When you’ve got some spare hours and stomach space in between lunch and dinner, a spot of afternoon tea could be a relaxing way to while away the time. So step away from those tried-and-tested favorites and munch on new nibbles that range from storybook-inspired creations to edible “cosmetics” to flavored scones that get the flambéed treatment at these three venues.
Here at Cucina, where stellar views of Victoria Harbour loom in the background, the petite-sized sweet and savory bites are served in, er, a cosmetic box. Yep, you read right. It’s not exactly what comes to mind when you think afternoon tea, but it sure has that novelty factor
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With more than 15 treats, Be Fabulous Afternoon Tea includes items like marinated gold salmon with oscietra caviar, duck liver macaron, pink tiramisu, and grapefruit chocolate praline.
Plus, look out for the five edible “surprises” hidden in the box — there’s a strawberry chocolate lipstick in case you need a touch-up, a black truffle eye shadow set for that smoky eye effect, rose water perfume so you’re nicely scented, and “faux pearls” filled with strawberry caviar and arrabbiata sauce cream. Wash it all down with glasses of bellini, Italian sangria, or the hotel’s Marco Polo earl grape iced tea.
Available daily from 3pm-5:30pm at Cucina, L6, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. +852 2113 0808. HK$508/two, includes your choice of two glasses of the three aforementioned drinks.
Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour
The ever-changing afternoon tea menu at this bar takes inspiration from Dr. Fern’s favorite storybooks. So if you’re suffering from a bout of nostalgia, the Winter Tea line-up may be just what the good doctor ordered. His current mood is “A Christmas Carol,” and those cozy feels are reflected in the array of nibbles.
Savories take the form of ricotta toast with butter pulled pork, parma ham puff pastry, sautéed mushroom with filo, and potato skin with crab meat. Then when you move on to the sweets, you’ll be noshing on the likes of orange cheesecake, cannoli with rum raisins, ginger cake, and red wine poached apple.
If you need a stiff one, venture out to try a drink from the unusual vegetable gin cocktail series mixed with local botanicals and greens. Otherwise, pick from the organic tea selection that includes tie guan yin, oolong, aged pu’erh, and peppermint.
Available daily from 2pm-5pm at Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour, shop B31A, first basement floor, Landmark Atrium, Central, Hong Kong. +852 2111 9449. HK$498/two, includes coffee or tea.
Pop in to the rooftop space at The Murray for panoramic views of the Central district bustle and light bites with a splash of color. The menu here may be the most expensive on our list, but you get showered with treats such as organic egg and Kristal caviar blinis, blue lobster and apple remoulade tartlets, smoked salmon muffins, strawberry lamingtons with Thai basil cream, and salted pistachio cassis tartelettes.
If you’re in the mood for a burst of drama, forgo the ordinary scones with papaya and mango jam and instead order the Cherries Jubilee or Blood Orange Cointreau ones (HK$90/a pair). These baked goods get the flambéed treatment table-side, adding a potential spark to an otherwise-flailing date.
For more fancy extras, throw in HK$300 each for a glass of Deutz Blanc de Blanc champagne or Charles-Heidsieck Rosé. Otherwise, stick to the menu with tea blends like Fruit Dove (HK$85) made with rosebud, hibiscus, and blackcurrant tea, or Afternoon Refreshment (HK$90) for a brew of assam breakfast and peppermint teas.
Available from Tues-Sun 2:30pm-4:30pm at Popinjays, The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, Central, Hong Kong. HK$688/two, includes coffee and tea.