High tea at the Peninsula Hotel is a Hong Kong institution, but after seeing the grumpy faces in the long, long queue we decided to head over the road to the Intercontinental Hotel and see what they had to offer.
What a pleasant surprise it was – no queues, fabulous Hong Kong harbour views from floor-to-ceiling windows, and high tea in an art-deco inspired server with a choice of coffee or Mariage Freres teas. Delights such as rose scented raspberry cheesecake, green tea delice, scones with earl grey jelly and clotted cream, and miniature individual balck forest gateaux had me in high tea heaven. And guess what? You pay a lot more at the Peninsula to stand in a queue for an hour then sit in a dark lobby with no view.
So from one extreme to the other….
After failing to get a seat to have high tea at The Peninsula in Hong Kong I thought I may have more luck at the newly-opened Peninsula Shanghai on the Bund. I was right – no queues, no crush of tourists – although it was a weekday and the place had been open less than a month.
I have to say that I don’t understand why, when you have a prime piece of real estate overlooking the river, that you would decide to give the best front windows to the Chanel boutique, and put all your patrons in a back room with a view of the driveway. It is a lovely back room though, with calming tones of eau de nil and silver in the Art Deco finishes. And forget the tourists, the guests are all wealthy Chinese in town to do business, or wealthy locals dropping by to have a look and a cup of tea.
The High Tea itself isn’t half bad, if you like your tea English style. I particularly appreciate the pot of hot water with which to make your tea’s strength to your liking. Full points for the entire jug of hot chocolate though. Very thoughtful.