5 Unusual (And Remarkably Delightful) Afternoon Teas To Try In Tokyo

Tokyo's Trendy Tea Time

By Shelley Smith
August 24, 2018
Food & Drink

It doesn’t count as another meal if it’s just an afternoon tea, right?

What do you think of when you hear afternoon tea? Perhaps a lovely English lady sipping tea out of her floral cup whilst her friend slowly munches on a scone with some butter and jam or even a cucumber sandwich. Well, as lovely as that sounds, here instead is a unique list of places around Tokyo to enjoy a new and attractive, alternative to the English classic afternoon tea to end the hot Japanese summer with.

1. Ritz-Carlton’s French Afternoon Tea

If you thought that afternoon tea was a British affair, you haven’t been paying attention. Ritz-Carlton’s stylish Lobby Lounge offers a French-themed afternoon tea featuring decadent opera cakes, macarons, and kouglof as well as savory delicacies like foie gras. Take some time to relax with the finest quality teas and jams brought to you by the butler service.

When: Until Mon, September 3, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For reservations, see here.
How matcha: ¥4,600 per person
Who this tea is best for: A fancy date, a group of friends who value visual elegance in their food above anything else. And of course, your best French buddy — just to check how authentic everything is.

2. The Capitol Hotel Tokyu’s “Capitol Grace”

This Japan-inspired afternoon tea set is served in a stylish obento box that reminds you of a high-end osechi ryori served for the New Year’s. Shrimp croquettes wrapped in almonds and cold soups perfect for the hot summer as well as rich summer drinks and sweets, including a smooth and thick mango pudding are all served up for your pleasure. This is one of the best places in the capital to experience an elegant afternoon staying at a resort while watching the lush garden.

When: Until Sun, September 30, 2018, 2 p.m.–8 p.m. For reservations, see here.
How matcha: ¥5,000, ¥6,000 with a glass of champagne. All-you-can-eat with glass champagne plan is also available for ¥9,000 (women) and ¥12,000 (men).
Who this tea is best for: People who love Japanese food but can’t give up Western bits and bites either.

3. The Strings by Intercontinental Tokyo’s Hachimitsu (Honey) Zukushi Afternoon Tea

This Hachimitsu Zukushi afternoon tea uses plenty of honey during the limited time tea time in a beautiful longue overflowing with natural light. A gorgeous yellow lineup of honey sweets in forms of pannacotta, cakes, sandwiches and biscuits are available. Freshly harvested domestic honey that comes with an elegant fragrance is also offered — you can enjoy it as it is, put on scones or tarts or put it in your tea. You’ll love it all, hun!

When: Until Sun, September 30, 2018, First Set 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m., Second Set 4 p.m.–6 p.m. For reservations, see here.
How matcha: Weekday ¥4,000 / Weekends and holidays ¥4,500
Who this tea is best for: A group of friends who like to think that just because the food is natural, it won’t give you a muffin top. But also for those who don’t really care.

4. Andaz Tokyo’s Natural Sugar Afternoon Tea

During just the month of September, Andaz Tokyo’s The Tavern-Grill & Lounge chefs have created a wonderful range of savory and sweet finger foods (deep pause, please) that are free of any refined sugar. This limited time afternoon tea allows you to delight in a rich chocolate terrine sweetened with maple sugar as well as fragrant panna cotta prepared with coconut sugar and coconut oil and so.much.more. Enjoy this guilt-free indulgence that has a more health friendly approach to afternoon tea.

When: From Sat, September 1 until Sun, September 30, 2 p.m.–5 p.m. (1 p.m.-3 p.m.; 3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. on weekends and public holidays). For reservations, see here.
How matcha: Weekday ¥4,200 / Weekends and holidays ¥4,500
Who this tea is best for: The health-conscious sweet tooths

5. The Peninsula Tokyo’s Dim Sum Afternoon Tea

Steamed shrimp and bamboo shoot dumpling, baked abalone pie, wagyu and tomato dumpling … nothing of this reminds you of a typical afternoon tea, and yet it looks just as stylish and just as mouth-watering as the original. Perhaps even more. The Peninsula Tokyo’s signature Chinese diner Hei Fung Terrace presents a unique China-inspired twist to the British classic. Enjoy a range of sweet and savory Chinese specialties, including mixed seafood spring roll topped with caviar, baked mini egg tart and so much more. Pair those with a selection of authentic Chinese teas for a perfect end to your afternoon extravaganza. 

When: Weekdays, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For reservations, see here.
How matcha: ¥5,500 per person.
Who this tea is best for: Those who don’t like to confine to the “standard.”

Enjoy a lovely afternoon tea time!

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