I have always loved going out for tea. Dressing up; sampling fine teas; nibbling on little sandwiches, cookies and cakes fits quite squarely into my idea of a good time. I’ve enjoyed a good cuppa in nice tea salons, trendy cafes and cozy hide-aways around the world. When I started traveling regularly to Tokyo, I made a point of finding new places to try out tea, with the lounge at the Sunshine Prince Hotel topping my list for convenience and quality of their tea.
At some point, it came up that my friend Riko also likes to go out for tea, so we have tried such wonderful places as the Cerulean Hotel in Shibuya and Harrods Plantation Rooms in the Ginza Mitsukoshi. And now, thanks to her, I’ve experienced an amazing afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Oriental Lounge. The location was actually chosen by another friend who likes to go out for tea, my usual Granrodeo partner in crime, Nancy. She wanted to go out for a nice tea for her birthday, and picked the spot. Riko made the reservation, but couldn’t join us because of an exam. Which means we’ll just have to go back so she can try it out!
The Oriental Lounge is on the 38th floor of the Mandarin Oriental, located in the Nihnbashi area of Tokyo. In the lobby area, glass windows stretch for two stories, providing an amazing view of Tokyo, and even Mt. Fuji (the view the other direction highlights the Tokyo Skytree). In all my visits to Tokyo, I had never actually seen Fuji. Never. Not even a glimpse. Not once. Seeing it that day, wreathed in clouds, was truly magical. Our seats were at a window on that side, so we continued to enjoy the view of Fuji for most of the tea.
The lounge’s tea selection is broad, and each one we tried was quite tasty. And there seemed to be no limit to how many cups you could have during your visit (I believe we had two hours). The food menu is seasonal, which meant fall-themed, and, in this time, Hallowe’en. Some of the sweets were almost too cute to eat, but that didn’t deter either of us. Everything was delicious, and I am curious what their other seasonal menus are like.
Well worth a visit if you want to indulge in high tea and amazing views!