Anyone for a cuppa? Perhaps some sweet treats and canapés with mulled wine and Champagne will hit the spot? You may need a break after a mad day of Christmas shopping, or would like a special afternoon with your little one while school’s out. Whatever the reason, a festive afternoon tea in an attractive setting, complete with twinkling lights and brilliant city views, will do the job nicely. Below are some of the best to savour this holiday season.
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 Executive Pastry Chef Christian Gonthier’s festive tea set. Throughout December, revel in the festive environs of the Lobby Lounge, complete with carollers and live music, while nibbling on a variety of sweets inspired by the holidays: white chocolate and macadamia brownie, and chestnut and mascarpone mini choux are just a couple to tempt you. Executive Chef Maxime Luvara brings the delicious savouries from poached lobster and yuzu cucumber with raspberry glaze, to spicy salmon rillette and salmon roe sandwich.
When: December 1 –23, 25 – 30 and January 1 (Monday to Friday 2.30pm – 6pm, weekends and public holidays 1.30pm – 6pm); December 24 and 31 (1.30pm – 4.30pm, last order 4pm)
Cost: $698 for two (Monday to Friday); $718 for two (weekends, December 24 – 26, 31 and January 1)
Where: 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2313 2323 or [email protected]
The French Window is located in the ifc mall, making for a perfect stop after you’ve sorted the Christmas shopping. Plus, there’s beautiful Victoria Harbour views to go with the fabulous tea, cake and in this case, Baileys. The “Festive Baileys Afternoon Tea” has cakes and tarts infused with the famous Irish cream liqueur, along with indulgent savouries, served on a cute two-tier miniature pine picnic bench. The ginger and Baileys caramel apple tart sounds very appealing, as does the Baileys panna cotta. There’s also cheese gougères and lobster salad and polenta cake with truffle mousse and tomato jelly, and you can upgrade to an exclusive Baileys cocktail for an added treat.
When: December 7 – January 26 (3pm – 5.30pm weekends and public holidays only)
Cost: $598 for two; add $50 per person for Baileys cocktail
Where: 3101, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central
Book: 2393 3812 or book online
Finally, a fully vegetarian afternoon tea, and it happens to come complete with a cute teddy bear theme. The Cakery’s Christmas tea set comes with an Impossible burger paired with delightful sweets such as teddy bear chiffon mini cakes, and golden raisin scones with homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream. Even more appealing is the afternoon tea is presented in the form of an advent calendar, with sustainable gifts alongside the wonderful treats.
When: Until December 31 (2.30pm – 6.00pm Monday to Friday, 1.45pm – 3.00pm, 3.15pm – 4.30pm or 4.45pm – 6.00pm weekends)
Cost: $538 for one
Where: Shop 124, 1/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay
Book: 2816 1838 or [email protected]
Feast your eyes not only on the charming holiday bites at GREEN, but on the eye-popping vertical garden that you’ll dine under. Among the highlights at the “Godiva Chocolate Festive Afternoon Tea” are chocolate log cake and chocolate cream sled with crispy crunch, and divine savouries like chocolate foie gras with green peppercorn. As if that wasn’t enough chocolate for one afternoon, there will be unlimited dark chocolate soft serve ice cream and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year, special Godiva hot chocolate and a piece of Godiva chocolate praline to take home.
When: Until December 31 *excluding selected festive days (3.00pm – 5.00pm or 5.00pm – 7.00pm); December 24 – 26 December and January 1 (3.00pm – 5.30pm)
Cost: $328 for one or $598 for two ($338 for one or $608 for two December 24 – 26 December and January 1)
Where: Lobby, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Book: 3400 1300 or [email protected]
The Langham knows how to make afternoon tea a special occasion no matter what time of year, but the “Christmas in London” tea set during the holidays takes the cake. Choose from a variety of elegant confections like the Golden Reindeer Gianduiotto made with gianduja chocolate mousse, sacher cake and chocolate sable, and the British Opera layered with caramel and praline. Lobster tartelette with cauliflower purée and yuzu gel, and beef ragout pie make up some of the savouries, all presented in a 3-tier white leather box. Go deluxe and enjoy unlimited prosecco or mulled wine.
When: December 1 to January 1 (3pm – 5.30pm)
Cost: $398 for one or $688 for two; add $100 per person for 2 hours of free flow prosecco or mulled wine; $450 per person for 3 hours of free flow prosecco, house wine and assorted drinks (December 31 only from 9pm to midnight)
Where: 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2132 7898 or [email protected]
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, COCO is presenting Santa-inspired savouries and sweets and a special “COCO Xmas Tea”, a lovely blend of black tea, cinnamon, orange and honey. Nibble away on aromatic cinnamon and cranberry scones accompanied by homemade preserves, Kumamoto chestnut Mont-Blanc eclair, smoked turkey salad bruschetta, and foie gras rice roll with truffle mayo.
