2019: Winter Afternoon Tea Edition

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  • Tokyo is a city of many hidden talents, excelling at things people would assume other cities dominated instead. One of the things where Tokyo shines is its luxury hotels’ take on afternoon tea, which puts what other cities around the world offer to shame. Since the menus change each season, here we have the best afternoon teas for Winter 2019.

    Of course, there are many incredibly luxury hotels that offer among the most beautiful and delectable afternoon teas that one can possibly imagine. However, for the purpose of this list we wanted to focus on the seasonal afternoon teas that are so unique and special they cannot be missed. For that reason, we looked at menus that offered either a very clear seasonal theme or that used ingredients that were distinctive and representative of the winter season. It’s for that reason that some renown afternoon teas that change so little each season did not make the cut.

    Four Seaons Marunouchi – Nagomi: Flavors of Japan

    Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi is different from other Four Seasons hotels because of its size. This hotel is not like the chain’s luxurious resorts, instead being a charming boutique hotel with only one restaurant and a small entrance instead of a gigantic lobby. On the 10th floor, Motif Restaurant and Bar serves as the hotel’s focal point where guests, locals, and visitors gather to dine or drink. For its winter afternoon tea, Four Seasons Marunouchi showcases Japanese flavors like yuzu meringue, hojicha cream puff, and dorayaki with matcha ice cream. Another thing worth noting about this afternoon tea is the view. While most hotels in Tokyo are opting to be located on the top floors of skyscrapers and office buildings, Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi is located in the middle. Therefore, Motif does not offer panoramic views of the city. Instead, the restaurant overlooks Tokyo Station, making it the perfect place to spot all the coming and going trains, including the Shinkansen. Seeing one of Japan’s busiest stations move nonstop like a Swiss watch while enjoying the hotel’s delectable afternoon tea will make you feel the essence of life in a city that is always moving. This seasonal menu will be offered until March 15.

    Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi – Motif

    Mandarin Oriental – Strawberry Afternoon Tea

    Mandarin Oriental never shies away from making the most extravagant afternoon teas in Tokyo. While still offering a more traditional afternoon tea set at prices similar to those of their competitors, Mandarin Oriental also has what the hotel calls Premium Afternoon Tea. Unlike most afternoon teas in Tokyo, which cost around 5,000 yen plus 1,000 yen if paired with champagne or sparkling wine, Mandarin Oriental’s Strawberry Afternoon Tea will set you back 9,800 yen, and an additional 4,500 yen if paired with a glass of Krug. As you can see, we were not kidding when we said this premium afternoon tea was extravagant. As the name suggests, every savory and petit-fours contains strawberries, which Mandarin Oriental Tokyo prepares in such a delicate way that the set looks picture perfect. Add to it the possibility of seeing Mount Fuji from the Oriental Lounge’s 38th floor, and you have a magical combination to create a winter memory you will never forget. This seasonal menu will be offered until April 25 and requires a reservation at least five days in advance.

    Mandarin Oriental Tokyo – Oriental Lounge

    Palace Hotel – Winter Afternoon Tea

    Palace Hotel Tokyo is one of those hotels with such a high level of prestige that has become legendary, perfectly reflected with its address itself (1-1-1 Marunouchi). Having undergone a renovation that saw the hotel being rebuilt from scratch, the hotel’s ambitions paid off and now features a very modern style that is also chic and sophisticated. The Palace Lounge is located on the first floor, and it overlooks the moat just outside the hotel, which provides a very relaxing view that emulates a sense of seclusion that makes you feel as if you were inside The Imperial Palace (which is located right across the street). The hotel serves all the sweets and savories inside jubako lacquered boxes, clearly stating that the experience will have a distinctive Japanese touch. Besides the things you would come to expect from afternoon tea, Palace Hotel’s winter afternoon tea features matcha scones, wasambon, yuzu-flavored mushroom pudding, and seasonal fruit. This seasonal menu will be offered until February 28.

    Palace Hotel Tokyo – The Palace Lounge

    Conrad – Strawberry Afternoon Tea

    The Conrad’s winter afternoon tea also features strawberries, but its take is a more direct attempt at appealing women, which form the largest market for afternoon tea in the city. Here you will find that some petit-fours are shaped as stilettos and makeup, Conrad Tokyo truly exploiting the vivid red color that characterizes strawberries to make every single savory and sweet pop like a rouge Tom Ford lipstick on pale skin. Needless to say, this afternoon tea is eye-catching. Very eye-catching. As its name suggests, TwentyEight Bar and Lounge is located on the 28th floor, and has very majestic views of Tokyo Bay and Hamarikyu Gardens, making you feel as if you were exactly on the edge of the city and about to sail away. This seasonal menu will be offered from January 16.

