As our Single Girl’s Guide To Valentine’s showed, there’s no reason why V-Day has to be spent surgically attached to your significant other (or moping around about your lack of one!). And we’ve got another fab idea of what to do instead – go enjoy the special Red Roses Afternoon Tea at Café Gray Deluxe!
Let’s face it – afternoon tea is far better appreciated in the company of girlfriends, chatting and chilling over pretty dainty desserts, as opposed to monosyllabic boys who would be better off down the pub! Given that the Red Roses Afternoon Tea is a collaboration with Sassy fave Jo Malone and includes a free hand massage and Fragrance Combining Discovery Kit at their counter in the Harvey Nicks downstairs, and you have all the ingredients for the perfect girls day out!
This special tea set is inspired by Jo Malone’s Red Roses collection and takes many of its ingredients from the key elements of the scent – scarlet velvet roses, sweet lemon, honeycomb and mint. You’re swooning already right?! And yes, the mini desserts are just as outrageously pretty as you’d expect… but the real star of the show is Café Gray itself.
You could lounge for hours on the comfy sofas, cocooned in private dining booths that feel both intimate and cosy without being claustrophobic – whilst gazing out on some knockout views that spread across the whole of HK. Suffice to say, time just flew by as my BFF and I set the world to rights whilst kicking back and relaxing in this gorgeous quiet and luxurious setting!
But onto the Red Roses Afternoon Tea itself! As with the best afternoon teas, it’s all about the scones! These were deliciously light and buttery golden squares, studded with raisins and nuggets of crystallised sugar that added a delectable crunch with each bite.
They were served the proper way too – not with cream cheese, whipped cream or marmalade (some of the less successful local variants I’ve come across!) – but with rich indulgent Devonshire clotted cream and home-made jam and honey, both of which were packed with flavour. In fact, we could have done with more scones to make the most of these scrummy preserves!
I liked the imagination that went into the assortment of sweets and they were beautifully presented. Our favourite was the creamy gianduja chocolate wafer, topped off with a crystallised mint leaf – not the most obvious of pairings but the addition of the mint totally enlivened the gooey rich chocolate square. We also really enjoyed the more subtle light flavours of the lemon and poppy-seed pound cake, whilst I’m sure the rose and raspberry macaroon will go down a treat with all of you that have a sweet tooth (and a love of pink)! The best part? Everything is small enough for you to enjoy a taste of everything without feeling like a food coma is imminent!
The savouries, however, were a little disappointing. I loved the short rib crostada (which looked like a mini wonton!), a crispy pastry stuffed with melt-in-the-mouth tender tasty pork, but the rest of the sandwiches were rather bland and as a result, the set felt a little too overbalanced in favour of the sweet items.
Overall though, we still enjoyed the whole experience; after all, once you’ve had a chance to bed down, soak up Café Gray Deluxe’s luxurious surroundings and take in those amazing harbour-side views, how can you not?!
Luckily, the Red Roses Afternoon Tea is not just a Valentine’s special… it runs for the whole of February, so grab some girlfriends and enjoy!
The Red Roses Afternoon Tea is served from 3.30-5.30pm throughout February, $185 for one person or $345 for two people (plus 10% service charge)
Cafe Gray Deluxe 49/F, Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
3968 1106 www.cafegrayhk.com