Shanghai is a city far from the birthplace of afternoon tea yet it’s becoming increasingly popular mainly in luxury hotels.
In my afternoon tea research in Shanghai, here are 7 best places for afternoon tea in Shanghai:
Best for: People Watching
China’s population is well over a billion and Shanghai has one of the country’s largest concentrations of people.
That amount of people can get overwhelming (public transportation!) but when in the right situation, it may get interesting.
Enter: afternoon tea on a Saturday. Women, men, children, the young and old- all come together for afternoon tea at The Peninsula Shanghai.
It’s a site to be seen. The afternoon ritual usually for upper class Shanghai women is practiced by every age group and gender at The Peninsula- what a combination for those who enjoy people watching!
Best for: History
Taking afternoon tea at Shanghai’s most famous hotel, Fairmont Peace Hotel is more than just food. You’re continuing a tradition dating back to the 1930s.
Reserve a table on a Saturday to attend a Tea Dance- where afternoon tea is accompanied by dancing!
Best for: Decor and Four Seasons
Four Seasons is the epitome of exceptional service. And you won’t find it lacking at Four Seasons Pudong.
At the same time Camelia Restaurant, where afternoon tea is held in has the best decor.
The restaurant is decorated with bold colors and a black and white striped floor… a totally cool untraditional place to have afternoon tea.
Best for: View and Innovation
Ever heard of edible cups? How about a cup that’s actually a chocolate chip cookie that you can fill with milk?! JW Marriott Shanghai’s innovative pastry chef created it and served it with afternoon tea.
Add this innovation with a view of Tomorrow Square and you’ve just picked your next afternoon tea location.
Best for: Service
Tea, food, ambience, price, view can all be great but service is what makes the difference. Mandarin Oriental Pudong does a phenomenal job in this.
All staff from the time you enter the hotel to getting into your car to leave make sure that you have everything you need without being overly intrusive.
Best for: Chinese Tea
The Shanghainese added a little touch of their own to the traditional English afternoon tea. All afternoon tea serving hotels in Shanghai not only serve the usual black teas, but also Chinese teas.
For a taste of these Chinese teas, Four Seasons Shanghai has a large selection with a lovely presentation! Your matching Chinese teapot and cup come on a tray.
Best for: Presentation and Ambience
The most unique presentation in the whole Shanghai includes a bird cage.
Afternoon tea at Pudong Shangri-La keeps the traditional three tiered tea tray but in a bird cage that can hang on a stand near the table for easy access, while allowing for more space on the table.
Others to try…
If you have about USD $60 to spare, try afternoon tea at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. It’s the most expensive afternoon tea package I’ve seen in Shanghai.
The Langham hotel group started with their first hotel in London. This hotel started serving afternoon tea back in the 1800s and their property in Shanghai continues the English tradition.
Are you an afternoon tea goer? I’d love to hear your recommendations! Send me a message!