British Tea Guild Council 2013 Top London Afternoon Tea Award, Cha Cha Thé, Chen Tsai-Hsia, Florence Samson, Harvard Business School, HEC Paris, Lady Mendl's Tea Salon, Moana Surfrider, Shiatzy Chen, Song Fang Maison du Thé, Tea rooms around the world, The Goring Hotel, Veuve Clicquot in China
At the start of every month, we offer you a short list of pleasant activities to consider, some focused on afternoon tea, some not.
Herewith five suggestions for month of October 2014
October is the month when we come face to face with the changing season: Summer into winter; winter into summer. We begin to seriously alter our routines, our diet, our exercise patterns. To celebrate and embrace the changing season, Her Ladyship (that would be me!) is recommending time off by taking tea in some of the world’s nicest tearooms.
We begin in Hawaii at the Moana Surfrider with a relaxing and refined experience – afternoon tea on the Victorian veranda right on Waikiki. The Moana Surfrider Tea Time Tradition includes sweet pastries, finger sandwiches, traditional scones with Devonshire clotted cream and lemon curd to accompany a selection of fine teas, steeped or served iced cold.
Next, we stop by Shanghai to take tea at Song Fang Maison du Thé. Song Fang (née Florence Samson in Paris) specializes in the finest quality Chinese and French teas for
sale and to savour on the premises. Florence graduated from HEC Paris and Harvard Business School and worked for Dior cosmetics in Russia and China before becoming General Manager of Veuve Clicquot in China. She left the LVMH group to start the Song Fang tea company, as she wanted to share her passion for premium teas and the Chinese culture. She has succeeded admirably.
Our next port of call is Taipei City, where another leader transformed herself into a high priestess of the tea room. Chen Tsai-Hsia, designer and founder of Taiwan fashion house Shiatzy Chen and who only yesterday (September 30) rolled out her spring – summer 2015 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris, spent years of reflection to create Cha Cha Thé with the express goal of championing Chinese esthetics in the art of taking tea. Her five outlets in Taipei and one outside the city proves she has a winning concept.
Next, we stop by the Mother Country before returning to North America, to partake in London’s finest afternoon tea experience. It’s a given that taking afternoon tea is the ultimate way of catching up with friends, or simply chilling out. A century ago, The Goring Hotel, London’s ultimate boutique luxury hotel and venue of the Middleton family sleepover on the eve of Kate’s nuptials, embarked on a journey to master the perfect Afternoon Tea. They did. The result is truly divine, an afternoon tea prepared and presented with unrivalled passion and dedication from each and every Goring staff. The Goring holds the British Tea Guild Council 2013 Top London Afternoon Tea Award and The Award of Excellence.
And finally we cross the Pond to land in Manhattan for tea at one of Her Ladyship’s favourite venues: Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon. And we’ve already taken tea at Mrs Mendle’s in New York. Our peregrinations in search of excellent tearooms did lead us to the Inn at Irving Place in the historic Gramercy Park area, home to Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon.
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon is one of the loveliest Tea Salons we have ever encountered. The ambiance is very proper and you will enjoy a most excellent five-course tea, consisting of classic finger sandwiches, fresh baked scones with clotted cream and jams, and a large selection of fine teas.
We are looking for modern day Lady Mendls – ladies who make it their passion to discover tea rooms all over the world. Her Ladyship (that would be me!) would be delighted to receive comments about taking tea anywhere in the world. Please drop us a note with the name of your tea room, the city it’s located in, its URL and finally your name – although this bit is optional. Please provide the info about your fave tea rooms through Comments. Thank you!