Buon Compleanno Bianca ๐ŸŽ‚ It’s Time for the Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea

Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea ๐Ÿต What’s The Truth?

Buon Compleanno Bianca – after spending a memorable birthday in Beijing last year at the stunning Eclat and world’s best restaurant, TRB Hutong… 12 months later sees us check out the Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea.

Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong
Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong

In a year that certainly pulls no punches – Hong Kong’s effective post 6pm lockdown meant, just like our engagement fiasco in Beijing, I had to make late swerves to the surprise originally planned!

5 days before Bianca’s birthday Hong Kong announced a virtual shutdown of all places except supermarkets from 6pm, leaving me scratching my head… what on earth could we do?

Being quintessentially British, and knowing Bianca is a huge fan of British culture… hearing about the Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea seemed like it’d be a winner.

It’s pre 6pm, it’s something she probably didn’t expect, and it’s a taste into Earl Grey, Scones and Finger food – quite different from the Tortellini and Tiramisu of her motherland!

Upon phoning to book I was told pre 4.30pm this was a first-come-first-served thing. Not something I wanted to do for a birthday, in case of long queues… hardly birthday treatment…

So I booked for 4.30pm and we were told we had 90 minutes before having to vacate. Fine, it’s better than nothing and we had a surprise to look forward to.

As the Peninsula website states:

“There is nothing more quintessentially iconic of Hong Kong than experiencing the acclaimed Peninsula Classic Afternoon Tea.”

But how did it fare?

Let’s a take a look and reveal our thoughts on the Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea experience.

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – Where Is It?

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Menu

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Food & Tea

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Service

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Dress Code

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – Should I Go?

Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong
Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong – The Entrance

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – Where Is It?

The Peninsula Hotel was built in 1928 making it almost 100 years old.

According to Wikipedia “the hotel combines colonial and modern elements, and is notable for its large fleet of Rolls-Royces painted a distinctive “Peninsula green”.”

It’s arguably the most famous hotel in Hong Kong given it’s history which is unrivalled when compared to the modern 5-star hotels dotted around the city.

Because of this, and many other factors including its Afternoon Tea, the Peninsula is a huge draw for tourists but also locals.

It’s location is prime – a short 5 minute walk from the Avenue of Stars waterfront promenade and a 3 minute walk from the Hong Kong Space Museum.

Located nearest either the busy Tsim Sha Tsui MTR stop, or more the more poorly connected East Tsim Sha Tsui stop (often abbreviated to TST by the locals who live here) it’s incredibly easy to get to and find.

Whether you are coming from the Airport, Kowloon, or the Island – it’s easy to get to

ADDRESS – The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Kowloon Hong Kong

ADDRESS IN CANTONESE FOR A LOCAL TAXI DRIVER – ๅŠๅณถ้…’ๅบ—

WANT TO VISIT THE WORLD’S HIGHEST BAR – Check out our Brunch at Ozone not far from the Peninsula.

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Menu

Here’s the deal.

The Afternoon Tea menu runs from 2pm-4.30pm on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS.

Peninsula Afternoon Tea Menu

Let me tell you, we went on a Monday afternoon at 4pm (booked for 4.30pm) expecting it to quiet given the current situation – Hong Kong was in the peak of the pandemic, the city had quietened down… but not at the Peninsula it seemed!

This place was still packed to the rafters – so I can only imagine what it’d be like normally.

Do yourself a favour, book it up.

From 4.30pm you can book a seat, we arrived at 4pm and our seat was waiting for us so we actually had a 2 full hours to enjoy our seat rather than the 90 minutes we expected.

As you can see from the menu a number of treats are included on the 3 tier stand:

  • Good old British Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
  • Sweet treats including Macaroons
  • Savoury treats which include 3 types of sandwich

We also had the bonus birthday cake as requested… sweet certainly outdid savoury!

The tea list was fairly extensive, we plumped for Earl Grey and Cinnamon.

The costs?

