Continuing with the theme of eating the best foods around Hong Kong, yesterday afternoon, Sam and I decided to go have afternoon tea at The Peninsula.
The Peninsula is one of the oldest hotels in all of Hong Kong and when it first opened its doors in 1928, it was referred to as the ‘finest hotel east of the Suez’. Setting foot in The Peninsula was like walking into a different world; the hotel’s entrance was lined with Ferraris and Rolls Royces, while inside shops like Prada, Hermès, and Cartier showed off their latest collections in their sparkling window displays.
A live band was playing classical music in the gold and creme coloured lobby, and between the glittering chandeliers and the lush palms it was very much a magical setting.
However, before I tell you all about the magic, let me begin by saying that the wait to get in to The Peninsula for afternoon tea is very, very long.
Tea is served from 2:00 to 6:00pm, and while Sam and I both knew we needed to arrive early, 2:10 proved to be a little too late. By the time we walked into the hotel, the line was already wrapping itself down the hall and around the corridor. We were told that the wait would be about 1 hour, and we decided that since we were already dressed up and had come all the way out here, we would queue with the other guests…
Well, it took 2 hours to get a table.
I know, I know! I have never stood in line for food that long, and I wouldn’t under normal circumstances (I almost find that a little offensive), however, after standing in line for 1 hour I just didn’t want to give up my place even though Sam was ready to walk out. I felt like I had waited too long, plus I could almost taste the scones!
It could have been because it was the weekend and because it was late summer, but regardless, if you decide to go have tea at The Peninsula, be sure to arrive 30 minutes to 1 hour before tea time starts! Or just arrive really late since by 5:30 the line had already died down.
But moving on to the tea!
Since this kind of outing isn’t something we do very often, Sam and I decided to splurge a little by ordering the Afternoon Tea for Two (pictured above).
It was absolutely decadent!
I chose a cup of mango tea while the boy opted for a vanilla milkshake – I had a sip of his and it transported me back to a 1950s diner – it was that good.
Our 3 tier cake plate soon arrived and it was filled with some delicious bite-sized treats.
The top tier had macaroons, green tea cake with cranberries, lemon merengue pie in a chocolate crust, raspberry sponge cake, and sweet pastry puffs.
The second tier had savoury canapes, cucumber sandwiches, prosciutto sandwiches, and my favourite, smoked salmon sandwiches.
And afternoon tea would not have been complete without a third plate filled with scones!
Warm scones with clotted cream and jam are a little indulgence of mine whenever I travel to England (as in I eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and can hardly control myself!), so it was a nice little treat to have these all the way out in Hong Kong.
In the end it only took us 30 minutes to enjoy our afternoon tea; a little ironic after standing in line for two hours, but that’s what happens when you put good food in front of us. We devour it.
So would I recommend it?
Yes and no.
While having afternoon tea at The Peninsula was a fun Saturday date, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to stand in line for two hours. At least have some seating for those waiting in line and maybe hand out a glass of water and some small hors d’oeuvres every once in a while…
Keep in mind that The Peninsula isn’t the only option. There are many hotels in Hong Kong that serve afternoon tea, and while I can’t guarantee that the wait times will be any shorter, it might just be worth seeking out some of these spots.
Afternoon tea at The Peninsula is HK $328 (USD $42) for 1 person, or HK $578 (USD $75) for 2 persons.
No reservations are accepted.
Dress code is smart casual.
Have you ever gone out for afternoon tea? Tell me about it.
No reservations?! Crazy! I’m so with you on the scones and clotted cream though. When I lived in London last year I just fell in love with them. Why don’t they understand clotted cream in the states?! Gorgeous pictures! It’s fun to splurge every now and then.
Happy travels 🙂
I know! I tried so many supermarkets in Toronto on my quest for clotted cream, but they don’t seem to know what it is. They are missing out big time!
2 hours in line for tea??? You did get some awesome pictures, so I guess it was well worth it. Is there any time you could go to avoid the rush?
I’m guessing the line probably wouldn’t be that bad midweek, but then again it’s the most popular hotel for afternoon tea in the city so it’s hard to say.
This does sound like a really cool thing to do, minus the long wait. although I totally get what you mean about not wanting to give up after committing an hour of your life in a queue!
