All the best things come from Scandinavia right? ABBA, Robyn, Lego, Ikea, H&M, The Moomins, Nordic Noir… and that’s just the tip of the Icelandic iceberg.
Well, now let’s add afternoon tea to the list too – as the afternoon tea at FINDS, Hong Kong’s only Scandinavian restaurant, has long been one of my favourites in town. It gets the balance between sweets and savouries pretty spot on and thanks to its Nordic inclinations, usually features a few more interesting and unusual items as opposed to yet another smoked salmon sandwich. Factor in a cute spring makeover via their GreenGate afternoon tea collaboration and it’s a definite must-visit… especially if you love pretty things as much as me!
Think of GreenGate as Denmark’s answer to Cath Kidston – namely, highly photogenic tableware adorned with pretty pastels and floral patterns galore. FINDS, located on the first floor of Tsim Sha Tsui boutique hotel The Luxe Manor, is a cushy afternoon tea location anyway (although it lacks a bit of atmosphere on quiet weekday afternoons); its interior, all curvy natural wood surfaces and bright pops of lime green, is inviting, relaxing and comfortable – so the coo-worthy crockery really is the Swedish lingonberry on top!
Posted in Food, Pretty Things
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Remember when Phoebe called Rachel “vanilla” on Friends?
It certainly wasn’t intended as a compliment then… but in the case of the Pierre Hermé Paris Infiniment Vanille Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, it most definitely is one!
Banish all thoughts of vanilla being bland and boring –Pierre Hermé’s Fetish Infiniment Vanille collection of exquisite pint-sized pastries is the coolest thing to happen to vanilla since the raps in Ice Ice Baby.
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Forget March Madness, the Mad March Hare or even the March winds and April showers that bring forth May flowers – March in Hong Kong means art mania… also known as any party/event/celebrity visit that-can-vaguely-be-connected-to-art mania.
Sadly I’m not really into art – or parties – but what I can get on-board with is another opportunity to stuff my face. Enter the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Cake Painting Afternoon Tea, a fun collaboration with British/Japanese artist Peter McDonald. Consisting of edible treats inspired by McDonald’s art, plus several of his original works on display too (including some created especially in honour of the tea), this is probably the closest I’ll get to embracing my artistic side this March!
In what will go down in history as The Day Of Two Afternoon Teas, I actually ended up eating the Cake Painting Afternoon Tea for ummm… breakfast (I know, I know) – but what a wonderful way to start the day it was! I’m not going to be giving Brian Sewell a run for his money anytime soon, but I can tell you that Peter McDonald’s art is eye-catchingly bright, vibrant and imaginative, abstract but not in that “well now I feel stupid” pretentious way, and with a tangible sense of fun and playfulness. The Grand Hyatt’s Executive Pastry Chef David White has done a great job of translating all this to the afternoon tea, creating colourful edible creations that still taste good too. Now that’s the kind of work of art I can truly appreciate!
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In a city swarming with afternoon teas, there are a couple of stone cold (or rather, scone cold hehe) classics that rarely disappoint – The Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons, The Peninsula… and I think it’s about time that I added The Intercontinental Hong Kong to the list.
Whilst many hotel teas here boast pretty sweet views of the city thanks to their lofty heights (à la The Ritz-Carlton or The Upper House’s Café Gray Deluxe), The Intercontinental’s might just be my new favourite based on sheer spectacle alone. The laidback surrounds of the Lobby Lounge essentially give you front row seats to the best show Hong Kong has to offer – our magnificent harbour skyline, laid out for all to see via a giant wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s like you’re sitting on the ocean. As far as tea settings go, you can’t get much better… oh, until the sun sets and then you get to see Hong Kong’s glittering skyline by night instead.
With that view, The Intercon could serve me tap water and gruel and I’d probably still be making a return booking. Thankfully, they do a whole lot better than that – and their afternoon tea set is definitely up there with Hong Kong’s stronger offerings. Continue reading
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Back on the afternoon tea trail – and one of my favourite teatime old faithfuls is the Tiffin Afternoon Tea at Palm Court in The Langham, Hong Kong. For truly old-school Hong Kong dwellers, you may know the building better as the former Great Eagle Hotel; it was rebranded as The Langham Hong Kong in 2003, modelled after the historic Langham Hotel in London… which, of course, is legendary for its afternoon tea, so I really wouldn’t expect anything less!
Although the contents of The Langham Hong Kong’s cake stand aren’t anything too ground-breaking, the Tiffin Afternoon Tea does have a lot of other great things going for it – super pretty crockery, a really relaxed loungey vibe and frequent promotions to keep things interesting, including their current collaboration with French patisserie, Paul Lafayet.
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Cath Kidston + afternoon tea = a marriage made in “pretty things” heaven!
Yep, I’m back on the afternoon tea trail, this time with the Cath Kidston afternoon tea at FEAST – the casual all-day restaurant located at the EAST Hong Kong hotel in Tai Koo.
I actually eat at FEAST quite regularly… but with the Cath Kidston afternoon tea in full swing, the restaurant was the busiest I’ve ever seen it. In fact, it was full on oestrogen overload! Girls seem to be drawn to Cath Kidston prints like bees to a floral-decorated honeypot; factor in a highly Instagram-able afternoon tea set (is Instagram-able a word yet?) and you end up with a restaurant packed with tables of girls all doing an awful lot of photographing/swooning over cute teapots and not that much actual eating!
Posted in Food, Pretty Things
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At afternoon tea, it can be easy to lose focus… cute bite-sized finger sandwiches, scrumptious sweets, and of course, buttery yummy warm fuzzy-inducing scones (with clotted cream, of course). But it is called afternoon TEA for a reason – so who better to bring the focus back on your humble cup of char than TWG Tea!
I was invited for an epic afternoon tea of girlie chats, delicious nibbles, and pot after pot after pot of more tea than you ever thought existed with blogger BFFs Jasmine of Dress Me and Vanessa of All Things Indulgent, plus the lovely Renee from Flare and TWG’s Cathy. And for a truly special afternoon tea, you can’t go far wrong.
TWG started in Singapore and its Hong Kong Tea Salon & Boutique in the IFC mall has a Raffles-esque colonial feel, with rattan furniture, smartly suited and booted staff, and walls lined with iconic vintage-style tins of their signature 1837 blend. Afternoon teas are so ten-a-penny here that it’s lovely to find one that still feels special and a treat, without being in yet another five-star hotel. Time has a habit of standing still in TWG, and in hectic HK, that’s actually kind of a joy.
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