For one person it sets you back 418HKD (with the expected 10% service charge) effectively making the cost 418 + 42 = 460HKD (just shy of 50GBP).

For two people it costs 748HKD (+75) – making the overall cost just over 825HKD (about 85GBP) – not cheap for an afternoon tea, but you are paying for the Peninsula name I’m afraid.

You can further enhance your experience by adding glass of Brut Champagne for 220HKD also – we stuck with tea in this instance!

I absolutely expected the 10% service charge to be in force at a place like the Peninsula, but it still makes me grind my teeth, as you’ll be all to aware if you’ve read some of our other articles… service isn’t a strong point in Hong Kong!

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Food & Tea

Is it out of the ordinary?

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea
Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea

Not really – but it’s certainly befitting a birthday celebration.

Everything is neatly presented and, despite all the sweetness on show, all the little treats were enjoyable without being mind blowing.

Both teas were great though – the Cinnamon table meant our table had a lovely aura of Christmas, in mid July!

Still, can’t beat that smell.

We did very much enjoy the scones, soft and not too messy or crumbly, great to have that flavour again having been away from the UK for almost exactly a year!

The scones were topped with the clotted cream and jam, that was a winner – one of the few British foods I’ve introduced Bianca too that she genuinely enjoys (Italian’s are hard to please when it comes to food, right)?!

We both left utterly satisfied, albeit a tad sick due to the overwhelming sweet flavours on offer!

The experience is a fun one and something to experience in Hong Kong – but I also believe, in terms of quality of product, you take away the setting, and the name of the hotel, and this is very similar to a number of afternoon tea experiences you could get elsewhere.

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Service

Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong - Afternoon Tea
Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong – Afternoon Tea

Service has been a gripe of mine throughout many Hong Kong restaurants, mainly at the top end places, where you expect great service (especially given the fact you are charged 10% on top at most places for service).

The staff at the Peninsula are friendly enough, but it’s all very average. Top drawer 5 star stuff? Hardly.

The communication via email it must be said, was very good.

When the Hong Kong situation changed, the staff were on top of the booking and always kept in touch swiftly.

When it comes to in person though, I feel I’ve just accepted that service is not a thing that will ever impress here.

The birthday cake was presented nicely, but with no real show of gratitude from the staff, likewise with our breakfast in bed at the Royal Plaza we enjoyed in the morning two days before.

It’s all a bit clumsy and amateurish. You don’t expect a show and ticker tape, but just some acknowledgement of the occasion.

All in all, it’s just mid-range, nothing bad, but nothing to write home about.

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – The Dress Code

The other thing that narks me a little bit, not just about Hong Kong, but Asia in general is the inability to dress up at least relatively smart.

Hong Kong is incredibly hot during the summer. In fact every day I mope around at the hotel in shorts and t-shirt, many foreigners doing the same, donning the “sporty” look outside of work hours…

But when you go to places of significance like the worlds highest bar, or one of the most famous hotels in Hong Kong, you’d think it’d be a nice time to smarten up?

On top of the that the Peninsula website clearly states a dress code of “Smart Casual” on the website.

Yet, bar the few who did make an effort, you see people in sports shirts, shorts and trainers… of course it’s every persons choice what they wear but the lack of dress code, and the venue’s lack of enthusiasm to force it does bewilder me somewhat.

It almost devalues the experience and the venue also.

Is it not nice to dress up sometimes? Or is that just a western thing?

I’ve lived in Asia long enough to know that even at weddings in China, people turn up in Adidas all-in-one tracksuits (trust me, this really happened), but I always blindly hope that might change.

Perhaps not – nothing against the Peninsula, but just a note to not stress too much about your attire, especially during the day time. If you don’t have a smart pair of shoes, don’t worry, you’ll no doubt be allowed in with your sandals!!

We were hardly dressed for royalty but it’s nice to throw on a shirt and a dress, even in melting hot conditions, for the occasion/venue as a sign of respect.

Rant over!

