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Friday, June 15, 2007

Pamper Me!

Friday was just a long day at work with triple the work and everything was due last month. :P
I always look forward to my HK Mag and THE LIST each week. The former is issued each week while the latter, once every two weeks. This week's issues were tough to find around HK since my usual Starbucks @ Alexandra House and IFC CitySuper has stop stocking these now. I had to go all the way to IFC's Pacific Coffee and Jardine House's Grappa's for my copies. Such a hassle!
Thus this weekend, I plan to go back-to-back on pampering as what THE LIST's Pamper Me Issue stated through my high tea adventures thus I had to stack up my reading materials.
I still think that massages and spas are more economical in Manila so I'll just reserve that when I get home.
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How you learn something everyday and remember the past...
A friend of mine just joined in the bandwagon of blogging, Angela, and I've been checking out her blog often. The blog is currently more of trends and fashion but will surely be more by the time she gets the hang of it. I recently stumbled upon something that my nephew has been wanting - soft shoes (online) and it was through Angela's site referral that helped me on this. It's soft shoes for my little JJ Jr through PiperLime. Rad stuff girl! Can't wait to see more of your postings. :)
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Ventured out of HK Island for some traditional high tea this weekend. Going "high tea hopping" ~ this weekend. :) **big grin** How I do love living the "single life" to the max. :)
As per recommendation by everyone (local) here in HK, Peninsula Hotel (Pen) in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) is the only place I can experience true "British" high tea in HK.
Afternoon tea starts from 2pm to 7pm (the longest one in HK as per date) and the lineups are surely record breaking because of it's quality/excellence and this week's weather was just perfect for this. :) I was lucky to have lined up a few minutes earlier than the crowd - a decent line-up, if you ask me. Check out the line after I sat down on my table!

Food was so-so. Odd though that even if I ordered for two persons' portions...most if the nice desserts like the petite cakes were all one pieces...even the salmon sandwich, which sucks since it would mean having to cut the piece for the other person. This shouldn't be the case!

The only thing I love is the ham sandwich - it's from their own deli & has a wonderful smoked taste. That's one I would go back for...though maybe just go buy some ham from their deli. :P

Tea selection is okay - got the Peninsula Afternoon & Cinammon...not really that memorable. I love cinammon and it smelled great but taste-wise, just okay.

Verdict: wouldn't really go back there again...not my thing...experience and all. Good thing that I tested it out else mom would surely tell me it wasn't worth it. :P

Just maybe a helpful comment to the management of Pen - do not argue with a customer in a line-up since it's quite visible to everyone standing & seated. If dress code is a problem, then maybe they should have an extra shoe or "correct slippers" for the customer to use since a lot of these customers really treck out to your lounge for the "famous high tea" and not being able to go - just because they are in Havaianas is just wrong. I think you will have to put your dress code on your site or something better than just informing them when they are already there!
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Sunday - I had it all planned out - get up late (perfect), run an errand soe Ali then have a different sort of high tea at Ritz Carlton (RC). Got up as planned but forgot that it's Father's Day and it would be best to book a table first ... oh well. I just played it by chance. :)
I phone and got a bit of a rude lady - who said that I can reserve a table (I thought they weren't full and can give me a table) ... only to find out that she couldn't confirm my reservation because they were full. Okay - what was all that information taking and saying I can book. She didn't tell me that she will just put me in her "wait list" and call me around 2pm to see if anyone else cancels out. It ticked me off a bit since I thought it was a done deal and she didn't inform me that she would call me either way - have or not have a table so I had to call her to clarify again. Frustrating as that...oh well...not much she or I can really do, if they are fully booked.
Thus, I had to wait till 2pm to get my confirmation for a 3pm afternoon tea buffet. Around half past 2pm, I made sure that my phone was beside me since I wanted to know if I was to run to another venue for my breakfast/lunch. Good thing she did call me at quarter to 2pm with good news - since I was looking forward to this all week and didn't know what alternative plan I was going to go, if this plan didn't fall through.
You might ask me - "What's so different with the RC for their high tea to the rest of the other high tea places I've been already ", right? The difference is that the RC offers afternoon tea buffet style!
I was able to finished off some errands at IKEA then off I went - to RC for breakfast/lunch and dinner! :) I had the choice of high tea (pictured above), which Ali took, or the tea buffet (pictured below)...guess I was super hungry and there was no one else at that time who ordered the typical high tea set - so off to the buffet table I went. :) No regrets!
It was pure food galore by the time I got started at 3pm. The buffet runs from 3 to 6pm but the servings cover everything - from Chinese to Singaporean, from Japanese to Malaysian, from American to British...it was pure fun! I had random things in one plate - see all the random photos. :P
It was fun to have so many choices - the dim sum choices were fresh and scrumptious. The English/British finger foods were flavor-full and fluffy, especially the mushroom puffs. There were Cantonese typical afternoon treats like chicken wings and dried scallop with abalone slices congee (the right consistency as how I wanted...yummy!!!). I like the fact that there is someone who is always on the floor and keeps an eye out to make sure that there is always tons of food available and would refill, if there is a need to. How's that for generosity! Sky's the limit!
It was good that I woke up late and this buffet was my only meal for the day, which was all I needed and by the time I really finished, I was too dazed out to know what the heck was going on. Good thing too that the seats were so comfy (couches for all) with sturdy arm-rests, and atmosphere was quiet, serene & with only one pianist playing good soft music! :P All this...for hk220 - what a steal!

