Is it Afternoon Tea or High Tea?
The terms are often used interchangeably now, but they have different British origins.
Afternoon Tea was served mid afternoon to fill the long wait between lunch and dinner, and is traditionally scones with jam and cream, cakes, pastries and cakes.
High Tea was originally served to a Royal gathering on posh high-backed chairs, but became a working class replacement for dinner during the industrial revolution. It is more likely to be a variety of dishes such as cold meats, fish and salads as well as baked goods. High Tea is served later in the day, more like a traditional evening meal.
In Hong Kong, Afternoon Teas are much more likely to be mid afternoon, but the dishes served can be as adventurous as you are.
Popinjays at The Murray, Hong Kong
The Murray’s rooftop eatery Popinjays gives afternoon tea a tropical makeover. Whilst enjoying the stunning views of Central, guests can nosh on savoury delectables the likes of organic egg and Kristal caviar blinis and blue lobster and apple remoulade, as well as a selection of savoury muffins. For the sweet tooth, there are strawberry lamingtons, Thai basil cream macarons, coconut and pineapple eclairs and warm scones served with homemade papaya and mango jam. There’s even an option (for an extra $90) for the signature cherry jubilee and blood orange scones to be flambéed tableside. If you’re not in the mood for a hot pot of tea, take your pick of speciality drinks such as Fruit Dove, a blend of rosebud, hibiscus and blackcurrant tea with soda, to liven up the palate.
Price: $688/2 (+$300/person, to include a glass of Deutz Blanc de Blancs or Charles Heidsieck Rosé)
Afternoon tea period: Tuesday–Sunday, 2:30–4:30pm
Rooftop, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, 3141 8888, book online
Gradini at The Pottinger Hong Kong
Spring will soon be a-blooming, and The Pottinger’s Gradini Ristorante E Bar Italiano has created a floral-themed afternoon tea to celebrate. Inspired by spring blooms, edible flowers top juicy smoked duck breast and mini Wagyu burgers are given a pretty makeover using pink buns. Strawberry mousse, chocolate-dipped strawberries, macarons and a green tea tart with a silky, lava-like texture entice on the sweet front. There’s even a Hong Kong-style mini winter melon bun for a local flavour twist.
Afternoon tea period: daily, 3–5:30pm
Lobby, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 2308 3088
Givenchy x The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
The highest venue for afternoon tea in Hong Kong, Café 103 on the 103rd floor of The Ritz-Carlton has teamed up with iconic French luxury brand Givenchy to create the I Believe in Pink afternoon tea inspired by the brand’s newly released Le Rose Perfecto lipstick collection. Various shades of pink adorn the sweet treats, ranging from a strawberry confit mousse topped with a lip-shaped chocolate called Pink Kiss to a raspberry cream white chocolate shell called Soothing Red. Executive Pastry Chef Richard Long has used natural colouring from raspberries and pink guava to tint each scrumptious treat. Also not to be missed is the tea set’s signature pink guava and vanilla cake. Each set comes with a gift voucher for a mini Le Rose Perfecto lipstick and luxury travel kit, redeemable at Givenchy beauty counters around town (with the exception of DFS shops).
Afternoon tea period: daily, 3:30–5:30pm, until 31 March 2019
Café 103, 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2263 2270, click here to book now
The Verandah at The Repulse Bay
Al-fresco dining overlooking picturesque Repulse Bay, The Verandah gives traditional afternoon tea a modern transformation. In homage to the classic egg sandwich, The Verandah chefs have created a decadent truffle scrambled egg tartlet. Bayonne ham dust, cucumber, tomato, red onion and mixed cereal bread roll replace the traditional ham sandwich. There are also caramel chocolate pillows, coconut marshmallow twists and hazelnut praline domes alongside cold-brewed blueberry hibiscus black tea for some five-star munching. Not to be missed are the restaurant’s two unique tea blends, Alphonso mango tea and cinnamon and almond black tea.
Price: $308/person or $588/2 on weekdays; $328/person or $604/2 on weekends and public holidays
Afternoon tea period: daily, 3–5:30pm
109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay, 2292 2822, book online
Repetto x InterContinental Hong Kong
Ballet-themed afternoon tea takes centre stage at the hotel’s Lobby Lounge alongside panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong cityscape. Executive Chef Maxime Luvara and Executive Pastry Chef Christian Gonthier have collaborated with French brand Repetto, a high-end fashion house with over 70 years of history in ballet wear, to create a whimsical menu full of luxurious treats such as foie gras cake with strawberry jelly, chilled French onion soup with truffle, passion fruit and mango macaron, citrus panna cotta with pink pomelo syrup and Ispahan cake with raspberry and rose water. Traditional scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Earl Grey tea jelly share the menu. Each guest will take home a 2ml bottle of Dance with Repetto perfume as well as a $300 Repetto gift card.