When: December 1 – 30 (3.00pm – 6.00pm) *except December 24 and 25
Cost: $428 for two; add $120 per person for glass of Champagne
Where: Mira Place, 118-130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2315 5885 or [email protected]
Afternoon tea at The Butterfly Room is one of the newer tea experiences in Hong Kong, quickly becoming known as one of the nicest after it was introduced this year. The same wonderful pastries and savoury bites by award-winning pastry chef Holger Deh are offered during the holidays too, served in an elegant setting adorned with butterfly-themed artwork by Damien Hirst. Highlights are a chic pastry trolley with several sweet temptations, the German festive speciality Christmas stollen from the chef’s homeland, and a pistachio and cherry Yule log. Enjoy every last crumb with two hours of bottomless Krug Grand Cuvée Champagne.
When: December 1 to January 1 (first sitting 2.00pm – 4.15pm, second sitting 4.30pm – 6.30pm)
Cost: Festive Afternoon Tea – $920 for two; Ultimate Festive Afternoon Tea – $1,480 for two; add $1,900 for two hours of Krug Grand Cuvée Champagne
Where: Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 3891 8732 or [email protected]
One floor above the other prime place for tea at the Ritz, Cafe 103, sits The Lounge & Bar. Equally luxurious, with twinkling lights and wicked views, they’re getting cute again this season with a “Teddy Bear Afternoon Tea”. Kids’ fashion brand Nicholas & Bears will be helping them out, presenting teddy bears decked out in adorable threads to squeal at in between mouthfuls of teddy-themed biscuits, cake pops shaped like teddy bears, and more. Maybe don’t let the bears watch as you munch away…
When: December 22, 26 and January 1 (first seating 12pm – 2pm, second seating 2.15pm – 4.15pm, third seating 4.30pm – 6.30pm); December 24 and 31 (first seating 12pm – 2pm, second seating 2.30pm – 4.30pm); December 25 (4pm – 6pm)
Cost: $548 for one or $988 for two
Where: 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Book: 2263 2270 or [email protected]
A “Dazzling Ferris Wheel” is the star of the afternoon tea at Upper Bistro and Bar. Sample sweet after delicious sweet from a golden Ferris Wheel laden with goodies like assorted mini donuts, macarons and chocolate bon bons. There’s plenty of tasty bites on the savoury front too, like pan-fried tuna canapé with caviar. Sip away on a selection of hot teas or upgrade to an iced green tea latte, avocado strawberry milkshake and other refreshing drinks. Just as intriguing is the “Europe 5ive” tea set featuring European-flavoured creations from Germany, France, England, Spain and Italy placed inside a small pink suitcase.
When: from November 1 (3pm – 5pm)
Cost: $368 for two (Monday to Friday); $408 for two (weekends and public holidays); add $32 per person for iced green tea latte, pink peach fruit tea, lemon citrus, hazelnut latte or affogato (Europe 5ive only) or avocado strawberry milkshake (Dazzling Ferris Wheel only); add $52 per person for house red, white or sparkling wine
Where: 19/F, Popway Hotel, 117 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2117 3526 or [email protected]
Have a Berry Merry Christmas afternoon tea in the stylish setting of W Hong Kong’s Woobar. The “Berry Merry Shiny Shimmery” tea set is all about seasonal berries – the shimmery part comes via lots of glitter for a festive touch. Executive Pastry Chef Baptiste Villefranque has created confections like a milk chocolate mousse, a shiny silver sphere with popping candies inside, vanilla and strawberry mille feuille, and a gluten-free raspberry mousse and pistachio cube. Savouries are also injected with berries, including foie gras with strawberry chutney and pistachio crumbs, and pulled turkey salad on French herb toast with cranberry jam and fresh red currants.
When: Until December 31 (Afternoon Tea Set Monday to Friday 3pm – 5.30pm except public holidays; Supreme Afternoon Tea Set weekends and public holidays 2pm – 5.30pm)
Cost: Afternoon Tea Set – $488 for two; Supreme Afternoon Tea Set – $638 for two (includes two glasses of sparkling wine)
Where: 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon
Book: 3717 2889 or woobar.[email protected]
A bright setting that looks over a lush garden with calming water features, and you don’t have to get too dolled up? Sounds ideal for a spot of tea. The Lobby Lounge at Kerry Hotel has pastry chef Julien Gourmelon at the helm making savoury favourites and delicate pastries, each just the right size to enjoy every last one without going overboard. Revel in roast duck, chestnut and pancetta sausage roll, and potted smoked salmon and king prawn, plus sugary delights including a milk chocolate and apricot Yule log and orange and cinnamon scones.
