From hive to table: Raffles’ afternoon tea is a sweet experience

Executive chef Bèla Rieck uses raw honey harvested from the hotel’s own bee colony.

The music was Rachmaninoff’s Flight of the Bumblebee, an interlude that conveys the frenetic flying of bees. And the process was fascinating to watch.

Raffles Makati recently demonstrated at The Writers Bar the way a beekeeper extracts honey from the hive frames of their bees that visit the flowers around Makati and within a six-mile radius (the distance bees cover in one trip).

Raffles Hotel Executive Chef Bela Rieck
Raffles executive chef Bèla Rieck and beekeeper Katya Rieck extract honey from the honeycombs at The Writers Bar.

According to experts, bees travel a distance equal to four times around the earth to produce two pounds of honey. And they visit about two million flowers to make just one pound. It’s no wonder then that raw honey is called liquid gold.

Harvested from its own bee colony on the hotel premises, honey is the main star of The Writers Bar’s Honeylicious Afternoon Tea for June. Raffles executive chef Bèla Rieck and beekeeper Katya Rieck spun the hive frames in an extractor machine to draw honey out of the combs and into a reservoir.

Raffles Hotel Savory finger sandwiches
Savory finger sandwiches at Honeylicious Afternoon Tea.

You could see the golden liquid slowly making its way down the extractor into the container and, voila, guests were able to taste just how delicious raw honey is. For one, raw honey is not too sweet like processed honey that you buy in supermarkets. For the chef, it is the perfect ingredient to make afternoon tea sweets and to add to tea-based cold concoctions.

Raffles Hotel Manager Aubrey Ada says The Writers Bar has lined up exciting themes for the rest of the year. “Early this year, we again started having different themes and featuring star ingredients, like sakura last month, to make our afternoon tea a more exciting experience for our guests,” she says and adds, “July is another month to look forward to.”

Honeylicious Afternoon Tea, ongoing until June 30, features a selection of sweet and savory canapés by executive chefBèla Rieck to showcase the flavors of honey. The tea tower has honey dates wrapped in prosciutto skewers, honey Gorgonzola and arugula sandwich, honey osoman-infused white chocolate tart, and tahini and honey macarons to name a few.

Raffles Hotel afternoon tea
Honeylicious Afternoon Tea is ongoing until June 30.

But prior to sampling the afternoon tea, flowers were distributed and guests were taught to create their own floral bouquets by Bloomingails’ Gaile Ang. The soothing space that is The Writers Bars looked and felt like a veritable garden in spring!

The Writers Bar at Raffles Makati is open daily from 2 to 11 pm. Guests need to reserve a seat for the afternoon tea, which is served from 2 to 3:30 pm and from 4 to 5:30pm. Each set for two starts at P2,900 nett with optional upgrades for mocktail, cocktails and champagne. Reservations can be made at

The new lifestyle.