Afternoon tea period: daily (2:30–6pm, Monday–Friday; 1:30–6pm, weekends and public holidays), 1 March–30 April 2019
Lobby Lounge, Lobby, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2721 1211
BVLGARI x The Peninsula Hong Kong
The grande dame of Hong Kong has created an afternoon tea rich in Italian flavours in celebration of The Peninsula’s 20-year partnership with Italian luxury brand BVLGARI. Expect scrumptious goodies such as tiramisu tart with espresso jelly, mini pandoro with clementine, panna cotta with mango and almond biscottini with chocolate cream. On the savoury front, there’s egg-shaped polenta custard with butter-fried corn, smoked salmon dotted with lemon pearls, Parma ham with choux pastry and crispy quinoa with vinegar pearls. Of course, the Italian-inspired delicacies will be accompanied by The Peninsula’s signature buttery scones with clotted cream and organic strawberry jam. Guests who enjoy the afternoon tea will also be entitled to shopping privileges at the BVLGARI boutique at The Peninsula Arcade, along with with surprise giveaways.
Price: $398/person or $718/2
Afternoon tea period: daily, 2–6pm, until 31 March 2019
The Lobby, G/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, TST, 2696 6772
Häagen-Dazs x GREEN at Hotel Icon
It's almost air-con weather, and GREEN at Hotel Icon has you covered with the coolest afternoon tea in town. On top of scrumptious goodies like foie gras with raspberry puree, scallop with sesame mayo, chocolate covered raspberry mascarpone cheese, and lemon poppy seed cake is an UNLIMITED supply of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. In celebration of the ice cream brand's new spring flavours, orange blossom and jasmine raspberry and pomegranate, the afternoon tea sweetens the deal with unlimited cups or ice cream bars, including an additional voucher for a single scoop of Häagen-Dazs at any Hong Kong outlet...just in case you still haven't had your fill. Now, talk about the sweet life!
Price: $288 each or $546 for two
Afternoon tea period: March to April 30th, daily sessions at 3-5pm, or 5-7pm
G/F, Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, TST East, Kowloon, 3400 1300, book online
Conrad Chocolate Tea with Valrhona
Chocaholics can get their fix from now until May 5th at the Lobby Lounge in the Conrad. The hotel has teamed up with Valrhona to showcase the Grands Crus range of the esteemed chocolate brand. Items such as Jivara 40% chocolate and cherry pound cake, Opalys 33% chocolate and strawberry tart, and Alpaco 66% chocolate scones will grace the tea menu. There's even chocolate macaroon made with 66% Caraïbe ganache and a take-home gift box full of Valrhona's signature chocolates just in case you haven't had your fill at the tea!
Price: $538 for two guests or $318 for a single serving
Afternoon tea period: Now until May 5th, with the exception of March 21st - 28th
Lower Lobby Level, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, 2822 8891, book online
Cordis Hotel x Pantone
For a dash of colour, head to Alibi at the Cordis hotel for the "Living Coral" afternoon tea using Pantone colours featured in Korean makeup brand VDL's new line. Chef de Cuisine James Oakley has created a line-up of delicate bites featuring various shades of coral, all packed up in a makeup box. Expect delectables like rose tea and beetroot macaron, raspberry opera cake, peach cottage cheese cake, cherry chocolate tart and scones with white peach jam. There's even a cocktail called "coral punch" by mixologist Leo Cheung for a thirst-quenching refresher. Each guest will also receive a set of VDL products, such as Lumilayer Primer Fresh, Expert Colour Real Fit Velvet Lip Card, and a store voucher.
Price: $498 for two
Afternoon tea period: Until May 31st, daily from 3 to 5pm.
5/F, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kong, 3552 3028
Afternoon tea is given a local Hong Kong spin at COBO HOUSE with Chef Davin Kim’s Cha Chaan tea set, featuring five savoury snacks and eight desserts. Indulge in a pineapple bun filled with homemade butter blended with fresh uni, endive topped with galbi beef and homemade flatbread topped with ruby chocolate shavings, curiously named “cheese dirty roll”. The “burger and egg” is made of chocolate mousse with egg-shaped marshmallows, while the “sweet hot dog” is a sausage-shaped macaron drizzled with mango sauce. Also on the menu are the restaurant’s own branded artisanal chocolate bonbons and homemade plain and Earl Grey scones. Limited to just 10 sets per day, guests are offered a selection of environmentally friendly Løv tea and Costadoro coffee.
Afternoon tea period: weekends and public holidays, 3–5:30pm
G/F and 1/F, 8–12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, 2656 3088, click here to book now
Newcomer SHÈ inside ifc mall’s Lane Crawford welcomes guests with an afternoon tea set full of Chinese flavours. Classic Chinese treats including har gow (shrimp dumplings) are given a luxurious redesign, using beetroot-infused pink dumpling skin and prawns laced with champagne. Traditional steamed meatballs are given a decadent veneer with real truffle and three types of mushrooms mixed with Ibérico pork and bacon. On the sweet front, there’s a yin-yang-style sponge cake and buttery egg tart bites, just to name a few.
Price: $288/2 on weekdays; $328/2 on weekends and public holidays
Afternoon tea period: daily, 3–5pm
Portion A of Shop 3025–3026 and 3031–3066, 3/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2110 0153
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