BVLGARI in Tokyo has two cafe locations where you can sit back, relax and enjoy a quiet meal in an exquisite setting. I passed the one in Ginza, but didn't have an opportunity to go in so when I was in Omotesando Hills doing some last minute shopping, I made sure to go in.
Bulgari Il Cafe is a restaurant located in the Harajuku neighborhood of Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It is located on the second floor of the Gyre building, across the street from Omotesando Hills.
This upscale cafe is owned and operated by an Italian company that owns Bulgari Hotels. The interior is designed by Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio & Partners, and is very modern with glass walls, black leather chairs, and teak floors.
You're definitely going to need reservations if you want a seat indoors in the middle of summer (which I highly recommend by the way). We were lucky that they had space for us outside, but if you know anything about Tokyo in the summer you know that it's HOT and HUMID.
We were taken outside to the patio area where we were seated at a lovely table. Spacious deck and beautiful greenery surrounded us.
I'm all about details so I knew I was going to love this place once the menus...
and napkins arrived.
BVLGARI Brunch Box includes three kinds of appetizers, a pasta dish, Sautéed Sea Bass with Marinated Eggplant and Green Beans, three kinds of desserts (including one piece of their famous BVLGARI chocolate) and drink (coffee, tea or chocolate drink).
Iced coffee for my cousin and Iced Tea for me.
The menu is Italian cafe food - full of sandwiches, pastas, and handmade chocolates.
And on your way out...
if you feel inclined to take home a little souvenir or maybe a special treat for a loved one...
check out their gorgeous display case full of handmade chocolate gems and chocolate dipped fruit and nuts.
The packaging is to do die for.
Here's the other cafe at the Ginza location...
The service was excellent and the food portions were surprisingly generous. My cousin and I split the brunch box and still couldn't finish everything. We would have liked to purchase some more chocolates, but as we all know, quality always stomps quantity. One chocolate for each of us.
GYRE 2F, Jingumae 5-10-1, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo
Here is another gem in Jiyugaoka. I noticed it as we were entering Lupicia, but had recognized it from a Japanese magazine I subscribe to. My photographs do not do this charming two story English style cottage justice. It was really cloudy that day and I just couldn't seem to get the lighting right.
I had read about St. Christophers Garden in a coffee and tea magazine I love and it was definitely on my list of places to check out while I was in Tokyo. I knew I was going to love it right from the get go. The iron steel gate, the inviting tearoom sign and all the lush greenery. They have flowers 365 days of the year, with variations for every season.
St. Christophers Garden holds seminars for the public on traditional English tea (2nd and 4th weeks of the month on Thursdays). Hisayo Shibasaki is the instructor in charge of the seminars. In 1998 she won the award for International Table Decorator and is also a Licensed Tea Master in Japan. The seminars cost 5000 Yen which includes tea and cake.
Just to give you an idea of the topics they cover month to month, I'll list the seminars for the past few months.
This is what their typical Afternoon Tea looks like. This photo is from their web site.
There is a sign near the garden that states children under 6 not allowed. It was very quiet inside and more of an adult gathering place.
So quaint and coy...it's the perfect place for tea on a rainy day.
This is the entrance to the tearoom. It is quite formal.
They have a little boutique on the side where you can purchase gifts after you're all done with tea.
Happy tea time!
If you're shopping for tiaras, cosmetics or fine pearls while in Tokyo, you know you'll need to take a small tea break at some point. Lucky for us, Mikimoto has it's own Lounge where you can savor sweets made by Japan’s famous patissier, Hideo Yokota, and special tea blends available only at this location. Toyoo Ito, a Japanese architect that designed multiple buildings in Japan and all over the world, designed the world’s best pearl distributor Mikimoto’s boutique in Ginza.
This year the Mikimoto company will be celebrating their 120th anniversary!
Read about Kokichi Mikimoto and the origins of these highly revered pearls here.
The have a gorgeous selection of desserts. This is the menu that is displayed in the lobby before entering the elevators to the 3rd floor.
We didn't need reservations this time because it was a little late in the afternoon, but if you're planning on visiting I highly recommend making reservations in advance.
It was definitely very posh and Clarissa was ultra excited to have tea and dessert. A lot of tea lounges require children to be at least 6 years of age, but Clarissa is a very well-behaved young lady so they made an exception.
If you like everything you try, you can buy the teas to go before leaving.
The space is airy and full of natural night.
Recognize these sugars?
We had an excellent hostess that told us all about Mikimoto's exclusive tea blends.
She brought out all the teas for us to smell and allowed us to look and touch all the dry leaves.
All their pastries are made by Chef Hideo Yokota. It was so difficult deciding on just two!
The Pearl - A passionfruit parfait...is their signature dessert for obvious reasons. This photo does not do it justice.
All their original tea blends are organic and from China. They have three and we ordered all three ^_^
I highly recommend you visit the Mikimoto Lounge when you're in Ginza. The service is excellent, but the desserts and tea are even more outstanding.
I made this string of pearls out of our white sugar balls a while back. I couldn't stop thinking about them when I was enjoying myself in the Mikimoto Lounge. How truly decadent and elegant a simple thing like sugar can be if presented in the right manner.
2-4-12 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo
11 am to 7 pm Monday through Sunday