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Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
Tea for ThreePosted Sunday, March 20, 2011, at 7:50 AM
It doesn't seem that too many British traditions have continued here in Hong Kong after the handover. But one that has is high tea in the afternoon. It is not a tradition that is observed by the everyday locals I don't think, but more of a tourist attraction and a social event for the well to do.
Although part of me knew the food would be rather overpriced, the other part of me really wanted to try it. So, today I went to the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong's Central district for afternoon tea with two of my friends. The most famous tea place is the Peninsula Hotel, but the Four Seasons was a bit more convenient for us, and we hoped it would be less crowded.
For just under $30 US, we got afternoon tea for three. We were seated in the hotel bar, rather than the tearoom lounge, because just after 3 o'clock (when tea service begins) there was already a waiting list of 20. The ambiance of the bar wasn't quite as elegant as the lounge with its live piano trio, but it was still quite classy.
Our tea itself was served in individual pots, and then the food came on a three-tiered rack: one for savory bites, one for scones and one for desserts. The highlights were definitely the scones, served with jam and clotted cream (like very thick whipped cream), and the mini open-faced sandwich of wheat bread, fig spread, brie and prosciutto. Delicious!
After our tea, we were quite relaxed and decided to hang out in the bar for a bit. And it was certainly lucky that we did! They began serving a complimentary buffet of appetizers at 5:30, so we essentially paid for tea (lunch) and had our dinner there as well!
In a way, going somewhere like the Four Seasons is not a very authentic Hong Kong experience. It's a chain hotel attached to a giant mall full of international luxury brand stores. But, on the other hand, the bar patrons were mostly people of Asian ethnicity, and money and wealth are a big part of the economy here. Either way, it was an amazing Sunday afternoon full of very tasty food, and I just might have to check out the fare at other hotels offering afternoon tea in the future.
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Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.