What beats an afternoon with the girls? Well, Kate and I may have found the perfect girlie afternoon in town – and it’s all under one roof!
We were recently invited to try out the Mandarin Oriental Salon’s new Chocolate & Roses Pedicure, followed by Afternoon Tea at the Clipper Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. With Easter just about upon us, it seemed the perfect opportunity to step away from the usual chocolate egg-frenzy for something just as sweet, but a little classier – scrummy scones and indulgent pampering… what gets any better than that!
The pedicure starts with a relaxing rosewater and petal foot soak – a great opportunity to sit back with a chilled glass of rosé (the other option is a creamy and utterly delicious hot mint chocolate drink) and enjoy the harbour view on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. (See our previous review of the Mandarin Salon here for more deets on the place itself).
After the soak came a chocolate, sugar and almond oil exfoliating scrub. This smelled like all my wildest dessert fantasies come true (I resisted the temptation to have a taste… just), and left my poor scaly hooves as smooth as a baby’s. The final stage was a rose cream foot massage and a beautiful sparkly blue polish, leaving me twinkle-toed and ready for tea.
Afternoon tea downstairs at The Clipper Lounge is a total HK classic – it’s packed to the rafters every day… and we reckon that’s largely down to their crazy-comfy armchairs (collapse into one after a hard day’s work and you’ll find yourself hard pressed to get out again!) and their AMAZING signature rose petal jam. Seriously, what alchemy has gone into making that stuff? It’s absolutely addictive.
After fighting it out to see who could ladle more rose petal jam on their scone (FYI these scones are the real deal – dense, buttery, delish), we tackled the savouries. It was good to see a tea set that doesn’t stint on the savouries, with one tier of cold sandwiches and another of warm petite treats. Our faves were the coronation chicken sandwich (totally moreish, with a sweet mango tingle), a teeny-tiny gougère (i.e. choux pastry filled with cheese) that exploded with flavour and a ham, cheese and truffle brioche toastie. Yes, you heard right, truffle. Enough said.
The sweets looked beautiful, although they were a little less exciting taste-wise. This year, The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is celebrating its 50th birthday and The Clipper Lounge is currently home to a stunning exhibition of black and white photographs documenting The MO’s fifty years; the desserts even came with matching little monochrome photos too! The pastries featuring the pictures turned out to be the pick of the bunch – an orange mousse cake with a pleasant citrus twist and a gorgeously gooey whisky chocolate ganache cake that, thankfully, didn’t overdo it with the alcohol.
With ever-changing tea set items AND ever-changing seasonal pedicures, The MO has you all set for fab girlie afternoons all year round. We’ll have some more of that rose petal jam now, please!
The Chocolate and Roses pedicure costs $525 for 75 minutes, including a glass of rosé or hot chocolate. It runs until 30 April 2013.
Afternoon Tea at The Clipper Lounge costs $448 for two people (plus 10% service charge). The exhibition and current tea set runs until 1 April 2013, including a set of commemorative postcards to take home.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 5 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong