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 was traditionally served with scones with jam and cream, cakes and pastries.
High tea was originally served to royal gatherings on posh high-backed chairs, but it 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 tea is much more likely to be in the mid-afternoon, but the dishes served can be as adventurous as you are. Read more here.
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)
When: Tuesday–Sunday, 2:30–4:30pm
Rooftop, The Murray, Hong Kong, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, 3141 8888, book online
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).
When: daily, 3:30–5:30pm, until 31 March 2019
103/F, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2263 2270, book online
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
When: daily, 3–5:30pm
109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay, 2292 2822, book online
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
When: daily, 2–6pm, until 31 March 2019
Lobby, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, TST, 2696 6772
Mövenpick x GREEN at Hotel ICON
With air-con weather on full blast, GREEN at Hotel ICON has you covered with the coolest afternoon tea in town. On top of scrumptious goodies like chorizo mozzarella on toast, roasted potato ball stuffed with caviar, mushroom Wellington square, Bloody Mary with shrimp skewer, Parmesan pesto toast with smoked salmon and a selection of chocolate-coated ice-cream treats shaped like summer fruit is an UNLIMITED supply of Mövenpick ice cream. In celebration of the ice-cream brand’s new summer flavours – lemon pie, Black Forest cake and cookies and caramel – the afternoon tea sweetens the deal with a beautifully arranged cookies and caramel potted-plant dessert, just in case you still haven’t had your fill. Now, talk about the sweet life!
Price: $308/person or $568/2
When: daily, 3–5pm or 5–7pm, until 31 August 2019
G/F, Hotel ICON, 17 Science Museum Road, TST East, 3400 1300, book online
Conrad Chocolate Tea with Valrhona
Chocaholics can get their fix at the Lobby Lounge at Conrad Hong Kong. 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 grace the tea menu. There’s even a chocolate macaron made with 66% Caraïbe ganache and a take-home gift box full of Valrhona’s signature chocolates.
Price: $318/person or $538/2
When: until 31 May 2019, with the exception of 21–28 March
Lower Lobby, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2822 8891, book online
Pantone x Cordis, Hong Kong
For a dash of colour, head to Alibi at Cordis for the Living Coral afternoon tea using Pantone colours featured in Korean make-up brand VDL’s new line. Chef de Cuisine James Oakley has created a line-up of delicate bites showcasing various shades of coral, all packed up in a make-up 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 and a shop voucher.
When: daily, 3–5:30pm, until 31 May 2019
5/F, Cordis, Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, 3552 3028, book online
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.
When: weekends and public holidays, 3–5:30pm
G/F and 1/F, 8–12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, 2656 3088, book online
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) have been luxuriously redesigned, 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
When: daily, 3–5pm
Portion A of Shop 3025–3026 and 3031–3066, 3/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2110 0153
Glow-in-Rose Afternoon Tea with BY TERRY at The Langham’s Palm Court
Timeless Palm Court at The Langham’s annual summer afternoon tea offering is always eagerly awaited for the fun collaborations that are showcased. This year, the tea set is inspired by French luxury beauty brand BY TERRY’s Glow-in-the-Rose floral-focused summer collection. A great example of one of the many sweet elements is the seashell-shaped blueberry buttercream macaron with white chocolate silver pearl, which pays tribute to one of BY TERRY’s star ingredients, the Tahitian black pearl. Indulgent savouries and scones with clotted cream, strawberry jam and rose preserves are included in the set.
Price: $368/1 or $628/2; to upgrade to a set with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV, $548/1 or $918/2 (to include a voucher to redeem a BY TERRY limited-edition pouch with Baume de Rose travel-size lip gloss)
When: daily (weekdays, 3–5:30pm; weekends and public holidays, 2:15–4:15pm or 4:30–6:30pm), 1 June–31 July 2019
Lobby, The Langham, Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, TST, 2132 7898, book online
POLA x InterContinental Hong Kong: The Promise Afternoon Tea
Japanese skincare brand POLA takes centre stage at InterContinental’s Lobby Lounge this summer, where the teatime treats are inspired by POLA’s newest whitening products. The striking custom-made White Shot tea stand features savouries such as Dungeness crabmeat and pineapple with yuzu dressing and king prawn and coconut foam with crispy rice, sweets like raspberry and matcha sphere and vanilla and lychee cream with crunchy pearls and scones with clotted cream, Earl Grey jelly and strawberry and rose jam. Each guest will be gifted with a POLA White Shot Energy Brightening Experience set, including the new White Shot Energy Brightening Lotion + Milk trial package, travel-size White Shot RXS, a hand massage voucher and special POLA shopping offers.
Price: $688/2; +$60/person for Promise for Myself ginger-beer drink with raspberry syrup, green apple syrup and lemon juice
When: daily (Monday–Friday, 2:30–6pm; weekends and public holidays, 1:30–6pm), 25 June–31 July 2019
Lobby, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2721 1211
Hidden Forest Afternoon Tea at AMMO
To coincide with Asia Society’s Hidden Forests summer arts and culture project, AMMO – the glittering restaurant surrounded by lush foliage housed within Asia Society – has launched an equally stunning summertime afternoon tea set that pays homage to our city’s green spaces. From the crispy seaweed with dried scallop to the matcha tiramisu, AMMO’s Hidden Forest tea set has got us dreaming of picnics in the park.
Price: $428/2 or $528/2 to include 2 glasses of bubbly
When: daily, 3–5pm, 6 July–5 September 2019
Lower Level, Asia Society Hong Kong, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, 2537 9888, book online
For more awesome guides like this, like Foodie on Facebook