If I had to do it over again, I would go midweek as opposed to the weekend.
wow! all of a sudden i feel the urge to drink tea.. but sadly, i don’t have desserts that look that good lol
love your photos btw, and have been following your blog for quite sometime! If theres anything that binds people together from around the world, its love…. for food lol
now im off to run around costa rica looking for desserts that look like that!
You look adorable, and you fit in well! I always find it a challenge to not look like a complete grub monster when I’m traveling, even if I pack one or two nicer outfits.
Smoked salmon is definitely one of my faves too, nommmmmmmm!
I had cream tea in Lavenham, England with my friend Kathy, and that was a REAL treat. It would especially be a treat in Asia. 🙂
That’s one of the few dresses I have packed with me, so it makes an appearance anytime a ‘smarter’ outfit is required. 😉 Most people in there were wearing designer from head to toe…
Our favorite place to get afternoon tea is actually at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel. If you want to visit while you’re here, it’s located outside of the park so you don’t need a ticket to get in.
They have western and eastern style tea sets. Both are good– although we much prefer the western!
Did you guys happen to pick up some mooncakes from The Peninsula while you were there? 😉
Afternoon tea in Disneyland sounds fun! We didn’t get mooncakes during our afternoon tea, but I have tried them. I’m a little sad I’m going to be missing the Mid-Autumn Festival because I hear that’s the perfect time to have them!
It looks amazing, but to avoid a 2-hour weight I’d go to Subway! 🙂
Haha, I have also been eating Subway sandwiches while I’ve been here…shh! 😉
That looks amazing 🙂 I love afternoon tea. It’s become a new event I try to do in certain new cities. Haven’t done it in Hong Kong yet, but there that can always be something for the next time in town.
I will not wait for food this long anymore no matter how good is it. I tried to wait for 2 hours for tim ho wan dim sum before. I am tired of waiting. my stomach should not deserve to be wait. I like your scone photos. It make me feel hungry.
I’m going to Tim Ho Wan this week! I have heard the lines there are really REALLY long, so we’re going early hoping we’ll be able to get a table…fingers crossed!
Having lived in England for 7 years I have come to love afternoon tea. You can’t beat warm scones with clotted cream and jam.
Haha, that’s the best place to develop an appreciation for it. 😉
2 hours is crazy, but I looooooove this! It’s adorable. Tea is one thing, but tea with cute little finger food? That’s a whole other level.
So fancy! Feels like you are in one of these colonial novels 😆 I have to try afternoon tea as well. It’s a British tradition some fancy places do offer in Canada.
I’m not sure what all that food was, but I am sure I want to eat it all. 🙂
I can’t believe you waited that long, I would have probably done the same though. I love the youtube video you made for this post, it’s always great to get a feel for the setting!
this looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to go for afternoon tea. It sounds so elegant!
Hong Kong is all about two-hour waits. Luckily, I didn’t experience any, but I saw quite a few as I walked around the city. My favorite wait (to observe) was for the tram to the Peak. While everyone paid for an overpriced tram ticket, I took the cheap bus and enjoyed the thrill of driving up the mountain.
TWO hours to get a table!? Poor Sam! 🙂 However, I am getting so jealous from looking at your pics, Audrey 😉
it’s a lunch time here in US 🙁
Well, well Audrey I see someone’s treating herself way too good :). 2 hours?????? Insane! But you surely deserves it. Peninsula looks so posh and stunning inside and I wish I could try one of your favourite smoked salmon sandwiches :).
I’m surprised you had to wait that long for a table during the off season! We went at Christmastime and so were expecting a 2-hour wait. While I’m glad we went, I much preferred the more low-key setting at the nearby Langham.
I agree the two hour wait is a bit ridiculous. And I’d definitely want more than a tray of cakes for $350. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Peninsula, so thanks for the extra info.
We went to the Marriott last Thursday for the Afternoon Tea and it was awesome. It’s more a buffet-style thing so you get more for your money – especially for big eaters like me. 😉
Afternoon tea can turn into dinner tea.
I’d probably opt for convenient store tea…that’s how I roll…conveniently…
Thanks for the run through! Great pics and enjoyed the vid.
Yep! Was there a couple of weeks ago! Incredible City and Harbour! I lined up for the Afternoon gig for a while and then stuffit! Went in for Breakfast the nxt morning! NO waiting fast service! Gr8t food! and reasonable price! Free World wide papers! @ waiting staff! Oh what a fantastic dining room! Try it nxt time your there! Free Wifi! hot face towels! Like your blog etc…Cheers.