Anyone for a cuppa? Perhaps some sweet treats and savoury nibbles with mulled wine and eggnog will hit the spot? You may be dying for a rest after a mad day of Christmas shopping, looking for a special afternoon with your wee one while school’s out, or have a visiting relative to entertain. For any of the above, a festive afternoon tea in some very attractive settings across the city, complete with twinkling lights, carollers and brilliant city views will do the job nicely. Below are some of the best to savour this holiday season.
Afternoon teas at COCO are known for being a chic affair, from the stylish cafe/patisserie setting with plush, comfortable chairs, to the steel handbag-shaped three-tier stand the delectable desserts are served on. This festive season they’ve rolled out a special tea for two, “Oh Deer, Let it Snow!”, with cinnamon star cookies, a mini chestnut-orange “Bûche de Noël” by Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marc Gauche, and the requisite scones, but done with cranberries and winter spices. There’s also trendy kale & quinoa salad with truffle foie gras mousse tartlet and hearty chestnut bread bruschetta with fig cream cheese. Wrap it all up with a warming winter spiced latte or a classic cup of tea.
When: November 1-December 30 Monday-Friday (3.00pm-6.00pm) *except 24, 25 and 31 December; available Saturdays and public holidays at WHISK.
Cost: $428 +10% for two; add $120 +10% per person for glass of Champagne
Where: Mira Place, 118-130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2315 5885 or [email protected]
The Langham knows how to make afternoon tea a special occasion year-round, but the “White Christmas Afternoon Tea” during the holidays takes the cake. The setting of Palm Court is always inviting, but this time of year you’ll be transported to a snowy wonderland as the scent of ginger flower wafts by. Choose from a variety of elegant confections like the Christmas log with milk chocolate mousse, a charming snowman made of chestnut cream and chocolate choux pastry sporting a top hat, a white chocolate and Baileys-filled ivory macaron, savouries like smoked salmon finger sandwiches, plus the requisite scones. Go for the deluxe afternoon tea and enjoy a glass of Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé Champagne. Heaven.
When: December 1-January 1 weekdays (3pm-5.30pm); weekends (2.15pm-4.15pm first seating, 4.30pm-6.30pm second seating); December 25 (1.45-3.15pm first seating, 4pm-6pm second seating)
Cost: $348 +10% for one, $598 +10% for two; deluxe afternoon tea $528 +10% for one, $888 +10% for two
Where: 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2132 7898 or [email protected]
A prime spot for sipping tea and taking in the view of the city’s magnificent skyline, the Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental is pouring a cup of Christmas cheer this season with the “Festive Nutcracker Afternoon Tea”. Throughout December, revel in the festive environs of the Lobby Lounge, complete with carollers and live music, while nibbling on Executive Pastry Chef Cyril Dupuis’ Nutcracker-inspired treats. Highlights include the chestnut Pavlova, freshly-baked cinnamon scones and panettone, plus turkey and mushroom log, and duck foie gras tree on gingerbread on the savoury side.
When: Daily in December Monday-Friday (2.30pm-6pm); Saturday-Sunday (1.30pm-6pm) *except December 31 (1.30pm-5pm, last order at 4pm)
Cost: $468 +10% for one, $668 +10% for two *except December 24-26, 31 and January 1 $488 +10% for one, $688 +10% for two
Where: 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2313 2323 or [email protected]
It’s a “Joyful Wonderland” at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Kowloon with a yummy savoury mix that goes beyond cucumber finger sandwiches: pan-seared scallop and parma ham roulade, black truffle, celery and shrimp spring roll, and mini turkey burgers. Traditional Christmas fruit cake and mince pies make up some of the sweet items, along with a hazelnut chocolate tart and pistachio panna cotta with cherry foam. There’s tea, of course, but special for the season you can also partake in a “Santagria” (cranberry juice, lemonade and pomegranate syrup) or “Jingle Bell” (strawberry puree, milk and pomegranate syrup).
When: December 24-January 1 (3pm-6pm)
Cost: $270 + 10% (with one special drink) or $508 + 10% (with two special drinks) *book on or before December 10 and get 10% discount from December 24-26
Where: 193 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon
Book: 2622 6167 or [email protected]
Feast your eyes not only on the charming holiday bites served at GREEN’s Christmas afternoon tea, but on the eye-popping vertical garden (one of the largest in Asia) you’ll dine under. Among the savouries to indulge in are turkey balls with sage stuffing, Hungarian beef bruschetta, serrano ham with fig, plus lime biscuit roll cake with red fruits marmalade and cute Christmas cupcakes to please your sweet tooth.
