Sunday, 22 July 2012

Eating my way around Hong Kong Part 3: Afternoon Tea - Let there be cake

c'est la B - cake artistry
Like the website c'est la B is beautiful done out with dark background with an injection of colour coming from the fluffy cushions, butterflies and not forgetting the cakes. In Tin Hau, but wouldn’t be out of place in London’s Soho.

It doesn’t matter what you choose, every cake is as beautiful as it is delicious, which is the way is should be. They even have a selection of gluten and sugar free cakes and mousses, happy happy happy. You will need to spend a little extra compared to most HK desserts, but its well worth it. You may be reluctant to make the strike with your fork, you will mostly certainly want to take a picture first. The artistry will soon be forgotten, the cake demolished and you’ll be left wanting more. 
This cake is officially known as 'better than sex
On the last day of my trip, afternoon tea was required, I and one of my best friends had to choose between The Peninsula with its famous and traditional tea in the lobby OR tea with a view at the Intercontinental Hotel. We choose the more relaxed Lobby Lounge of Intercontinental with a habour view.
Lounge with a view
HK amazing skyline from the lounge
The setting was art deco and beautiful and the view, of course, was impressive. 
Beautiful art deco seating - calm before the queuing storm
Pretty pretty table decoration
Afternoon starts at 14.00, but its worth getting there just before to avoid the queues, which soon appear as no booking is available and very table was soon taken. And from it bit of people watching, it seems that people like to set up for the afternoon and sit and read with their tea. Our own leisurely afternoon tea (no reading) was two hours, you need to pace yourself and take small breaks from eating all the glorious food. In the UK, traditional afternoon tea requires some smart-ish dressing and we dressed accordingly. However, it seems those in HK don’t feel the need to conform to all the traditions, which is all good. 

You can choose between a 'traditional' afternoon tea set and the ‘red box’ contemporary chinese afternoon tea set. We went for traditional afternoon tea, as did most other tables. Due to the heat outside we went for the less traditional iced tea - peach and ginger for me, which was cool and refreshing. 
Even the tea looks beautiful
 It shouldn’t be surprising, but we were surprised and delighted by the beauty (and quantity) of the food presented to us....
Amazing spread!
Petite sandwiches including egg, crab, chicken and parma ham with cream cheese. All were sampled and enjoyed, but there was more food than we could eat and cake has to be given priority.
Pastries and sandwiches in all their glory
Four large scone for two people plain and fruit, with lashings of clotted cream and either strawberry jam or earl grey jelly. 
Scone forest
 Each delightful cake was shared - nobody wants to miss out on any of these. Every new treat cause small squeals and large happy sighs of taste delight, this is what afternoon is like in heavan I would imagine. Alas it is not gluten free (The gluten free afternoon tea in London’s Claridge’s is on the same delightful level as this I am happy to say).  Everything looked amazing and each tasted as amazing as the previous delight. The selection of French Pastries included chocolate square with a zesty lemon filling, raspberry & lychee sponge (the absolute favourite), a custard cream puff, lemon mousse complete with meringue spikes and coffee & nut sponge. Wonderful, so wonderful. One day I need to go to The Peninsula to compare their afternoon tea :) 
Posh strawberry milkshake was a surprise addition half way through our tea experience

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