In the 1920s, British author Somerset Maugham was a fairly frequent visitor to Singapore. His bar of choice on a number of his visits was that of the Raffles Hotel, where he would sit and eavesdrop on gossiping guests to use their stories in his own. Among his pieces penned at the hotel, the most notable is probably The Letter, which featured a real-life murder that scandalized British colonial society.
It’s colorful stories like this that have been the lifeblood of Writers Bar, so named for the luminaries who have written in, about, or stayed at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Rudyard Kipling, Noel Coward, and Ernest Hemingway are only a few among them.
It’s worth noting that the bar is not a staple of the hotel line itself; its inclusion in a foreign location was dependent on the local context, and in our case it was decided that our talented writer base made the Philippines a worthy location. In line with this, the Writers Bar at Raffles Makati has made it a point to hold annual literary festivals, as well as host international authors who can meet their Filipino readers. Of note is American novelist Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook.
True to its roots, Writers Bar also serves afternoon tea that changes with the seasons. Elevating the experience is their Prêt-a-PorTea series, in partnership with renowned fashion brands the likes of Kate Spade, Charriol, and, most recently, Tiffany & Co., the latter of which is a briday afternoon tea on offer now until November 30. The tea series, with pastries made in house by Raffles’ talented pastry chefs, is inspired by the brands and their respective lines.
Located right at the center of a bustling business district, what the Writers Bar at Raffles offers is a welcome chance to slow down, drinking afternoon tea surrounded by inviting books as a pianist plays in the background. – Arianna Lim
Photos by JL Javier
Writers Bar is located at 1 Raffles Drive Makati Avenue at, Antonio Arnaiz Ave, Makati City.