Another stop along the journey to uncover Beijing’s best afternoon tea, LumDimSum and City Weekend are ticking off the hotels one by one. We sat down to afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton, Beijing and Park Hyatt, now the third stop is to see how Sofitel Wanda fares in comparison.
The Sofitel Wanda Beijing branch is the flagship Sofitel in Asia-Pacific region, which is why this branch is so lavish and grandiose with super-high ceilings, oversize décor--and let’s not forget to mention that the first thing you see when you step inside is a finely crafted, $2 million set of three Swarovski peony flowers on the wall of the main hotel lobby.
Once you manage to move your feet past the wall of giant Swarovski crystals and quite possibly one of the biggest bling-ed out chandeliers I’ve ever seen, hang a left (opposite to the reception area) and you step inside Sofitel’s Vous Lobby Lounge, where you can enjoy afternoon tea all day, every day from 7am-midnight.
Considering the Sofitel is a hotel with strong French influences, it’s understandable why their afternoon tea wouldn’t be traditionally English in either the service time or the form it’s served in. Afternoon tea may be an English time-honored tradition, but creativity ought to still be encouraged, especially in a cosmopolitan city like Beijing.
Taking into consideration their diverse range of regular customers, Sofitel likes to keep things fresh and in season with an afternoon tea theme menu that changes each month. I was gutted to hear I just missed last month’s tea set, which was a fresh strawberries theme that incorporated luscious, giant strawberries in each of their savory and sweet snacks on display. This month’s theme is green tea, which you will see explained below.
Although the next few months are yet to be confirmed, they anticipate the month of May to follow a Spanish theme, serving sangria and margarita drink options and possibly even flying in a guest chef from Spain, who will be responsible for creating an authentic tapas menu.