Category Archives: Afternoon Tea

Low Tea @ Penninsula Hong Kong

It’s been a while since I wrote about my high tea adventures.  I still love to high tea, but I’ve found that they are all quite mediocre and there is not much to talk about.  However, recently a coworker and I both happened to be in Hong Kong so we decided to baller it out and go to Penninsula Hotel in TST for High Tea.

My coworker called and was told that they do not take reservations for high tea, and line up starts at 1:30pm for 2:00pm tea time.  Maybe coming from western civilizations, it’s a bit strange, but I’m not sure why a grand hotel would prefer to have a bunch of people lining up randomly but whatever.  We got there at 1:15pm and already there were a few people lined up…so we stood around in the lobby for almost an hour waiting to be seated.  By the time it was close to 2pm, the line up was amazing –  I would say close to 50 tables + were waiting.

We got a table in the first round of seating, and we got to order our teas really quickly.  Both the tea and food came out really quick, service as expected from a top notch hotel team.  Teas were fabulous – aromatic and obviously high quality loose leaf tea.  The food however, was beyond disappointing.

Since no one introduced the tiers to us (again, is this only done in Canada?) let me give you a guesstimate of what we ate.

Bottom tier (pics below) – raisin scones.  It wasn’t bad per se.  They came out warm…but quite dry for scones.  Not very fluffy, and from the taste, obviously not very much butter was used.  Verdict: my scones are better.

Mid tier – finger sandwiches…i THINK it was tuna roll, smoked salmon sandwich, and what should’ve been a cream cheese and cucumber sandwich.  Tuna roll was rolled in this black….bread…that was so dry it tasted like cardboard.  To be honest, I thought it was chicken, but my coworker thinks tuna…so we’ll go with tuna.  Smoked salmon was okay, except the ikura on top was a bit dry which means this was done before hand and left in the fridge with no cover.  Plus my coworker’s ikura had membrane attached…which was sort of disgusting.  Finally, the cream cheese sandwich – a high tea staple – was DISGUSTING.  It was soggy, and the cucumber was SO salty that I wondered if it was a cream cheese and pickle sandwich?

Top tier – dessert.  By the time we got here, both of us were a bit wary and no sure if we wanted to continue tasting.  TBH I can’t really guestimate what we ate because I’m still not sure.  I THINK there was a lemon curd profiterole, a key lime tart, then either a mocha or caramel tart or something…and a chocolate sorta cake or something.  Lemon curd was pretty good, a little soggy but that’s okay.  The key lime part of the tart is fantastic but the crust was SO thick and SO hard.  The unidentifiable tart was actually pretty good despite the fact I didn’t know what I ate.  But man that chocolate thing.  was DIS.GUS.TING.  It tasted like week old brownie – dry, too sweet, and did I mention DRY?  If we weren’t sitting in the middle of the lobby of Penninsula Hotel, I would’ve spat it back out – instead, I had to rinse it down with multiple cups of tea.  NOT a good way to end my tea time.

And during all of this, there was a line up of people watching us eat behind me.  (again, reservations would totally clear this issue…)

So, for a price of $724 ($658 + 10% mandatory gratuity)… what.the….eff?

In conclusion, don’t waste your time here.




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Filed under Afternoon Tea, Dining adventures, Disappointments, Food

Tea time at Adonia

So it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to go out to check out new high tea places, but we did manage it once during Christmas week.  This time it’s at Adonia Kerrisdale Tea House (2057 w. 41st Ave, Vancouver).

First impression: quaint.  To the point of…there’s totally not enough room in here.  Everything was very English, which is exactly the kind of thing I like, but the door opens and immediately in front is a small divider, and immediately behind the divider was a table. Which was where we ended up sitting…and it was COLD every time the door opened. I do suppose it’s better than a blast of heat in the summer.  Lots of little tables against the walls with 2 chairs, so if you have a bigger party (by bigger, I mean more than 2) I’d recommend making a reservation.

The tea selection was decent.  Lots of roiboos to choose from…but still, I am partial to the selection at Secret Garden.  I have yet to find something to beat the Vanilla Earl Grey (remember, this is coming from a girl who doesn’t like Earl Grey tea).

