Thinking of hosting your own afternoon tea party? We’ve got your back, with all the air of sophistication of a Peninsula Lobby treat, but a happier wallet. Whether you want to entertain family at home, impress guests or hold a private party for a special someone, you’ll be sure to dazzle with our guide to hosting your spin on a luxurious Hong Kong-style afternoon tea.
Let’s start with the star of the show...
PLANTATION by teaka
With a focus on quality and sourcing from small plantations worldwide, PLANTATION is dedicated to spreading the good word of teappreciation. It offers an extensive range of international teas online, including High Mountain Oolong from a family-run tea plantation in Taiwan and supposedly the best Masala Chai in Hong Kong, made from Assam tea leaves from the lowlands of Khongea Estate. You can also visit its cosy sister café, teakha, to buy and taste the collection of ethically sourced teas. Try the Plantation Breakfast for a more traditional accompaniment to your afternoon tea or get quirky with another of the many beautiful flavours.
With its eco-friendly packaging, well-known teahouse MingCha has a wide selection of authentic Chinese teas. Whether you choose to stick to a Hong Kong classic like Meng-hai Tippy Puer or explore the Phoenix Osmanthus Oolong, you can rest assured you’re drinking some of the finest tea in Hong Kong. We love the Jasmine Blossoms for its delicate taste and blooming aesthetic, handmade with green tea, air-dried lilies and Thousand Days red jasmine flowers.
You can’t throw an afternoon tea party without some classic British scones. Check out one of these places for the best scones in Hong Kong – or, if you have the luxury of time, try making our scones recipe.
With a dream to bring people together in the café’s home away from home, teakha aims to create the best accompaniments to afternoon tea. If you don't have time to pop down to this cute café, you can order online through the website. The famous drop scones are homemade and are often jazzed up with a fruit such as apple or fig. All of teakha’s baked goods are inspired by founder Nana Chan’s mother’s recipes, along with her time spent in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where she grew up. We recommend the matcha white chocolate scones for a distinctive local touch.
18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 2858 9185
Founded by acclaimed Swiss pastry chef Grégoire Michaud, all of Bakehouse’s fine pastries and baked goods are handmade every day using flour from the traditional Suire Mill in France and top-notch seasonal ingredients. With a team of highly skilled bakers and pastry chefs led by Chef Michaud, here you’ll find traditional scones, plain or with raisins. Head down for a bag of these beauties to accompany your afternoon tea.
14 Tai Wong Street East, Wanchai, no phone
Scones without jam? Jam Story founder Jacqueline Ng began her jam-making career after first making jam with the fruit from her grandmother’s tangerine tree. Ever since, she has been experimenting with all sorts of weird and wonderful jams and conserves, like the world-class lime lemon marmalade, mandarin chenpi marmalade and orange mango passion fruit thyme marmalade, which won three gold medals and one silver in the worlds’ only marmalade competition! Jam Story uses organically farmed, local products, and all jams are made without any preservatives, chemicals or artificial colouring. We think this is more than enough reason to support a local artisan and pick up a jar of scrumptious homemade jam for slathering on your scones. You can order a jar of local organic strawberry jam online for a classic pairing or be adventurous – we’re intrigued by the roselle honey jam!
The clotted cream
Okay, hands up – this is a tricky one. Hong Kong is not known for its dairy products. However, an afternoon tea scone is incomplete without the cream to its jam.
Market Place by Jasons
Market Place is your best bet to find a jar of Devon clotted cream (or Great Food Hall at Admiralty’s Pacific Place, which sells the same product). If you’re really struggling, clotted cream’s lighter, thinner siblings crème fraiche and mascarpone aren’t wildly different and are more readily available in supermarkets around Hong Kong. And some may say it’s sacrilege, but we’ll forgive you if you prefer to have your scones with butter instead of clotted cream!
The sweet treats
On the topmost tier of an afternoon tea stand (should you use one) are the small, sweet, jewel-like treats. Sift specialises in selling everything sugar, spice and all things nice, from red velvet cupcakes and Valrhona chocolate chip cookies to passion fruit jam macarons and caramel millefeuille. We’re drooling! It sources the best in patisserie ingredients worldwide and can even customise your sweets for you – handy if your afternoon tea is marking something to celebrate. With seven shops across Hong Kong, you can pick up an order of Sift’s popular salty caramel chocolate cupcakes or rose macarons. We suggest a 12-piece box of mini cupcakes as an easy way to offer variety for the sweet-toothed amongst your afternoon tea guests.
For the more humble but equally delicious Earl Grey madeleine or peach danish, Plumcot was awarded Foodie Forks 2019 Editors’ Choice for Best Desserts. Even one of the bakery’s textbook-perfect croissants wouldn’t go amiss at a tea party. We couldn’t help but give it another mention here.
10A Sun Chun Street, Tai Hang, 2573 6293
The finger sandwiches
Marks & Spencer
Short of making your own, most people in Honkers know that you can pick up a very tasty ready-made sandwich from any Marks & Spencer Foodhall. In 2016, the tuna and cucumber sandwiches were best-selling at a whopping 500 flying out the door each week! Of course, you’ll need to add the finishing touches by decrusting and slicing these bad boys, but they’re a simple classic savoury for afternoon tea. It’s also worth trying the salmon and cream cheese and British roast beef with horseradish mayonnaise.
So there you have it – our recommendations for everything you need to host an afternoon tea party in the comfort of your own home. Put the kettle on!
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