When: December 16 – 23, 26 – 30 (Monday to Friday 2.30pm – 5.30pm), weekends and public holidays 2pm – 6pm); December 24, 25 and 31 (first seating 1.30pm – 3.30pm, second seating 4pm – 6pm)
Cost: $688 for two
Where: Level 1, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon
Book: 2252 5237 or [email protected]
Spend the holidays getting your tastebuds and skin taken care of at Lion Rock’s “Glittering and Brightening Afternoon Tea”. On offer are pastries and savoury selections containing vitamin C, inspired by the new Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules Radiance Renewal Serum by Elizabeth Arden. Have some memorable tea time with your besties as you chat between sips of special winter drinks – a creamy berry latte or sparkling golden hazelnut cocktail. Either goes well with vitamin C-infused grapefruit mousse, parma ham with mixed berry tart, and other tasty items. And because it’s Christmas, there’s a gift in store (until Santa runs out, that is): an Elizabeth Arden gift set valued at $227.
When: Until January 5 (3pm – 6pm)
Cost: $270 for one or $508 for two
Where: 193 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon
Book: 2622 6167 or [email protected]
Both are favourites for weekend brunches, and Clipper Lounge and Cafe Causette also do fantastic afternoon teas. Come by a bit early to admire the beautifully-decorated lobby with a towering tree, then relax with the “Shanghai Tang Festive Afternoon Tea”. Mandarin Oriental’s Executive Pastry Chef Christophe Sapy has teamed up with Shanghai Tang’s Creative Director Victoria Tang-Owen to create a unique tea outing. Victoria has handpicked her favourite flavours recalling fond childhood memories of teatime at Mandarin Oriental with her father, the late Sir David Tang. The holiday delicacies feature elements from the brand, like the “SHT Shou” motif, and partial proceeds will be donated to The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association.
When: December 1 – January 3 (3pm – 6pm daily at Cafe Causette; 2.30pm – 6pm Monday to Friday 2pm – 4pm and 4.15pm to 6pm Saturdays and public holidays, 3.30pm – 6pm Sundays at Clipper Lounge)
Cost: $368 for one on weekdays or $428 for one on weekends; $488 for one on December 22, 24, 25 and January 1
Where: 5 Connaught Road, Central
Book: 2825 4007 or [email protected]
The legendary Lobby is one of our favourites for afternoon tea, if not for the attention to detail in the fine table settings and perfectly crafted cakes, but for the musical accompaniment of the Lobby Strings. The finger sandwiches are dainty and delicious, filled with Iberian ham and fig, Balik and salmon caviar, and the quintessential cucumber. It wouldn’t be complete without fine teas from The Peninsula Tea Collection served with scones, jam and clotted cream, but being Christmas, there’s also seasonal sweets like homemade peppermint chocolate and Christmas tea cake.
When: December 21 to 26 (2pm – 5pm)
Cost: $508 for one
Where: Ground Floor, The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Book: 2696 6772 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 creative rotating afternoon tea sets, and in December the seasonal tea takes on a German Christmas theme. Sit back and enjoy the view, along with various tempting salty and sugary bites designed by world champion pastry chef Andrea Schirmaier-Huber elegantly served at your table. There’s even more festive pudding joy at the live dessert station.
When: December 22, 26, 31 and January 1 (3.30pm – 5.30pm), December 24 and 25 (3.15pm – 5.15pm)
Cost: $488 for one
Where: 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Book: 2263 2270 or [email protected]
Pop over to Lantau Island for an afternoon tea experience with pretty panoramic views of the South China Sea. Café bord de Mer & Lounge in Discovery Bay has full-length windows to gaze at the scenery, and bring in lots of natural light as you indulge in a warming “Chestnut and Ginger Afternoon Tea”. Spoil yourself with desserts and savoury nibbles with a touch of ginger and chestnut, plus lovely teas, traditional scones and jam, as no afternoon tea would be complete without those. The sunny views are an added bonus.
When: December 1 to January 1 (3.15pm – 5.30pm)
Cost: $328 for two ($368 for two on December 25)
Where: Auberge Discovery Bay Hong Kong, 88 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island
Book: 2295 8288 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.