One of my favorite treats when I travel is indulging in a fancy afternoon tea. I find it particularly interesting how different countries have their own take on a classic midday treat. Here are my top picks for the best afternoon tea outside of London.
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Once a British colony, Hong Kong is a city with some epic afternoon tea selections. One of the city’s best is at the InterContinental Hotel Lobby Lounge overlooking Victoria Harbour. The afternoon tea menu changes almost monthly ensuring different items on each visit. I was particularly impressed with the combination of traditional afternoon tea sweets with flavors heavily influenced by Hong Kong such as Yuzu/Wasabi Custard Cream and Mandarin Panna Cotta-Orange/Grenadine Juice.
Another city that does a fantastic job of combining traditional British pastime with local flavors. At afternoon tea at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, you can expect matcha and red bean sweets as well as sprinkling of kompeitō, traditional Japanese sugar candies.
Talk about tea with a view! The most epic places to have tea in a National Park is at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff. The giant dessert bar is almost as beautiful as the view. Read more about what to do when you are visiting Banff in the winter.
One of the places where you can exchange your traditional hot tea for an iced Thai tea is at The Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok. The lobby is a luxurious place to escape the chaos that is Bangkok for a relaxing afternoon drinking tea and enjoying mini sandwiches.
New York City, USA
Nothing says luxury like Tiffany & Co.’s Blue Box Cafe in New York City (currently under renovations until 2022) where you can enjoy delightful nibbles in Holly Golightly style. The real sand out of the spread is the adorable bird’s nest complete with Tiffany blue robin’s eggs.
San Francisco, USA
This generous afternoon tea is not to be missed if you are in San Francisco. Maison Danel offers one of the most robust afternoon teas that I have had the pleasure of enjoying, don’t worry – they have to-go boxes for whatever you can’t finish. In addition to a dining room that will make you feel like you are in Paris, they have an impressive pastry case with every fancy nibble you could want. Including my favorite Parisian treat, canelés!