So much has changed in Bangkok since the House on Sathorn was first built more than a century ago. The historic mansion house was originally surrounded by greenery and wide open spaces. Today, it is surrounded by the gleaming modern buildings of Bangkok’s business district. The contrast couldn’t be more striking. The pastel colours and classic colonial-style of the old mansion is a vivid contrast to the sleek lines and walls of glass all around. Thailand’s tallest building, the ultra-modern MahaNakorn skyscraper, towers over the House on Sathorn. Across the road, the quirky robot building with its metal antennas and oversize bolts peers out over the Skytrain tracks. This is modern-day Bangkok, but the House on Sathorn doesn’t look out of place. And walking through the beautifully renovated interior brings you to a delightful little courtyard which provides a gorgeous setting for afternoon tea.
House on Sathorn
The mansion was built in 1890 during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and was originally the family home of Luang Sathorn Rajayutka. He was the businessman who constructed Sathorn Canal and Sathorn Road which run outside the house. During the 1920s, the building became the upscale Hotel Royale, before changing use again in the 1940s when it was leased to the Soviet Union who used it as their embassy in Bangkok. The building subsequently became the Embassy of Russia up until 1999. In 2001, the Fine Arts Department of Thailand designated the mansion a national heritage property and the building was fully renovated. In 2015, The House on Sathorn opened as part of the W Bangkok hotel.
The mix of heritage and contemporary styles works well at the House on Sathorn. Service is efficient and friendly and the food itself excellent. Afternoon tea isn’t a regular occurrence for me, but with family visiting from the UK it was a treat to bring them here and enjoy a lovely relaxed afternoon in the heart of Bangkok.
Afternoon tea is a filling mix of sweet and savoury treats. This is the menu we enjoyed on our visit:
Traditional scones with homemade marmalade and jam, and Devonshire clotted cream
Nutella mini muffin
Chocolate praline cake
Macanese egg tart
Caramel chocolate tart
Strawberry thyme panna cotta
Salted caramel eclair
Salaca fruit macaron cake
Black sesame cheesecake
Mandarin creme brulee
Roasted nut tart
Tandoori chicken mini wraps
Mushroom truffle mascarpone croissant
Chilli Alaskan crab bao sliders
Choice of premium TWG teas from the House on Sathorn collection
The price for an afternoon tea set is 1,250 Baht. On top of this there is a 7% government tax and a 10% service charge. You also have the option, for an additional charge, of ordering wine or champagne. The afternoon tea set is recommended for two people, but there were three of us and we felt the servings were generous and there was plenty to go round.
Lunch, dinner or drinks
In addition to afternoon tea, you can also visit the House on Sathorn for lunch, dinner or drinks with a choice of the outdoor courtyard or the luxurious indoor bar and dining area.
Good to know
The Courtyard at the House on Sathorn is open daily for afternoon tea between 2.30-5.30pm. All ages are welcome, but there is a smart casual dress code. Different dress policies and age requirements are in place for the bar and dining room. See website for full details:
I made a reservation via email a few days in advance and the booking was confirmed almost immediately. Walk-in bookings are also accepted.
W Hotel and MahaNakorn building
How to get to the House on Sathorn, Bangkok
The House on Sathorn is part of the W Bangkok Hotel and conveniently located adjacent to Chong Nonsi BTS Skytain station. For culture lovers, you are only a short walk away from the wonderful MR Kukrit’s Heritage Home. And for day of total relaxation, the excellent Perception Blind Massage is located a few minutes further along Sathorn Tai (South Sathorn Road).