Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Japanese afternoon tea at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo


Japanese-style afternoon tea at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo

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I recently had a very nice Japanese-style afternoon tea with my friend Alona, at the Palace Hotel.

This is a lovely old hotel that was completely torn down and rebuilt into an equally lovely new hotel, that is now a member of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW).

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Alona, who used to live in Manila, and then in China, recently relocated to Tokyo with her husband.

We were initially supposed to meet at another hotel for afternoon tea.

However, I decided to encourage her to come over to the Palace Hotel instead, after learning that the Palace Hotel actually had a proper, full-blown Japanese-style afternoon tea.

There were a couple of macarons in the box,
but almost everything else was a Japanese delicacy
or at least a Japanese-influenced one...

We've all heard of the British afternoon tea, of course.

And that's what you can usually get in Tokyo as well, where people are very enthusiastic about things British, and basically about all things European.

LUXURY, THE JAPANESE WAY

But the Palace Hotel, which is a 100% Japanese-run luxury hotel that I almost dare say is Tokyo's most beautiful hotel at the moment, decided to offer a Japanese-style afternoon tea instead.

Even the scones were Japanese-style,
made with buckwheat instead of regular flour...


I thought this was very unusual, and I certainly wanted to try it.

Alona was game, so she met me at the Palace Hotel lobby at just past 4 PM.

By then I'd already comandeered the best and most comfortable table in the lobby for us, in the corner, with a great view of everything going on.

We each got one of these beautiful lacquer boxes...


A LACQUER BOX OF GOODIES

The Japanese afternoon tea costs just a little bit over JYEN 4000 per person, including taxes and service charges.

For this price, you get a beautiful lacquer multi-tiered lunch box filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies, as well as all the tea you can drink from their very wide variety of English, Japanese, Chinese and herbal teas.



A lady in a kimono brings it over and she disassembles the lacquer box in front of you so that at the end of it all, everything is laid out so beautifully on the table -- almost too pretty to eat.

The boxes contained inari sushiscones made out of buckwheattiny sandwichescut-up fruits and a couple of traditional Japanese sweets.

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THE ULTIMATE TOKYO EXPERIENCE

And, of course, you are sitting in what is currently the prettiest hotel lobby in Tokyo, with a view of greens and the Imperial Palace moat.

From some seats, you can even see the one of the gates of the Imperial Palace itself.

Talk about the ultimate Tokyo experience.

A Japanese bento box filled with sweet and savoury delights

And just to show you what a small world it is in a Travelife, just as I was leaving the Palace Hotel tonight, someone called out my name.

IT'S A REALLY,  REALLY SMALL WORLD

The remains of an afternoon tea....

It was a Mexican guy I've known for 20 years who was on his way to China the next day.

He's CEO of a big international firm. I'd just been talking about him with some common acquaintances in Hyderabad, India a few weeks ago, and then suddenly there he was before me in a hotel lobby in Tokyo -- of all places.

We promised to meet up sometime soon, somewhere in the world.

Never an ordinary day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

PALACE HOTEL TOKYO
en.palacehoteltokyo.com



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