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๐Ÿง ๐—”๐—™๐—ง๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ก๐—ข๐—ข๐—ก ๐—ง๐—˜๐—” ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งโฃ โฃ ๐ŸŽ‚ Today, despite the 6pm shut down in Hong Kong, we made the most of Bianca's birthday with a quintessentially British afternoon at the Peninsula Hotel, sipping tea and eating scones – to Bianca's delight!โฃ โฃ โ˜•๏ธ With options limited on drinking and eating out due to Hong Kong's 3rd COVID wave, I had to think outside the box… and, being a huge fan of British Tea, this seemed like the perfect gift for Bianca.โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿจ The Peninsula is world famous. It overlooks Victoria Harbour, and was built in 1928. It's a short 5-minute walk from the Avenue of Stars waterfront promenade.โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ A delightful afternoon it was, lots of sweet treats and proper scones! Now we cross our fingers that the community response in Hong Kong can save this city state from a worsening state. โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿ˜ท Stay home, safe safe and look after yourselves everyoneโฃ โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โฃ ๐Ÿง ๐—œ๐—น ๐˜รจ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ผ ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡งโฃ โฃ ๐ŸŽ‚ Oggi, nonostante il coprifuoco delle 18:00 ad Hong Kong, abbiamo approfittato del compleanno di Bianca per passare un pomeriggio allโ€™inglese al Peninsula Hotel, sorseggiando tรจ e mangiando scones – per la gioia di Bianca!โฃ โฃ โ˜•๏ธ Con le nuove restrizioni a causa della terza ondata di COVID-19 ad Hong Kong, ho dovuto pensare fuori dagli schemi … e, essendo una grande fan del tรจ del pomeriggio, questo sembrava il regalo perfetto per Bianca.โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿจ Lโ€™hotel Peninsula รจ famoso nel mondo. Costruito nel 1928, si affaccia sul Victoria Harbour, a 5 minuti a piedi dalla promenade di Avenue of Stars.โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ รˆ stato un pomeriggio delizioso, tra dolcetti e scones! Ora incrociamo le dita, sperando che la risposta della comunitร  di Hong Kong possa salvare questa cittร  dal peggiorare.โฃ โฃ ๐Ÿ˜ท Restate a casa, al sicuro e prendetevi cura di voi.

A post shared by Umami Life | Bianca๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น& Max๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (@umami_life_) on

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – Should I Go?

Despite the gripes mentioned this is a beautiful experience, one that we thoroughly enjoyed.

The venue is unique, and a great change to many of the modern aspects of Hong Kong – this is a proper old-school, suave venue with some excellent photo opportunities.

Should you go? For sure, there are much worse ways to spend an afternoon in Hong Kong and it gets you out the heat… and sipping some genuinely lovely tea for a few hours!

Thanks Peninsula for keeping in contact and providing Bianca with a birthday memory to treasure, in what’s been a truly bizarre year!

NOT SURE WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG – Check out our Hong Kong Hotel comparison article.

Peninsula Hotel Afternoon Tea – FAQ’s

Where is the Peninsula Hong Kong?

Very near Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, located primely in Kowloon district.
ADDRESS – The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Kowloon Hong Kong, SAR
ADDRESS IN CANTONESE FOR A LOCAL TAXI DRIVER – ๅŠๅณถ้…’ๅบ—

How much is afternoon tea at the Peninsula cost?

For one person it sets you back 418HKD (with the expected 10% service charge) effectively making the cost 418 + 42 = 460HKD (just shy of 50GBP).
For two people it costs 748HKD (+48) – making the overall cost almost 800HKD (about 80GBP) – not cheap for an afternoon tea, but you are paying for the Peninsula name I’m afraid.

Can I book afternoon tea at the Peninsula?

Only after 4.30pm. At 2pm it’s first come first served.

Is there a dress code for afternoon tea at the Peninsula?

The dress code is listed as Smart-Casual on the website, but in truth, a whole range of very casual clothing was worn when we went, disappointingly.

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