Some things in life become so normal that you don’t realize how remarkable they are until, for example, you can’t meet your friends on a whim for afternoon tea at the famous Clipper Lounge inside the historic Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.
That used to be my life, and it was extraordinary. The memories I have inside this luxury hotel are why we make a point of staying there during each of our visits. And, every single time we check-in—even though I’ve done it more times than I can count—we have afternoon tea at the Clipper Lounge.
Whether you’re in residence at the hotel or not, it’s an experience to add to your list because it isn’t touristy. The Clipper Lounge is where the city’s movers and shakers, long-time residents, families, and those in-the-know meet for business and leisure.
The Clipper Lounge is like an old, reliable friend. Sure, it’s upscale but relaxed enough to collapse in the comfortable chairs after a morning full of shopping and sightseeing.
Some tables have a lovely view over the grand lobby area. The space overall is intimate and does not overwhelm me, which is part of the reason why I like it so much.
The Afternoon Tea Menu
And, of course, the food is outstanding. Lately, my daughter has been my afternoon dining companion which means that photographing tea sets she’s anxious to dive into happens with haste and the occasional appearance of cartoon characters.
The tea set is served on pretty silver stands in the classic British style. Options include savory finger sandwiches and pastries as well as a variety of desserts. While the choices on the stand evolve, my personal favorite part is the ever-present mixed basket of plain and raisin scones.
All these years later, I can’t decide which variety I prefer more. After splitting a scone in half and adding a layer of decadent clotted cream, I heap the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s famous rose petal jam on top.
The rose petal jam is available for sale in the Cake Shop and I highly recommend it as a souvenir or a gift, because its beautiful packaging enables it to travel well (the XO sauce is another excellent option).
The extensive tea menu presents only the highest quality teas though one might opt for a glass of champagne, coffee or other beverage. My daughter always chooses fresh watermelon juice.
A few hours lingering over tea is the perfect way to unwind in the late afternoon and a ritual that I quite enjoy.
Themed Afternoon Teas
Keep an eye out for themed afternoon teas. The first full weekend of each month is a special afternoon tea set that includes a glass of Moet Chandon Rosé Imperial per person.
To give you an idea, the hotel also recently partnered with luxury brand, Chloe, for a special Chloe afternoon tea set and is currently running a Think Pink afternoon tea promotion in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
We’ve also enjoyed special Easter teas in the past complete with Easter bunny and a chocolate theme.
Frankly, anytime is a good time to have afternoon tea at the Clipper Lounge.
The Clipper Lounge Is Family-Friendly
I’m often asked whether it’s appropriate to bring children to afternoon tea in Hong Kong. It absolutely is. The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong—as luxurious as it is—welcomes families to dine at the Clipper Lounge throughout the day and is a fun thing to do when in Hong Kong with kids.
Dress smartly and come here to enjoy a nice outing together. Do make a reservation as afternoon tea is quite popular.
More Love for Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
And, what is the best way to enjoy dinner after afternoon tea? A room service order of nasi goreng… some of the best in town. That’s exactly what we did during our last stay despite being completely stuffed with treats. I’m also partial to their Hainanese chicken rice.
The breakfast buffet at the Clipper Lounge (pictured above) is also completely amazing from hand-made dim sum to fresh kiwi juice to a robust selection of salad, charcuterie, hot dishes and then some.
The Mandarin is also home to one of the best spas in Hong Kong with a spectacular water therapy area including steam rooms with Chinese herbs. I tried the Imperial Jade Ritual last time… pure bliss. My husband used to frequent the Mandarin Barber there, too. I’m going to head in for a special Shanghainese pedicure next time.
The bottom line is that we love Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong (it is one of the best hotels in Hong Kong) and look forward to having afternoon tea at the Clipper Lounge, among other experiences, during our visits.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
5 Connaught Road
Have you enjoyed afternoon tea in the Clipper Lounge?
*Top photo and lobby photo are used courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.