When I first walked into Camelia restaurant at Four Seasons Pudong for afternoon tea, I thought, “Can my house be decorated just like this?!”
It doesn’t look like your typical afternoon tea environment with lots of pastel colors and a piano or harp in the corner…
Instead, with it’s bold and darker colored furniture and decor, it still feels like afternoon tea was meant to be experienced there.
I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to go for afternoon tea by myself. Well, turns out, Four Seasons Pudong is a good place to do just that…
Four Seasons Pudong is located in Pudong- specifically Lujiazui, Shanghai’s financial district with relatively new skyscrapers occupied by offices. Lujiazui is also where the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower and three very tall skyscrapers (including the Shanghai Tower- one of the tallest buildings in the world!) are located.
The hotel is just a five minute walk to the iconic buildings and to huge malls (like Shanghai IFC mall and Super Brand Mall- one of the largest in Asia). And to visit popular tourist attractions like the Bund and People’s Park, you can take subway Line 2 directly to these spots from a subway station right by the malls.
Afternoon tea is served in Four Seasons Pudong’s French restaurant, Camelia which is located on the ground floor. There is no view, however with outdoor seating and decorated windows, you won’t feel like you’re right by a parking lot.
I love the decor at Camelia restaurant. It’s not your regular afternoon tea spot with classical music playing softly in the background. Instead, it feels hip with electronic-ish yet calming music that fits the modern look of the restaurant.
Late in the afternoon only a few tables were filled mainly with business people chatting quietly.
There isn’t a tea blended specifically for the hotel so I opted for the classic Darjeeling. I wondered what brand it was and the server went out of the way to get a new box of the tea to show me.
The brand, TWG Teas is a luxury tea brand from Singapore. (For those in NYC, apparently you can find their tea in some Dean & DeLuca stores!) FTGFOP1 in TWG Teas’ Royal Darjeeling FTGFOP1 has something to do with the tea leaf grading. It stands for Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1 which means it’s the best quality.
On the menu for afternoon tea at Four Seasons Pudong are options for either one or two people. For one person, sweet items include a passionfruit macaron; mini mango cream with blueberry compote; strawberry almond financier; raspberry and litchi tartlet; classic english scones with clotted cream; mango coulis, raspberry compote, carmalized pecan nuts and vanilla ice cream.
And savory includes three mini sandwiches, tuna salad; ham on the bone; smoked salmon and cucumber.
The Savory – one of the three mini no crust sandwiches:
The Scone – (a classic warm scone with regular cream, raspberry jam and some sort of ice cream):
The Sweet – pastries and this mini mango cream with blueberry compote:
After ordering, a circular mirror was brought to the table. Then came a not so typical tea tray. It looks like a tree with a few small circular shelves where my macaron was placed.
And the coolest part? It’s made entirely of chocolate. Even someone who wasn’t having afternoon tea from the neighboring table commented about it.
Moments later, someone wearing a chef hat and outfit came with a plate filled with the afternoon tea items. He placed each item on the mirror around the chocolate tray. The presentation adds to the whole modern feel of the restaurant.
Like all afternoon tea experiences, hot water was always supplied for my tea. At Four Seasons Pudong, not only was the hot water supplied but tea was poured into my teacup when needed. I was always asked if I needed anything without feeling overly intrusive.
But it’s the little things that makes service exceptional at Four Seasons Pudong. Since being by myself for afternoon tea for the first time, I decided on bringing my MacBook. After seeing other business people also using their laptops, I pulled mine out. I was then asked if I wanted to move to a different table for an outlet.
And while I was trying to connect to the WiFi, a server came over and helped without me having to ask for help. (see WiFi section)
Overall, service is awesome. Staff are super friendly and speak great English. Going for afternoon tea by myself didn’t feel “weird” like I thought it would thanks to the server who I had small conversations with when given more hot water and pouring my tea.
Yes and it’s the best internet I’ve used in the entire Shanghai. You need a code sent through a text on your phone to access the WiFi. I don’t have a local phone number but the server used his phone to help me get a code.
Social Media Aspect
Four Seasons Pudong posts photos regularly on Instagram. They always respond to and like pictures even if you don’t mention them and just tag the location. Check out their photos and follow them on Instagram.
For a cool twist to the classic afternoon tea experience, go to Four Seasons Pudong. The presentation (you can’t go wrong with a tea tray made entirely of chocolate!), service (exceptional to say the least), cool decor (can my house look like it?!) makes it a must visit.
Four Seasons is my favorite hotel brand and this property didn’t disappoint.
Cost: For 1 Person 188 RMB (about USD $31) and For Two Persons 338 RMB (about USD $55); note there is a 15% surcharge
Tea Time: 2:30-5:30 pm at Camelia Restaurant
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai at Pudong
210 Century Avenue
200120 Pudong District Shanghai