Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Afternoon Tea in Suffolk House

An afternoon tea down the hallways of a building restored to its old glory self... and, with some imagination, will bring to mind, young men and ladies dancing away into the night to the music of the band, surrounded by a pepper plantation. One can almost imagine how it was like those days, back in the late 1700s and into the 1800s, this supposedly very happening place in Penang back then. It was a cosmopolitan city, with Armenian Jews, Burmese, Chinese, Europeans, Germans, Indians and the Malays.

It's the residence where Francis Light lived and made his fortune with the woman he loved and lived with, who was later betrayed by his lawyers of her inheritance. And Raffles had many meetings here too. Penang and Singapore share a common heritage. Both had been part of the Straits Settlement.
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We wandered into this area by accident. Other Half saw a signboard with an arrow to Suffolk House. A friend of mine had told me of her visit there some time back and we decided to take a look of the place. The sight which greeted us was a magnificent building that has been beautifully restored. No photography is allowed and I decided to be good and follow the rule. So no shits of the rooms. 8)

It's a tranquil place. The Ayer Itam River runs in front of the restored mansion. Incidentally this is the only Anglo Indian mansion in Penang and the entire country! Entry is RM10 per adult. Our gal was charged RM8. The grounds are well kept. The building has been magnificently restored though I noticed that there seems to be some signs of roof leakage in one of the rooms. There were different rooms arranged and decorated with antique furniture to give it a feel of that era. I love the high ceiling and the balcony. Imagine sitting there, sipping tea with tall magnificent trees around.... looking into your own little domain. The weather must have been lovely compared to cold and dreary England.
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The greens around, birds chirping... the trees really make the place cool. It's a nice place to read.I always think we're chopping down way too many trees and someday Mother Nature will make us pay for our greed.
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Anyway, tea was what we had at Suffolk House. Just couldn't let the opportunity of not having tea with all that history surrounding us.
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Of cakes and cookies... the apple juice is for our non-tea drinking gal. And butter and cream too with an assortment of interesting tasting jams.
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English tea will not be complete without scones; these are what the jams, cream and butter were for. And sandwiches with pies too.
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Sipping tea on a cool afternoon in a house where the rich and famous from an age past sat and ruled. If the grounds could talk....

You can't go wrong with Earl Grey. I've tasted better pies. The cakes were okay... but the place was nice. A group of ladies were yakking away when we walked in for our tea after our own self-guided tour around the mansion. They were still there when we left... it's a nice place to sit back and relax, quiet and away from the traffic congestion found in other places on the island. And as we were having tea, a group of young people came...
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A group of them was sitting on the grounds, sketching the building as we were leaving the place....

This is a nice place.... and oh ya! When Other Half asked our girl who Francis Light was, her answer? The owner of Suffolk House. Lol! Well at least that's something....


SM Ting said...

yes....been admiring the worn torn house 20 years ago...another place to visit. really love this kind of colonial buildings rich in history.

lol....he definitely not a historian.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Heard about the restoration of Suffolk House. This is on the to do list for the next Penang visit. I picnic area on the grounds would be nice, I think!

PreciousPearl said...

hahaha! high tea in Penang! that is definitely so cute!

AJ7 said...

Penang was after all formerly known as the Prince of Wales island... as English as you can get back then. Lol!


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