I can't believe it's taken me so long to post about this, but earlier this summer Raku and I celebrated my birthday with afternoon tea at The Palace Hotel.
We were excited about this tea because we had heard it had more of a Japanese twist than most here in Tokyo. Instead of being served on the typical three tiered stand it comes in a stacked lacquered bento box that opens out into three boxes and a plate. We had also heard that the servers wear kimonos, but at least for the summer they were not, I'm not sure if they do at all any more. The space itself was beautiful and very relaxing. We were seated indoors, but there were some lovely outside seats that would have been really enjoyable if it wasn't the middle of summer.
When we first arrived we were each served a glass of the best iced tea I've ever had. It was Des Alizes, a green tea blend flavored with white peach, which you should immediately buy on amazon because it is amazing! I will say that though the presentation is beautiful when the bento boxes are unpacked the table gets very crowded, and I actually managed to knock my silverware on the floor a couple of times. The menu was very inventive but didn't stray too far from a typical tea menu. The sweets included a wagashi (a sweet made from almond paste similar to marzipan) along with more typical things like an eclair and a macaron, and the savories included a piece of eel sushi along with the quiche and a mini hamburger. Strangely enough my favorite thing was a soy bean soup!
The tea list didn't include anything particularly inventive, other than the Des Alizes which I made sure to order more of, but it includes all the classic teas, and you can order as many types as you like. Because it was my birthday Raku arranged a special dessert for me which was really good. We ate the whole thing before I even noticed they had misspelled my name.
All in all this was a really enjoyable tea. The menu was good, the ambiance was very relaxing, and I particularly the interpretation here. The Mandarin Oriental may always be my top tea in Tokyo, but this is a great alternative, especially if you're looking for a more Japanese experience.
The Palace Hotel Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea Hours: Weekdays 1:00-4:30, Weekends 2:00-4:30
Address: 1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
|The bento box being opened up|
|Blurry Friend Photo|
|The took the double in W seriously|
|The Imperial Palace Moat|
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The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (second time)
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The Mandarin Oriental