How To Spend It

Food | Need To Now

The Dorchester’s tea toast to the Year of the Snake

The award-winning tearoom swaps scones for dim sum and prawns

The Dorchester’s tea toast to the Year of the Snake

February 08 2013
Camilla Apcar

In a deliciously unusual spin on a traditional British ritual, The Dorchester is welcoming in the Chinese New Year with a three-day afternoon-tea extravaganza (from February 8 to 10) in its grand coral-marble-columned lobby, The Promenade.

The menu switches sandwiches for pork dim sum su mei, taro dumplings, yin-yang prawns and crispy vegetable and mushroom spring rolls, while the sweet-toothed can sample mango rolls, green-tea-chocolate délice, and red bean and black sesame slices.

The tea selection itself is an embarrassment of riches, with 50 blends on offer. So impressive is the assortment that the British Tea Council has bestowed its “Top Tea Place in London” accolade on The Promenade no fewer than three times. Among the weekend’s selection of Chinese teas is a smoky, mountain-grown Wuyi Shan lapsang souchong, a “Russian Country” blend of Chinese oolong, keemun and lapsang souchong, and the Dragon Pearl green jasmine, made by layering the night-flowering blossoms between tea leaves to create a subtly fragrant taste. Those of a wilder disposition can also order a glass of Laurent-Perrier NV Brut or Rosé.

Traditional Chinese acts will perform surprise routines throughout the afternoon, while peanut and pear cookies tell fortunes for the months to come – a most elegant start to the Year of the Snake.