After a day of shopping and people watching we snuck into the Bakeshop for a coffee/tea break.
Located in one of my all time favorite areas this place has an awesome indoor and outdoor eating area on the 4th floor. It was a little too windy for us to sit outdoors that day so we decided to move indoors.
The also offer coffee, pastry and accessory workshops there.
On November 10th they're holding a Chemex workshop. Wish I could be there! (Photo from site)
Plenty of sweets and savories...
I noticed a lot of interesting things about their tea selection. Like how most of their teas are from the UK, Ireland and Sweden. Two out of the three are pretty old companies dating back over 200 years. Teapigs is a tea company based in the UK. I recognized their cute packaging when I was exploring the tea section near our apartment. Campbell's Perfect Tea is made in Dublin, Ireland and was originally established by J & G Campbell Company back in 1797. They use mainly East African teas. Kobbs is a Swedish tea company established in 1809 by Martin Samuel Kobb in Gothenburg. His sons, Pontus and August Kobb, joined their father's firm shortly after. Notice how they also have a special tea selection for Kids & Baby--Babycino and Kid's Cocktail. So there's really something for everyone!
I'm always amazed at how many cafes and tea rooms there are in Tokyo. I could probably spend a lifetime trying to discover them all.
Clarissa and I left the house early in the morning and set out to Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Ginza district of Tokyo. It's like 5th Avenue, but ten times more luxurious. I'm not sure how many of you know this, but if you arrive right when the department store opens its doors, customers are in for a special treat. A true demonstration of Japanese hospitality. I wanted Clarissa to experience this in all its glory.
As soon as the department stores open, every employee is lined up neatly waiting to greet customers. Traditionally they bow and welcome you to the store with an enthusiastic "irasshaimase!" which roughly translates to "welcome and please come in".
Clarissa thought this was really over the top and a little strange.
We were both so excited because there was so much to see.
Harrods The Plantation Rooms Tea Room is located on the Fourth Floor...
and David Myers Cafe on the Sixth Floor. Ladurée Salon de The on the Second Floor.
Ladurée Salon de The is located on the 2nd floor of the luxurious Mitsukoshi Department Store in Ginza. You'll find a little bit of Paris right there in that little nook. That's where we decided to have breakfast.
A table right by the window with a fantastic view.
Busy street below...
with lots to see.
Matching china, gorgeous menu, and embossed paper napkins...
everything was so charming. Sterling silver tea pots...
and little details like customized handle covers for the tea pots!
Clarissa ordered herself some breakfast: eggs and bacon, and a pot of tea.
And then we ordered some desserts...
Although it was cloudy and misting that morning, we enjoyed every minute of our time together.
Ginza Mitsukoshi 2F, 4-6-16 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8212, Japan
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
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!