Treat mum this Mother’s Day. Rachel Read & Kate Farr tuck into some of the most delicious afternoon teas in Hong Kong.
If your high tea must-haves include a classic tiered cake stand, gently warmed scones and delicate china teacups, then the Island Shangri-La is just the place to live out those “ladies-who-lunch” fantasies… if only for a few hours!
Served daily within both the plush surrounds of the Lobby Lounge and the refined Island Gourmet restaurant, Shangri-La’s signature afternoon tea is all about classics with a twist. Classic prawn, chicken and smoked salmon sandwiches are reinvented as bite-sized bagels and roulades, or come served on freshly-baked sundried tomato bread, while sweets include a delicate sphere of caramel cheesecake, a light-as-air lamington and a rich chocolate mousse gateau. This is a classic afternoon tea, elevated.
When: Available weekdays between 3-6pm, and weekends and public holidays between 2-6pm
How much: $308 for one and $528 for two (plus 10% service charge)
6/F Lobby Lounge and 5/F Island Gourmet, Island Shangri-La, Admiralty, Hong Kong; 2877 3838 shangri-la.com/hongkong/islandshangrila
The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong’s Sakura Afternoon Tea brings a taste of Tokyo to Kowloon – with breathtaking views over the harbour to sweeten the deal even further.
Guest Pastry Chef Hideaki Tanaka of The Ritz Carlton Tokyo has crafted a series of creative cherry blossom-themed confections, with both savouries and sweets getting the sakura treatment. Kick things off with a sakura shrimp cocktail sandwich and sakura-marinated radish roll with Zuwai crab and caviar, before satisfying your sweet tooth with decadent delights like green tea sakura strawberry cake, soy milk panna cotta with sakura jelly, and sakura, strawberry and red bean mousse. Not enough sakura for you? There’s even a special sakura tea available too… talk about a tea set in full bloom!
When: Available daily 3.30-5.30pm until 14 May 2017
How much: Weekdays $378 for one or $638 for two, weekends and public holidays $398 for one and $658 for two (plus 10% service charge)
Café 103, Level 103, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon; 2263 2270 www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/china/hong-kong
A tea for all seasons
Afternoon tea at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is a perpetual pleasure – and thanks to dessert demi-god Pastry Chef Ringo Chan’s ever-changing collection of sweet treats, there’s always something new to enjoy.
In addition to textbook-perfect scones (served with lashings of cream, of course), current teatime delights to take your fancy include a rhubarb compote and mulled berries cream shooter, pistachio éclair with smoked salmon, beetroot and apple, and an Earl Grey chocolate almond biscuit with fresh fig. Make sure you grab a serving of the dessert pass-around, a larger complimentary seasonal cake that changes daily – like divine baked croissant pudding or “sbrisolona” Italian almond crumble cake. On Mother’s Day itself (14 May), all mums in the house will receive a complimentary gift courtesy of Tory Burch – even more reason to schedule a date with Chef Ringo’s desserts!
When: Available daily 3-5.30pm
How much: Weekdays $275 for one or $525 for two, weekends and public holidays $295 for one or $570 for two (plus 10% service charge)
The Lounge, Lobby Level, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central; 3196 8820 www.fourseasons.com/hongkong
I should coco
Something of a hidden gem, COCO at The Mira Hong Kong is an ideal spot for a Kowloon-side tea minus the usual tourist hoards, with not one but two new tea sets to tickle your tastebuds.
As the name suggests, the Mum and I afternoon tea is designed as a tasteful “thank you” to the hardest-working woman in any family. Featuring specially designed pastries such as chocolate macarons, orange-scented choux and French lemon and begamot tart, the tea will be served in the chic surrounds of WHISK over Mother’s Day weekend (13-14 May), adding an extra sense of occasion to the big day. Meanwhile, COCO’s French Fashion tea is equal parts stylish and scrumptious, with exciting colour and flavour pops from unexpected additions like beetroot scones, pistachio and smoked salmon macarons, and Bayonne ham with figs on spinach bread. If you crave a touch of sophistication with your tea, this set is dressed to impress.
When: Both the “Mum and I” and “French Fashion” afternoon teas are available daily between 3-6pm, from now until 30 June 2017
How much: $428 for two (plus 10% service charge)
COCO G/F Lobby & WHISK 5/F, Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2315 5666 themirahotel.com
The Langham Hong Kong has done it again. Already renowned for their pretty-as-a-picture tea sets along with the refined ambience and muted string instruments of lobby lounge Palm Court, their new Blooming Afternoon Tea is almost too pretty to eat.
Executive Pastry Chef Matthieu Godard has given his creativity full rein when it comes to the new set’s design, with deliciously fresh and floral creations that include an edible tomato patch filled with, amongst others, green pea hummus with sesame paste; a bite-sized chocolate flower pot containing Gianduja cream and viola flowers, and a fruity marigold-hued dome of yuzu mousse, apricot jam and lemon biscuit. Take your camera – this tea set demands to be snapped for posterity!
When: Available weekdays between 3-5.30pm, with two sittings during weekends and public holidays at 2.15-4.15pm and 4.30-6.30pm; from now until 31 May 2017
How much: $348 for one and $598 for two (plus 10% service charge)
Palm Court, G/F, The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2132 7898 langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/hong-kong
I’ve started so I’ll Finnish
For something Nordic and nice, heads to FINDS – the city’s only Scandinavian restaurant, tucked away in The Luxe Manor hotel – for a chic retreat from Hong Kong’s hustle.
Their new Finland 100 Afternoon Tea Set celebrates Finland’s centenary of independence, with an array of scrumptious Scandi bites served on ridiculously cute crockery from Finnish brand Iittala. Ideally suited to those looking for something different to the usual scones and sandwiches, their teatime treats include smoked trout roe toast, lingonberry tart, cinnamon custard bun, and baked Lapland cheese with cloudberry and caramel. For something even more special, book a girlie gathering in their Nordic Summer private room – a floral fantasy that feels like your very own garden party… but with air-con included!
When: Available weekdays 3-5.30pm, weekends and public holidays 3.30-5.30pm
How much: $356 for two; private room $350 per person, with a minimum number of 6 people required for booking (plus 10% service charge)
FINDS, 1/F, The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2522 9318 finds.com.hk