When: December 1-31 (3pm-5.30pm)
Cost: $218 for one + 10%, $398 for two (Monday-Thursday); $258 + 10% for one, $488 + 10% for two (Friday-Sunday) *December 23-26 and 31 $258 + 10% for one, $498 + 10% for two
Where: 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Book: 3400 1300 or [email protected]
Yes, it says gin parlour in the name, but this eclectic haunt in The Landmark has one of the most whimsical afternoon teas in town, and on Christmas Day it presents an “Acoustic Afternoon Tea”. The special tea set is accompanied by a live acoustic band and Yuletide singers to add to the warm setting as you devour seasonal gourmet delights: jasmine tea crème brulee, Earl Grey tart, duck-leg confit with duck pate on toast, and grilled Ogleshield ham and cheese toast. Beverages are naughty and nice, including Christmas-inspired G&Ts and spiced coffee with nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar and whipped frothy crème.
When: December 25 (3pm-5pm)
Cost: $498 + 10% for one; add $80 for free-flow gin and tonic
Where: Shop B31A, first basement floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Book: 2111 9449 or [email protected]
Celebrate the season with an afternoon tea and give back to a special local charity at the same time. Clipper Lounge and Café Causette at the legendary Mandarin Oriental are offering a delicious tea spread that is sweet, savoury and sprinkled with a bit of extra love: from 1 to 23 of December, part of the proceeds of the “Festive Afternoon Tea” will be donated to Mother’s Choice, supporting children without families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong.
When: December 1-23 Monday to Friday (2.30-6pm); Saturday (first seating 2pm-4pm, second seating 4.15pm-6pm); Sunday (3.30pm-6pm)
Cost: $298 for one + 10% or $478 + 10% for one with a glass of of Moët & Chandon, Brut Imperial NV Champagne (Monday to Friday); $318 + 10% for one or $498 + 10% with a glass of of Moët & Chandon, Brut Imperial NV Champagne (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: 5 Connaught Road, Central
Book: 2825 4007 or [email protected]
The Verandah has been welcoming guests since 1933 at The Peninsula, and is one of our favourites for a spot of tea, if not for the lovely views of Victoria Harbour through the floor-to-ceiling windows, but also the attention they give to the little ones. On selected dates in December, they’re offering a children’s afternoon tea with Christmas-themed entertainment, goodies and surprises, with plenty to keep parents happy too.
When: December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 (2pm-5pm)
Cost: $388 for one
Where: 1/F, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Kowloon
Book: 2696 6766 or [email protected]
Take your tea and scones in the clouds on the 103rd floor of the luxurious Ritz-Carlton. Café 103 provides a stunning outlook of the city and despite its elegant surrounds, has a relaxed feel perfect for whiling away the afternoon. People come here for the famous chocolate-themed afternoon tea, but in December, their seasonal tea menu embraces Christmas fare laced with Yuletide spices, from the cookies to the tea. You can check out additional tempting sweets at the live dessert station.
When: December 17 , 23-26, 31 and January 1 (3.30pm-5.30pm)
Cost: $468 + 10% for one
Where: 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Book: 2263 2270 or [email protected]
You can’t have Christmas without mulled wine or eggnog, and thankfully Café Gray Deluxe remembers this, pairing the warm seasonal libations alongside a splendid tea collection. The flavours play a role in the luscious food too, like eggnog cheesecake and foie gras coupe with mulled wine gelée and gingerbread. Golden raisin scones with assorted jams, honey and Devonshire clotted cream are also on hand for old-fashioned afternoon tea fans.
When: December 5-January 1 (3.30pm-5.30pm)
Cost: $295 + 10 % for one, $535 + 10 % for two
Where: Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
Book: 3968 1106 or [email protected]
Stuff yourself like Santa would with a host of Christmassy nibbles like sugary stollen, fragrant ginger scones and classic fruity mince pies at Café on the 1st at The Excelsior. There are fabulous harbour views in a casual setting to go along with decadent cakes and a savoury seasonal selection, including turkey roll with cranberry jam and foie gras with fig on toast.
When: December 24-26, 31 and January 1 (3pm-5pm)
Cost: $258 + 10% for one, $408 + 10% for two
Where: 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
Book: 2837 6781 or [email protected]
Nancy Matos is a lifestyle and culture writer from Vancouver, Canada currently based in Hong Kong and London, who takes her tea with honey and lots of cake.