Saturday, 8 March 2014

Afternoon Tea at The Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

As part of my Masters program, I took a Strategy class last semester and it was one of those eye-opening experiences. So much so that I think I've fallen in love with strategy and I most likely have found my life calling *sudden beam of light shines down from ceiling onto my head*.

Our lecturer, a consulting strategist himself, often mentioned throughout our course that the Four Seasons is the existing benchmark for hotels in terms of service delivery. I've always had an interest in hotels and hospitality thanks to dad allowing me to tag along on his business trips over the years. So to hear that the Four Seasons was creme de la creme was interesting because I've never stayed in any of their branches.

And being the curious individual that I am, I decided that I would storm Four Seasons and see if it really was what our lecturer had made it out to be! A little over two weeks ago, it was my birthday and I decided to do Afternoon Tea in the hotel's lobby lounge with family. 

The Four Seasons is discreetly tucked inside Central's IFC which houses exclusive offices and prestigious fashion stores. The Lounge is adjacent to the hotel lobby and is flooded with natural light from its floor to ceiling windows. Facing Victoria Harbour, the Lounge offers uninterrupted views that make the subtly elegant and refined surroundings even more tranquil and relaxing.

Personally, I think the IFC is a perfect location for a five star hotel. The IFC itself is a wonderful escape from Hong Kong's busy streets. The shopping experience is always much more leisurely than what usually takes place in other mega malls. This sense of tranquility is definitely carried through into The Lounge.

We were seated towards the back, away from the general public, on lounge chairs. This gave us extra privacy to chit chat (read: take lots of photos!).

Afternoon Tea at the Lounge starts at 3PM but we were running late on the day, so we arrived a little bit later. There were already diners seated but no one seemed to have their food yet. We ordered a tea set for three and several towers started coming out shortly afterward. Actually, the very first tier came to our table and, as it was coming out, a pianist at the Lounge's entrance started playing Happy Birthday! A few staff members came over to wish me Happy Birthday and helped us take photos.

I felt incredibly special. The birthdays after my 21st have been very low-key and so to do something like this was wonderful. Thank you Four Seasons Hong Kong!

I'd love to talk a little about the tea because it is something that we still go on about two weeks on. Off the menu, we ordered an Organic Chamomile Flowers, Organic Lychee Green and a Four Seasons Hong Kong Signature Blend. Each was beautifully light on the palette and an excellent way to cut through the sweetness of the set's desserts. However, special mention goes to the Organic Chamomile Flowers. 

Mum wasn't feeling great on that day and had a terrible headache. Chamomile tea is rarely the cure but on this occasion, it was just the thing! She's asked me to hunt down the tea company and I've narrowed it down to Tealeaves, a luxury tea brand which supplies to five star hotels and Michelin restaurants. 

I'm currently waiting for a shipping quote from the company before I put through a tea order!

We really enjoyed the Tea set, especially the salmon finger sandwiches and the tangerine & orange tart on a chocolate crackle base. I also liked the plain and raisin scones with Devonshire clotted cream, homemade raspberry and apricot jam. The scones were crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the outside - absolutely perfect!

Halfway through our meal, a waiter came around with a basket of complimentary snacks. We were each given a brownie cookie which was a lovely gesture. I don't know any other place that does something like this.

In hindsight, two Afternoon Tea sets would have been enough for three people. We were extremely full by the end of our meal!

Service at the Lounge is attentive, quick and friendly. Servers came in and out of our area to often check on us. Whenever this happens at other establishments, I feel pushed to get a move on but this time I didn't feel this way at all. It must have been the servers' relaxed facial expressions that, in turn, made me feel relaxed. Our teas were refilled multiple times and servers occasionally came over to personally pour tea into our cups. 

I've been privileged to have visited and dined in a fair amount of hotels and I have yet to come across one that is so willing to please. There is absolutely no pretentiousness from either the staff or patrons, with the former possessing a genuine happiness to serve. If The Lounge is indicative of the Four Seasons level of professionalism and hospitality, I am extremely excited to visit again. 

The Lounge takes bookings two weeks in advance. Mum called to book a little under two weeks but they were happy to offer us a booking as it was for a birthday celebration!

Four Seasons' The Lounge
Lobby Level
8 Finance St, 
Hong Kong
Tel. (852) 3196-8888



  1. this place looks scrumptious!!! we have a lot of places like this in sydney!! love the post!

    1. Thanks for visiting Lisa! Yes, there are quite a few places in Sydney that do a lovely high tea!

  2. Aww, looks like you ladies had a great time! I've made lots of time to go out and eat at new places the last few months but I really really would love to go to a hi tea at a hotel with my boyfriend too! Great photos, the finger sandwiches look soo yummy! And the tea sounds very special!

    1. The finger sandwiches were really delicious! Hope you get to high tea soon with your boyfriend! =)