They say familiarity breeds contempt. There’s a negative side to that statement but I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with familiarity. Especially when it comes to visiting a Langham property.
As I walked into The Langham Auckland in New Zealand, I was taken back to The Langham Shanghai, thousands of miles away- the same signature Langham scent and pink is present all over the hotel.
Not only are appearances similar, but for those wanting to have an afternoon tea experience, there’s no better place than The Langham Auckland, where the afternoon tea tradition that started over 100 years ago in the original Langham property in London continues.
There is familiarity when having afternoon tea at The Langham Auckland but it comes with a few positive surprises…
New Zealand is comprised of two islands- North Island and South Island. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand is located in the North Island. The city, known as the City of Sails is surrounded by water and volcanoes!
The Langham Auckland, the hotel is surrounded by and is very accessible to Auckland’s main attractions. This includes shopping in Queen Street, learning history at Auckland Museum, getting a view at the iconic Sky Tower (over 1000 feet tall- the tallest man made structure in New Zealand!).
The hotel is only about 30 minutes from Auckland Airport and if you like taking public transportation, there’s a bus stop right in front of the hotel to conveniently get to all of the main attractions.
Afternoon tea at The Langham Auckland is served at Palm Court. The lounge is just a few steps away from the reception desks at the lobby but you’ll feel like you’re in a different room as a ‘fence’ encloses Palm Court.
All of your senses come together to feel an ambience of classic luxury- the smell of The Langham’s signature fragrance, classical music playing softly to your ears, a giant chandelier, inviting seats, just the right amount of tables…
The environment is perfect for having a business chat, celebrating a special occasion or just catching up with a friend.
There’s a huge selection of tea at The Langham Auckland- herbal, iced, black, green, white then of course, The Langham Teas. These are teas blended especially for the hotel- The Langham Blend, Palm Court Exotic Blend, English Flower Blend, and Silk Road Blend.
I got The Langham Blend (which I also had in Shanghai!). And another which I haven’t had before, Rilhena Estate Ceylon Souchong:
“This low elevation tea has been produced by being smoked gently over the embers of cinnamon wood leaving a hint of spicy sweetness. A rare tea that ranks as an equivalent to a fine Islay Malt Whisky. Milk is optional.”
The knowledgeable tea sommelier at The Langham Auckland, Mr. Benjamin McManus prepared the tea and gave some orange slices and a cinnamon stick to accompany the tea. I joke that I can’t have regular Lipton tea anymore… the tea was prepared to perfection.
If you’re not into tea, try a popular in New Zealand coffee, flat white!
Overall, I could go back just for the tea.
There’s one set tea package available. And prepare to eat! It’s a sizeable portion.
The Savory – (eight items per person)
Three perfectly cut classic sandwiches per person (Champagne ham and English mustard sandwich, Free range egg sandwich with watercress, Cucumber sandwich with lemon cream cheese)…
…and another plate of savories!
Smoked salmon roulade and marinated sweet and sour cucumber, on buckwheat blini; Cold melon soup with prosciutto jelly; Tomato jelly, basil mousse and crisp basil leaf; Prawns with avocado cream, smoked paprika, tomato in a cone; Mini tart of spiced pulled lamb, goat’s cheese, fresh mint and pea salad.
The Scone – (two scones per person)
Plain and lemon scones with clotted cream and the most jam options I’ve ever had- four! (typically two)
Scones were brought out and added to the three tiered afternoon tea tray after we finished the savories.
The Sweet – (five items per person)
Deconstructed Summer berry and yoghurt cheesecake; Demi éclair, white chocolate and peach mousse; Hazelnut praline in a white chocolate cup with brandy snap; Blueberry jelly with vanilla custard; Strawberry tartlet.
Extra! Palm Court offers additional cakes. Even without having lunch, I was full so I got a very small piece just to taste so I can tell you to save some room!
If they still have it, ask for the moist pumpkin cake!
All in all, the food is very presentable with lots of attention to detail and tastes just as great!
A traditional three tiered tray is used to serve the food for afternoon tea at The Langham Auckland. Beautiful Wedgwood plates, cups, tea pots and saucers all match with pink roses.
(If you really like the chinaware and even tea, you can purchase them at the Flavours of Langham shop.)
Service is exactly like what you’d expect at a Langham property- exceptional.
But what made my afternoon tea experience different than any other was getting to speak with the Tea Sommelier at The Langham Auckland. Yes, a tea sommelier! It can’t get any cooler!
He was very friendly and accommodating and was always ready to answer any questions- especially my tea questions with expert knowledge.
Yes. Complimentary WiFi is available. Just ask for the password. Big thumbs up to The Langham Auckland- you get 24 hours of unlimited internet!
Meanwhile, it seems like a lot of places in New Zealand restricts usage (to like 100 MB per day).
Social Media Aspect
The Langham Auckland is on Facebook and Twitter! Follow them.
Afternoon tea at The Langham Auckland was special for me – my 20th afternoon tea experience! And truthfully it’s one of the top three I’ve ever had.
Experiencing classic luxury and meeting an in house tea sommelier… afternoon tea at The Langham Auckland is a must try for everyone visiting Auckland!
Cost: Tiffin Afternoon Tea Monday – Friday $49 NZD (about USD $38), Saturday and Sunday $54 NZD (about USD $41) per person; note there is a 2% surcharge when paying by credit card
Monday – Saturday 11:30 am to 2 pm, 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Palm Court
Sundays 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, 2 pm to 4 pm and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Palm Court
The Langham, Auckland
86 Seymonds Street
Note: I was a guest of The Langham Auckland for afternoon tea. All views are my own.