    Conrad Tokyo – TwentyEight

    The Peninsula – “Ichigo Love” Strawberry Afternoon Tea

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    苺がお好きな方必見です!🍓ホテル1階「ザ・ロビー」では、旬の苺をふんだんに使用した「ストロベリー アフタヌーンティー」をご提供中です。可愛らしいプチフールやサンドイッチなどのセイボリーアイテム、中はしっとりとしたスコーンなどを、種類豊富な紅茶と共にお召し上がりいただけます!☕️ ⠀ Winter in Japan can only mean one thing: sweet and juicy strawberries! Celebrate "Ichigo Love" with us with our Strawberry Afternoon Tea at The Lobby, filled with freshly made strawberry delights and savory bites.🍓

    The Peninsula Tokyo/ザ・ペニンシュラ東京さん(@thepeninsulatokyo)がシェアした投稿 –

    Another hotel that drew its seasonal inspiration from Japan’s succulent strawberries. The Peninsula Tokyo’s take on this afternoon tea is nothing like Conrad’s vivid red one. What this means is that The Peninsula was more conservative when choosing how its savories and petit-fours would look like. The result is positive, of course, since the hotel was able to come up with something that differentiated them without risking having to change the theme. In a nutshell, the strawberries themselves are the stars here. The Lobby, located on the first floor, doesn’t offer panoramic views. Instead, one gets to enjoy the many decorations throughout the lobby, including the impressive chandelier. This seasonal menu will be offered until March 14.

    The Peninsula Tokyo – The Lobby

    Grand Hyatt – Strawberry Afternoon Tea Buffet

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    Love strawberries🍓? Enjoy an abundance of seasonal strawberries at The French Kitchen’s strawberry afternoon tea along with a unique #rubychocolate fountain! ・ 苺ファン必見!フレンチ キッチンで開催中の「ストロベリーアフタヌーンティー」では、旬の苺をつかったスイーツブッフェや今話題の“ルビーチョコレート”のファウンテンをお楽しみいただけます。アフタヌーンティーご招待券が当たるハッシュタグキャンペーンも! #GrandHyattTokyo #TheFrenchKitchen #AfternoonTea #Rubychocolate #Strawberrylover #イチゴ #ストロベリー#苺スイーツ #グラハイスイーツ #グラハイシーン #グラハイブッフェ #スイーツビュッフェ #ストロベリーアフタヌーンティー #ルビーチョコレート #甘酸っぱい #チョコレートファウンテン #スイーツ #ケーキ #ホテルスイーツ #スイーツ大好き #スイーツ巡り #インスタ映えスイーツ #アフタヌーンティー #レストラン #ホテル #ラグジュアリーホテル #フレンチキッチン #六本木ヒルズ #六本木 #グランドハイアット東京

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo グランドハイアット東京さん(@grandhyatttokyo)がシェアした投稿 –

    That’s right! Another strawberry-themed afternoon tea! Don’t worry, though, being a rather expensive winter fruit, celebrating strawberries with beautiful afternoon tea sets does not get old. Now, there’s something very peculiar about the Grand Hyatt’s afternoon tea: it’s a buffet. That means that the display of savories and sweets looks like the result of a strawberry explosion.The biggest highlight is the ruby chocolate fondue, pink like the strawberries around you and justification enough to head here for this seasonal afternoon tea. The afternoon tea buffet can be enjoyed at The French Kitchen, Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s all-day dining restaurant, popular among locals and tourists alike (considering the hotel is located right next to Roppongi Hills, it’s easy to picture the restaurant’s clientele). This seasonal menu will be offered until March 10.

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo – The French Kitchen


    Tokyo is truly a master of both beautiful and scrumptious afternoon teas, which are a perfect way to spend two hours with those you like and even with coworkers. There’s nothing as relaxing as sitting inside a hotel’s lobby or restaurant while enjoying the overall feeling the atmosphere, conversations, and food provide when mixed together. You can’t go wrong when choosing one of the afternoon teas listed above. Whether you are living in Tokyo or visiting, don’t miss the opportunity to make winter a more magical season by experiencing at least one of these wonderful seasonal afternoon teas.

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