Helpful tip: next time, gotta pace myself. I finished off 4/5 plates...cool stuff! I'm planning to bring my mom there, if time permits.
With all that food, I need to walk it all off else I would surely nightmares as per old folklore. :) Ali and I went to CWB and got the Rayure* shirt that I've been wanting for weeks. I was lucky to get the jacket to pair my blouse since it's already sold-out in HK and the size is a bit bigger for my mom and me...oh well - jackets are suppose to be bigger. :D
*Some Background: RAYURE was established in 1993 in Paris, France and is pure French with all shirts made in France by French designers and fabrics. It specializes exclusively in women's black and white shirts with styles that include casual, executive, sexy, classic and evening. For the last ten years, RAYURE has dominated the market as the shirt maker for the woman in all forms. Using white for purity and black for classic, the RAYURE shirt has proven to be timeless. With 2 seasons a year and over 100 styles per season, the black and white theme persists through all seasons and trends.

June 19 - Happy Tuen Ng Festival (Dragon Boat Festival) to you all!
I love this holiday since my aunt would always give me the triangular sticky rice or "ma-chang" with tons of special treats in the middle of the triangular rice mold like chicken, stewed pork, chesnut, etc in the middle, wrapped in special leaves all tied firmly in string. Cooking instruction: boil in hot water for about 30 min or so, depending on where the rice came from, fridge or freezer. :) Remember not to cut the string so the whole rice wouldn't be floating around the hot water pot as per experience...don't ask...just do it. :PDifferent parts of China have their own version of sticky rice - some with beans, some with meat, some with red bean...even eating it with either soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, catsup, etc. It's all great eats but I prefer my stick rice as a savory than a sweet one. :)
The tradition of the sticky rice is part of an old folklore tale about giving offerings to the dragon in the sea. My aunt does a real mean one. I'm saving a few to share with my mom, when she comes this week since she only gave me three pieces. :) It's all in the freezer - ready to be eaten!
To learn more about this festival and all the cool types of sticky rice that is made, you can read Discover HK and Wikipedia.
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Kit: Toffee Apple (DigizinesDigitalDen)
Designer: Deanna Patterson (ShabbyScrapDesigns)
Program: PS7.0
Font: High Tower Text & MS Serif
Journaling: Food Adventures 2007. Four Seasons HK. This is one of the best high tea experience I have gone through as per date in HK. It’s easy to see why - food, service & its little details are all out-of-this-world! There is so much “wow” factor oozing all over the place that makes this a great “adventure”!
Notes: This is one of the many wonderful experiences (and now frequent bad habit - hahahah!) that I've had the honor to go through living in HK - high tea at Four Seasons HK.

2 comments:

scrapgeek said...

That sounds like a fabulous way to spend a weekend!

Jennifer said...

My favorite high tea in Hong Kong is the one at the Intercontinental... I've found the Pen to be overrated too. The view at the IC is fantastic and I've always found it to be much more relaxing than the Pen or the Mandarin Oriental or R-C. I've also had tea a few times at the Conrad while staying there and its nice when I don't want to leave the hotel. Now next time I want to try the FS after seeing that great layout!