Clarissa, mom and I had tea with our relatives in Nagoya at Fortnum & Mason right before we had to board the bullet train to Nara this summer.
They were sticklers when it came to photographs so I had to really be careful.
I'm pretty sure Clarissa would have been able to eat this entire plate of dessert had we not had lunch just moments before.
If you're looking for a great book to add to your tea library, pick up Tea at Fortnum & Mason by Emma Marsden.
Happy tea time!
As I was exiting the Jiyugaoka train station one day I noticed this adorable sign. Alas, it is for the TWG Tea Salon & Boutique. TWG Tea Company was established in Singapore in 2008 by Manoj M. Murjani and Taha Bouqdib.
So what's with the misleading year (1837) on their logo? The company claims it is a tribute to the "year when the Chamber of Commerce was founded in Singapore". They have many locations throughout the world including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates.
TWG stands for The Wellness Group. I was kind of hoping it stood for something that sounded a bit less corporate.
They also sell hand made tea-infused sweet and savory items.
They have a very large assortment of loose leaf teas available to purchase behind the counter as well as teabags that come beautifully wrapped and packaged.
Their tea salon was packed with ladies in the middle of the day.
They sell very ornate, expensive silver and gold teapots and cups. I didn't sit to have tea, but I did have just enough time to pop in and snap a few pictures before the lady behind the counter asked me not to take any photographs.
1-9-8 Jiyugaoka Meguro-ku Tokyo
Tel. +81 (03) 3718 1588
Monday through Sunday 11 am - 9 pm
It was wonderful working with The Independent and Hampton Daze Magazine on their first Afternoon Tea Party themed event. Read event description here.
Delicious mini cupcakes made in house...
The Independent exhibiting 20 years of celebrity photographs...
I provided two iced teas for the guests. One was the Love Spell which I infused with fresh raspberries, strawberries and mint.
The other one was the Summer Child which I infused with beautiful, juicy ripe peaches and fragrant mint.
And for those who were looking for something with a little bit more of a kick, Jessica (Editor of The Independent) created something a little special...
Pimm's Cup & a delicious white wine spritzer.
Red Horse (Shopping) Plaza is located at 74 Montauk Highway in East Hampton, New York. You'll find a gourmet market, a wine shop, a spa, and a few antique shops here.
Absolutely charming space to have an Afternoon Tea party.
with cushy seats and beautiful benches.
I believe spas and teas go hand in hand and are a great fit for one another. It just makes sense. Both are soothing, relaxing and provide the kind of comfort that our bodies need.
It was a very long day and an even longer Jitney ride home, but it was all so worth it.
I couldn't have thought of a better way to wrap up the summer.
I can't understand why we don't have a Mariage Fréres in New York City? They have 15 locations in Japan alone! It drives me completely nuts. Luckily I had the opportunity to stop into the one in Ginza on my last trip to Japan.
Mariage Fréres Ginza is right in the heart of the Ginza district, down a small street off the main Chuo-dori Street. This most prestigious of Japan's Mariage Fréres stores has a graceful, wood-paneled facade, with wrought iron window bars upstairs that reflect its French origins.
Step inside Mariage Fréres Ginza and you are greeted by a very inattentive yet knowledgeable staff - as well as a wallful of teapots and tea canisters, as varied in shape and color as the kinds of tea offered here. I have to say, the sight of those oversized tea canisters set my heart aflutter. They also had books about tea and other little accessories.
The Mariage Fréres Ginza is comprised of a restaurant, tea museum, tea emporium and tea salon.
Their tea menu reads like a book. A staggering selection with exclusive teas not available in all their stores. I couldn't resist picking up a few teas while in the shop.
First one I chose was the Paris-Ginza, which is an exclusive flavored black tea blend.
The second one I chose was the Tokyo Breakfast Tea, a yuzu black tea.
I couldn't resist purchasing this Sel Matcha, a tea flavored Matcha salt that can be used for cooking or flavoring savory items. I might just sprinkle a little on my popcorn.
The last thing I picked up before heading out was some Moon Palace Tea, a blue tea from Thailand. Of course, that's only after I managed to get the attention of a nice young man, who was more than eager to help me choose some teas. The two French men standing near the counter barely glanced my way when I asked for assistance. The young man who finally did end up helping me (and I must have spent a good half hour smelling more than a dozen teas) was very patient and knowledgeable about the MF tea line. He answered all of my questions and showed a great passion for tea. In the end he suggested I might like the Moon Palace Tea so I bought it.
In conclusion, I thought the shop was gorgeous and the location is ideal, but I'm not sure I'll be returning to this particular location to pick up my teas in the future.
More on the specifics of the teas in a later post.
Mariage Fréres Ginza
Suzuran-Dori, 5-6-6 Ginza
Phone. : 03 3572 1854
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!