wonderful fusion of a colonial style tea
parlour and a shop selling traditional Chiang Mai celadon ceramics.
The building, an enchanting painted wooden mansion, is a wonderful reminder of
days gone by. You enter the establishment through the ceramic shop and although
some of the pieces on display caught my eye I fought against the temptation to
browse and went straight through into the tea shop itself.
The tea shop is spacious and stylish and reminded me of the high class tea room
you find along Piccadilly in London. I was caught between sitting inside or
retiring to the exotic tropical garden bursting with colour and greenery.
Eventually I opted to stay inside to savour the atmosphere and watch the comings
I was drawn to the serving counter which was decorated with fresh orchids and
gazed longingly at the glass case displaying cakes and other baked goods. It was
lunchtime so I opted for a jumbo chicken pie topped with a wonderful head of
puff pastry and a glass of refreshing iced Raming Tea, which incidentally is a
local blend grown here in northern Thailand.
My meal was brought by a friendly young waitress who took the time to ensure I
had everything I wanted. The tea was superb and a perfect pick-me-up on a hot
day. The pie was incredibly tasty with a delicate white and fluffy pastry. I
followed up with another glass of tea and a piece of carrot cake from the
Siam Celadon Tea Shop is one of those wonderful places that you can pop into at
any time of the day and always find something to suit your needs. The shop opens
at 9 a.m. for breakfast, which they serve all day, and at 55 baht for a
continental breakfast and 85 baht for a fry up, its excellent value for money.
For elevenses, there is a large selection of iced teas, coffees and fruit
juices, ranging in price from just 35 to 55 baht. The lunch menu is substantial
and includes sandwiches, salads, burgers and pies or a Japanese selection.
Starting at just 50 baht, you are able to get a substantial lunch whatever your
Afternoon tea is something special. There are a huge range of teas on offer
including fruit and herbal teas, Stassen teas imported from Sri Lanka and others
from China, India and Japan. The teas are all served in divine celadon ceramic
tea sets which are attractive and classy. Unlike in England, jam and scones are
not available at tea time but there is a selection of waffles, ice creams,
sundaes and sorbets which will surely prove irresistible for the sweet-toothed
What better way to round off a fantastic lunch than with a spot of window
shopping? Celadon ware has been produced in this part of the world for as long
as 4,000 years and is an important part of the art and crafts culture of Lanna.
The pottery features a deep, crackle-glazed finish and comes in green, blue and
There was a wide range of pieces on offer which include tea sets (naturally),
other kitchenware, crockery and spa and bath products. It was not long before my
window shopping went out of the window and I started reaching for my purse. I
bought a lovely salad bowl and serving spoon and a great salt and pepper set,
but there was so much more that caught my eye. If you like ceramics I strongly
recommend you to take a look for yourself.
The Siam Celadon and Tea House can be found at 158 Thapae Road. Telephone 053
234-518/9 or visit their website www.siamceladon.com for more details.