Nothing screams tai tai life more than sitting down for an afternoon tea with friends. OK, maybe shopping at Hermes or getting chauffeured around is descriptive of that life, but high tea is definitely on the to-do list of any tai tai.
They are not the only ones who can enjoy it, though! Pick your favourite from our curated list to catch up with friends over a range of sweet and savoury bites. For a touch of indulgence, pair these miniature treats with premium tea or some chilled champagne. These days, afternoon teas are not just your run-of-the-mill three-tiered options. Here are some recommended spots for a relaxing afternoon. Wear your classiest, stretchiest outfit and enjoy!
The Upper House x Teakha Afternoon Tea
The Upper House’s newest homegrown brand collaboration is with tea specialist Plantation by Teakha, featuring an aromatic afternoon tea at Café Gray Deluxe. We’ve got to admit that the pastry chef knows exactly how to infuse Teakha’s varying tea flavours into the delightful sweets and savouries served here.
He totally nailed it with the cured salmon nashi pear, in which the honeysuckle notes from the apple blossom verbena are expertly paired to cure the salmon on the Guinness bread. We can’t wait for you to try the milk chocolate Chantilly, an absolute melt-in-the mouth bite with a robust red jade bergamot tea that blends perfectly with luscious cream and toasted hazelnuts.
Three layers of scrumptious treats ranging from a surprisingly light goat cheese and fig brushed with cold-brew red Oolong tea, to velvety matcha cheesecake, to a candied ginger Teakha spin on Café Gray’s iconic scones, compete for the spotlight as well. Be sure to sip some comforting masala chai, fragrant Keemun rose or refreshing apple blossom verbena tea along with the treats.
Cafe Gray Deluxe, The Upper House; 88 Queensway, Level 49, Admiralty; +852 3968 1106; HKD480 for 2 (available till 30th November, 2020)
Botanical Afternoon Tea at The Murray
Themed around botanical greens, edible flowers, herbs, spices and everything refreshing, the Botanical Afternoon Tea at The Murray’s Garden Lounge is a whimsical and lovely affair that’s totally Instagram-worthy.
Our treat here begins with the lobster salad that’s packed with exotic flavours of mango, turmeric and a fresh curry leaf on top of a soft and buttery baked brioche. Don’t miss out on the hibiscus-scented watermelon, which is alternate layers of watermelon and feta cheese sprinkled with tomato powder to make every bite so irresistible.
Sipping their exquisite tea in one hand, we tucked our spoons into the mouth-watering lemongrass pineapple verrine compote beautifully layered with lemongrass juice and ginger syrup, ginger cream, ginger crumbles and lemongrass agar. A creative twist to the classic confectionery, the lavender raspberry cream cheesecake features rich and velvety cream cheesecake adorned with lavender cream and topped with raspberry agar cubes; it is good enough on its own to merit a trip here!
Garden Lounge, The Murray; 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central; +852 3141 8888; HKD678 for 2 (available till 14th October, 2020)
Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea at Ritz-Carlton
As the summer heat subsides, the talented culinary team at The Ritz-Carlton has thoughtfully created an Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea that can be savoured at both The Lounge and Café 103, with sky-high views to boot. To celebrate the nature’s harvest, you’ll be digging into seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin, cinnamon and chestnuts!
Retreat into a lap of luxury with their honey roasted purple sweet potato éclair with olive oil caviar that’s deliciously creamy. Before we knew it, we were popping bite-sized wheat breads topped with ocean blue crab and slathered with honey mustard, butternut squash and ricotta into our mouths.
Taking on the lovely hues of fall, treat yourself to their amazingly spiced pumpkin cinnamon cheesecake, an absolute star in their sweet offerings. The green tea and chestnut mushroom (and yes, it’s a confection) is an infallible formula, and when the ingredients are as fresh as these, the result is lip-smackingly good. We washed it all down with their array of Autumn-inspired cocktails. Not only is the tea’s aesthetic fabulous, but a lot of work has gone into creating treats that taste as good as they look.
The Lounge & Café 103, The Ritz-Carlton, International Commerce Centre; 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon; +852 2263 2263; HKD698 for 2
Trendy Afternoon Tea at Rosewood
Regarded as one of the trending spots in the 852 to sip a cup of tea with your clique, Rosewood’s afternoon tea served at Butterfly Room sets itself apart as customers, after having their savouries, are served with confections, where you can pick any sweets from the trollies. Now how cool is that?
This lavish affair had us snacking on dainty finger sandwiches: the smoked salmon sandwich with cream fraiche and truffle eggs sandwich with quail egg made it as our favourites. A wonderful winter warmer that’s filling at the same time is their chicken vol-au-vent with mushroom cream.
From their gorgeous-looking trolleys, you must try Rosewood’s very own branded chocolates, butterfly kisses; these elongated chocolate shells are filled with fruit compotes, homemade marshmallows and chocolate has been specially crafted bean-to-bar by Rosewood’s culinary team. And do save some room for their mixed berry Charlotte cake, chocolate canelé and dulcey chocolate pot de cream – they are sure to make you return again and again.
The Butterfly Room, Rosewood Hong Kong; Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, 2/F; +852 3891 8732; HKD758 for 2
Indulgent High Tea at Four Seasons
As if we needed another reason to visit The Four Season’s Lobby Lounge beyond its gourmet afternoon tea and their soothing live pianist’s performances – who even takes requests!
Dig into savoury bites such as the mini poppy seed bun with Iberico ham with a kick of kimchi, the indulgent foie gras mousse with quince jam napoleon and their unforgettable aged parmesan, cream cheese éclair. Work your way through their delectable scones while sipping their amazing tea. The joy of spreading clotted cream on a scone fresh out of the oven should never be underestimated – trust us!
There are also more experimental sweets on offer. The Sicilian pistachio and chocolate tart was a flavour bomb – and every chocolate lover’s dream. A refreshing respite, their coconut cream with kaffir lime and mango compote verrine undoubtedly made for a perfect ending. To that, we say skip lunch and come hungry for this indulgent spread!
The Lounge, Four Seasons Hong Kong; 8 Finance Street, Central; +852 3196 8888; HKD588 for 2 (on weekdays), HKD 628 for 2 (on weekends)