Afternoon Tea at the Pennisula

Old Aug 8th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Afternoon Tea at the Pennisula

Heard about this so much...is it really worth while? What about the cost?
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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Many places have afternoon tea but in my opinion its not worth planning your day around it. I'm sure it costs - otherwise it would not be worthwhile for them to do it.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:05 PM
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The Pen in which city?
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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Kathie, does it really matter which city?
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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To me it would. The afternoon tea at the Pen in Hong Kong has quite a long British tradition. To me, it would be more worth it to go to tea there, than, say, in Bangkok. Does the Pen in Bangkok even have afternoon tea?
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:17 PM
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kathie---yes the bkk penn has tea...quite nice, but nothing like in HK
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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dorish---the tea is fantastic in HK at the penn...make a reservation to avoid a long line....it is quite expensive, but a once in a lifetime experience...as craig says not worth changing your day around for however...
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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We had tea in the lobby of the Pen in Bangkok. It is served neat the big piano. Choice of asian foods or the traditional- little sandwiches, scones, etc.- plus tea of course.

My daughter and I loved the foodx, and were satisfied with the amount. I don't remember it being all that expensive.

We were fliying out that evening, so it was a nice way to fill our last hour or so, as the hotel had been too full to offer late checkout.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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oops. That should say it is served NEAR the piano.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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I am also assuming the OP is referring to the Penn in Hong Kong. It is very nice, they have an orchestra (well several pieces, not actually full orchestra). White-gloved waiters, scones, cakes on three-tiered stands, the whole works. The lobby is white marble and is very lovely, albeit there is no view at all. It costs about HK$250 (US$32) per person, and for that you get a fair amount of cakes and snacks.; however you do not have to order the full tea, you can just have a coffee or a coke. It runs from 2 7 pm, but seems most crowed from 2 5 pm. You do not have to dress up, many tourists in shorts, but the air conditioning can be freezing. It is popular with locals as well, esp on weekends, so fi you go on a weekend do make a reservation. You can get all the info on their website at http://hongkong.peninsula.com.

I agree you might not want to plan the day around it, but as you will undoubtedly be on the Esplanade or the Star Ferry at some point most likely during those hours it is very easy and a nice stop in for a rest and a drink, esp if it is really hot or raining.

The Mandarin also has tea, but they are currently closed for renovations. They should be open again on or after Christmas. They used to have a great tea in their upstairs lobby area, not sure what they are going to do after the redo.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:30 PM
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Sorry, during tea hours they may have a miniumum charge, I have never asked nor tried to have anything other than the tea set, so you migth want to do so if you aren't planning on ordering the full tea set. If you want to sit in the lobby during other hours, there is no minimum as far as I know. (The Intercon has a minimum in the evening now in their lobby bar, so I am wondering if the Penn has one in their lobby during tea time which is their most popular time.)
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:34 PM
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Cicerone things must have changed a little at the HK Pen. Have been a couple of times for tea and I do love it. However the last time my friend got turned away because she had on open toed sandles (nice ones) She was in a skirt and nice shirt. We had a reservation so stepped outside found a little store selling very cheap (couple of US$) "chinese slippers" bought them and she was allowed in! Go figure!!
J
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:38 PM
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Forgot to say this happened quite a few years ago and did not detract from our total enjoyment of the tea!
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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I don't know how to respond to that, was she wearing Manolo Blanik open toed sandals, or was she wearing Tevas? There is a huge difference in appearance. But that being said, I'm not aware of any dress code in the Lobby at all (OK perhaps you can't wear a bathing suit and your room bathrobe). I think perhaps you should have insisted a bit more, the answer here is pretty much always "yes" you just have to ask the question in the right way....
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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One alternative is to have tea at Verandah at The Repulse Bay. Run by the Peninsula people.

therepulsebay.com/restaurants.html

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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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I can assure you, Jules, when I walked through the Penn a bit over a year ago, I just shook my head at the craziness-since it's in all the guide books to "do" tea at the Penn, I swear, it looked like every tourist this side of Kowloon was lined up, OUT the door, and down the sidewalk, in all manner of tourist gear, waiting to get their table to say they'd done tea there, (this was during the early Jan. holiday season), and my one time eating breakfast there a couple of days before did not impress me in any way with the quality of the Penn's baked goods or their service, so if you want to join in with the tourist march of the penguins just to say you've done it, then go for it, but I wouldn't be caught dead doing that line-up.

I did however, like tea at the Sheraton's Sky Lounge next door-none of that overcrowded Penn nonsense, fab views, great selections of tea and Asian/western tea sandwiches/snacks-quiet and relaxing-and MUCH less expensive.
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 10:36 PM
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Hi,
A good alternative to high tea at penn (assuming you're in hong kong) would be to go to the 39th (? i think) floor of the Island Shangri-la in Admiralty. They call this spot the Library or something like that. (there are actually many bookshelves full of books). It overlooks the entire HK coast on the hk island side and is amazingly beautiful! This is a very private and quiet spot.

Mind you, I am not sure of how much variety the menu has since I only had tea there, but I am pretty sure they will have some kind of refreshments.

Another alternative would be just to order drinks at pen. One drink (from the last time I went) costs around 70$.

Hope this helps!
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Old Aug 8th, 2006, 11:51 PM
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I prefer the Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin, a lot less touristy. The Mandarin reopens after an extensive refit late August
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 12:19 AM
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I like the Mandarin and had already mentioned it; however having walked by it on Sunday I would say it is not going to be open in August, it is still undergoing renovations, not even all the cladding is up on the exterior yet. I believe it won't be open until December, but as dorsih34's trip is in October it is possible it may be open then. The original plan was for about a 9 month closure, and it closed in December last year, but things tend to run late here.
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Old Aug 9th, 2006, 03:10 AM
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I enjoy afternoon tea at the Pen and my guests from out of town do too. The Four Seasons on the island side has a very similar tea for round abouts the same price.
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