The food was set because it was the Christmas tea menu.  Most of it was decent.  The desserts were pretty good.  Most disappointing were the little quiches that we had.  Why? Because I have a pack of it in my freezer – purchased from Costco.  I didn’t pay 30+ dollars to have re-heated Costco quiches (and suspicious about the potato salad!), no matter how great they taste.

Service was good.  The girl was running around so much though, I felt bad to ask for more hot water. Considering they were turning people away because everything was reserved, I figure adding another body to help out that day would’ve been great.

This one is a recommend.  But with Secret Garden literally just around the bend, I’d go back to Adonia only if Secret Garden was full.

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What a let down…

So my friend Hannah and I went to Victoria for a weekend, thinking it’d be a great weekend trip and a superb afternoon tea opportunity at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.   Since BC Ferries had a pkg’d deal with the Empress, I figure, why not stay at this hotel that every tourist that has stepped foot on Victoria has taken a pic of/with?

Well now I can tell you why NOT to stay there.

For a 5 star hotel, I was unimpressed from the get-go.  As in..before we even checked in.  That’d be because we stood there in a line for a good half hour. To check in.  I didn’t even have to wait that long at the Wynn in Vegas (yeah it’s the Wynn), and it was FILLED with people checking in.  There were 4 people ahead of us in line.

Then when it was FINALLY our turn, they didn’t have the room we were supposed to get with this package. Which took anoter 10 minutes for this girl to *kick another room out of their room* so we could take the room. Uhhh I hope she just pulled that from her butt cuz I felt so bad.

Parking lot sucked butt.  The corridor leading from the parkade to the lobby was seriously haunted and it plain smelled OLD. Like…soap, talc, mold…all meshed in one.  Grossness?

The room itself was…old. Heh. It’s cute, if you like old things and stepping back into time.  Which, believe me, I do.  But for some strange reason, I didn’t feel at peace in my room.  I was so scared, in fact, that I couldn’t close and lock the bathroom door when I showered because I was so creeped out.

You know when you

It felt off. We kept all the lights on, kept the TV going (I woke up to equestrian broadcasting)…and yeah.

I spook easy…but not that bad!

I think it’s time for the Empress to get a major overhaul.

The dinner, at the restaurant that was supposedly voted best seafood in Victoria was a disappointment at best.  I didn’t even bother with a name. Service was slow, and just plain terrible.  It got to the point where I just wanted to get up and leave because our waiter was MIA, and the other waiter refused to serve us…or even offer to find our waiter for us.  The food was mediocre, which really is just horrible…because we ordered a seafood platter in Victoria.  It shouldn’t be anything but amazing.

Complete disappointment.

But the high tea at the Empress Hotel was top notch. If you are a tea drinker, the Empress Blend is a definite recommendation for you. That high tea plus the ferry ride to and fro the island were the only highlights of the trip.

You can bet it’ll be at least another 2 years before I make it over again.

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Afternoon Tea Time

I’m going to start blogging about food…because I found it really difficult to figure out where to eat in Vancouver via Google.  So…I’ll happily be the guinea pig 🙂  Except it might end up being a small challenge because I’m a creature of habit, so I tend to just go to the same places, and eat the same things. But let’s give this a try!

When it comes to afternoon tea, I’m always in!  So far, I’ve tried Secret Garden on W. Boulevard, T-Room near UBC, and at the lounge inside Shangri-La downtown.

[a.] Secret Garden 5559 W.Boulevard, Vancouver

It’s my current favourite place for afternoon tea.  I’ve gone there quite a few times, and the food and service has been consistently wonderful.  The atmosphere is what I’d imagine English countryside bed and breakfast to be like.  I believer that for their high tea and regular tea sets, you are given a scone, a finger sandwich, another side, and a choice of desserts.  I highly recommend the lemon tart.  It’s their specialty, and it’s absolutely fantastic.  Ditto with their scones with devon cream and raspberry jam. Mmm.  Of course you get your pick of teas – my favourites are the Irish breakfast and vanilla Earl Grey.  It comes with a tea-cozy!

They also have a section where you can buy teas and pastries to take home.  As well as a corner of cute gift ideas.  I love this place.  I think it’ll remain my go-to afternoon tea fix choice for a long time.

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