“Enjoy luxury afternoon tea in this elegant rendezvous at The Peninsula Hotel, HK (香港半島酒店)”
Apparently, this was a trend. Really. Seemingly dedicating only to the rich and formal, countless numbers of tourists were spotted, too.
Yes, this place. An elegant afternoon tea rendezvous for the rich “tai tai” (wealthy Mrs.), often featured in the Hong Kong TVB shows. In Hong Kong, they called it, 嘆下午茶 (taan haa mm cha). Haha.. It made me curious to find out more.
To our surprise, there was a very long queue even at the time of 5pm! What? 5pm for tea? No joke. The hotel security personnel told us that it was a common scene even during the weekdays. No reservation allowed, we just had to walk in and… queue. (But… I wondered if this applicable to those priviledged patrons…. Do they also queue?? Oh please, of course, not. The TVB series didn’t show this part.. Haha..).
To beat the queue, you may arrive 30 minutes before they open.. This way, you may be the first few to be seated once they open for tea at 2pm. Otherwise, come slightly after 5.30pm, you will still be able to catch a 1.5 hour afternoon tea grandeur before they end the high tea session at 7pm. Yes, most likely you wouldn’t need to queue anymore.
Anyway, peak hour for high tea is 3pm. Since it was almost 5pm upon arrival, we waited merely 30 minutes before getting a table for 2. We ordered the popular set afternoon tea, The Peninsula’s Classic Afternoon Tea, found on the top of their menu. Price? 1 pax @ HK$268 (about S$50/ USD35) and 2 pax @ HK$398 (S$80/ USD55).
This set menu served an extensive array of sweet treats. Seemingly more than enough goodies for an afternoon tea, but don’t ever try to share the orders. For the set, please go with headcount. You have a choice of leaving the unfinished portion, or simply order from their ala carte menu.
While waiting for our food to be served, we noticed their classical arches and elegant interior design of the hotel. It was worth admiring. Also, don’t forget to take a good look on their well-known pure silverware and cutlery they are using to serve you.
The abundance treat of high tea, was served on a 3-tier silver tray, and this silverware supposed to be their signature. If you would like to take a photo of the silver tray with you in the portrait, ask for a favor from the serving crew. Don’t be shy to get help, this is so-called the ‘standard procedure’ for all the tourist guests, regardless where you were from. Apparently, 80% of the guests there enjoyed their photo moments. So did we. :D
Talking about the quality and taste of the food? Most of the snacks, e.g. bread, sandwiches, cookies, puff, tarts, cakes, scones, and etc, were good, especially the cucumber sandwiches which had been specially highlighted by Mr. Cai Lan (蔡澜先生), the well-known HK/ Singaporean food critic, in his recent food show, Chua San’s Feast (蔡澜品味). This cucumber sandwiches looked deceptively common, but in fact, it was great. I like the crunch in the cucumber slices and the cottony softness of the bread. Yum….
They would then served this caramel mousse dessert in mini silver cup and silver teaspoon for each guest, only awhile later.
Well, we couldn’t finish it all in the end, but we did enjoy the ambiance, their service, the enticing sweet treats, and of course, my favourite coffee, hot skinny latte, with a very pleasant experience. :)
Address: Salisbury Road, Kowloon, HK.
Afternoon Tea serving hours: From 2pm till 7pm daily.
Dress code before 7pm: Smart Casual. Jeans are fine, not with rubber flip flop or beach sandal on foot.
Remarks: Photo taking is allowed.