June 24, 2013

Afternoon Tea at the InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong



Yesterday was high tea day again for me! I went for afternoon tea at the InterContinental Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui with Chloris, my maid-of-honor-to-be in my Hong Kong wedding. I had only ever dinned here once and it was long time ago, back in 2009 for the Valentine's Day buffet lunch! The views from this hotel are magnificent. It occupies a very privileged location right next to the harbour next to the Stars Avenue, overlooking Hong Kong Island in an impressive way. It's one of the best places to spend New Year's Eve if you want to have a good view of the countdown fireworks! Not that I'll complain about my amazing views from the boat this last New Year's Eve!

Back to the InterContinental, the afternoon tea is served from 2pm to 5pm at the Lobby, and there is no reservation. I don't really get why venues like the InterContinental or the Peninsula don't accept bookings for afternoon tea. It is SO frustrating to queue up for tea, when tea is supposed to be a relaxing afternoon experience! Anyway, this time I didn't have to queue at all, in fact, I arrived at 1.45, and was the first to be seated at 1.50. Ha! Here is my personal tip how not having to line up!!!

I got to the Lobby Lounge at 1.43pm, ready to queue up for the 2pm tea. To my astonishment, there were about 10 couples in front of the restaurant, but none of them was really queuing, just standing there without any order whatsoever. I asked the front door waitress about the afternoon tea, and she said the queue didn't start yet, and asked me to take a seat on the Lobby sofas. {Don't go! That's too far away and by the time the queue starts, you'll be the last one in the row!} I ignored her and stayed VERY close to the door, more than the rest of the couples. Then after a couple minutes a waiter came out with two sticks and a rope and asked us to queue on the right-hand side for afternoon tea. Well, guess what, I jumped in for the first spot! Haha. And that's how it's done, my friends ;) 

The most important in any case is to get there around 1.45pm. After 2.30pm the line is CRAZY and, trust me, you don't want to line up for this afternoon tea, because people come here to relax and spend the whole afternoon, so you can end up queuing for a VERY long time...



So since we were the first in line, they allowed us to seat about 10 minutes before 2 o'clock, in a gorgeous table for 6 people {all for ourselves!} overlooking the harbour. I made a video on instagram, you can't miss it!


The scones come in a basket to keep them warm!


The InterContinental has three afternoon tea sets to choose from: the Champagne Set, the InterContinental Afternoon Tea set, and the Chinese Set. We went for the InterContinental one, which is the classic afternoon tea, with scones, savory bites and petit fours. Food wise, I'd say it was a 4*, because the scones were not that good, and the rest was good but could be better. Overall though, I was really satisfied because the atmosphere is really good with these nice views and live music! I also loved the fact that there was a very good Mariage Frères tea selection, and that the tea pots were from Le Creuset, so chic!


Me holding a complimentary strawberry shake they gave us


Visited on: June 23, 2013
Overall Quality: 4* (venue is great; tea selection is superb; no reservation is a minus; and food is good but not the best)
Price: HK$568 + 10% service charge for the InterContinental Afternoon Tea Set for two
Value for Money: 4*
Would I recommend it? If you don't mind spending more than HK$600 for an afternoon tea set, then go and give it a try, because the venue is all worth it. Food wise though, there's better choices in town for this price! Check out my favorite one




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xx Olivia