Nina’s Marie Antoinette Tea Set

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I would like to tell you about an interesting afternoon tea set I had last weekend. Some friends arranged a little tea party and I tagged along!

It was sponsored(?) by Nina’s Marie Antoinette Tea, a French brand of rose-scented tea, and held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Roppongi Hills. The tea is meant to be served on the terrace at the French Kitchen Bar but it was rainy that day so we ate inside. The website says this tea set will be available until November but I wouldn’t trust that. Reservations recommended though they might not be so busy on a rainy day.

The price listed is 2800 yen, 3200 yen if you add rosé wine. Not a bad price for this kind of thing! The total price of the normal tea came to about 3500 yen with tax and tip.

When you enter you get a look at the cute menu. They wouldn’t let us take it home ;_;

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The restaurant is quirky! It had big bronze statues of mushrooms, a frog and this snail!

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The worst part is waiting patiently.

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I don’t have a whole lot of photos from the day. Here are some shots of everything together.

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A shot of my friend’s allergy-friendly plate.

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Now time for review! The savory items (there were 4) were DELICIOUS. That much delicious. I loved them all. The scones were awful. They were hard and tasted like margarine and way too overcooked so they were closer to cookies in texture than scones. Someone fucked up there.

The desserts were of varying quality so I’ll talk about them separately. I liked the special Marie Antoinette cake that they brought around on a separate cake dish. It was very old worldy tasting, almost like a fruit cake or Christmas pudding, with lots of dried fruit inside and spices. I could see how some people might not like it but I enjoyed it.

There was a strawberry macaron (not macaroon, please Grand Hyatt, your menu is paining me) which was really good. The marshmallows were strawberry flavored, I think, but they tasted like chemicals and lipstick, pretty bad. The strawberry short cake was good, though generic. At this point I was kind of done with strawberries to be honest. The cake of the day was mango mousse and was not good either. My friend said it tasted like shrimp. It was like they took the funky rotting tropical fruit flavor only from the mangoes and mixed it with cake. Mmm tropical funk shrimp cake~

For drinks, you could only have the Nina’s tea, which makes sense I guess, and they would only give you hot water refills, not fresh tea. I found this a little stingy, especially because even getting the guy to bring more hot water was a chore.

Service was ok, the guy was slow with some things, but they were very accommodating to my friend with allergies. All staff seem to speak English. So my overall impression of the service is about neutral.

Again I was sad there was almost no chocolate, save for the chips nestled in the scone-cookie-rock, but that’s my personal issue. I think it was a good value in general, but I wouldn’t go again just because of the scone travesty.

And finally, my outfit of the day! I bought a new otome dress recently from Leur Getter so I wanted to wear it! I really love vintage illustrations so this dress was perfect to me. The flowers look like hydrangea from far away but I believe they are violets.

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THIS JUST IN: Vintage clip art located! They totally just lifted this shit and spruced it up in Photoshop, wow.

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Thank you for reading! I hope you are having a kawaii rainy season! 😛

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Sailor Moon Shop and Futari no Neko Exhibit

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A few weeks ago I had a nice day to myself. Here are some pics!

All the internet was abuzz with information that there was a Sailor Moon clothing collaboration temporary shop at Isetan Department store in Shinjuku so I had to go check it out too! Of course I was a huge fan of the show in the mid 90s when I was in high school so I love the nostalgia of that time. It’s one of the only things I actually think of fondly from that era, blah high school!

I found my way to the pop up shop and it was full of people taking pics. The shop was decorated really cutely!

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They had a special Princess Serenity gown for sale in addition to the regular clothing.

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But upon closer inspection, it was pretty roughly made and not really much higher tier than an average cosplay. It’s hard to tell from this pic but the material was a shiny satin that looked awful.

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And the price~

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I liked a lot of the clothing designs, they incorporated the SM theme well without being too costumey, but they were reallllly expensive. Like $140 for a cardigan and $200 for a dress. I guess those are like lolita prices but somehow my brain refuses to accept that for casual clothing.

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So ultimately I didn’t buy anything but I was pleasantly surprised about how many of the items I liked! The next stop on my agenda was a small exhibit by Higuchi Yuko. She’s one of my favorite artists – I really love how she combines cute themes with creepy and scientific illustration type of imagery. And there are loads of mushrooms everywhere! She’s contributed art for prints used by Emily Temple Cute and ahcahcum muchacha and now has some art books and a new mook out. The mook is really weird – it’s like a story about two cats where one is an actual cat and one is like some kind of sad creature that wears a cat skin suit? I didn’t read it, just going off the pics.

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I found the tiny gallery location in the Omotesando area. They didn’t allow photos so I took some from outside.

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It’s always nice to see real works of an artist you usually just see online, especially because Higuchi Yuko’s art is so detailed. There is something a little lost in the scanning process. There wasn’t much left in the exhibit to buy since it was near the end which was a little disappointing. I contemplated buying a mushroomy print they had there for my apartment but it was kind of pricey just for a print so I bought some postcards instead.

Here was my outfit for the day – kind of kawaii vintage maybe. The dress is from Grimoire (one of the only items I’ve actually been moved to purchase from there)

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I wore this jacket flair to go along with the “Futari no Neko” (two cats) exhibit motif! I like how one is normal and one’s got the crazy eye.

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I passed this funnily-named shop in the area. It just makes me think of a bad night out drinking.

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After all that I was pretty pooped and hungry so I stopped at an Afternoon Tea Tea Stand. Afternoon Tea is a popular restaurant and shop in Japan, and they now have these Tea Stand things which seem like a tea version of Starbucks. I thought it was pretty exciting and an interesting way to capture some market share. They’re trying to do both tasty sugary tea frappes and also sell to the healthy crowd so I don’t know if that will work out for them, but I hope they get popular! I love both coffee and tea – I’ll take my sugar in pretty much any liquid. I ordered a tea latte with nuts and a fig tart and plopped down for a while with my e-reader.

Not my pics!

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That’s all for that day! I hope you enjoy reading and thank you as always ❤

 

 

Tea at the Mandarin Oriental

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Last Saturday I went for fancy afternoon tea at the Oriental Lounge in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in central Tokyo (link here). A lolita friend was visiting from overseas and wanted to go have tea there which was perfect since it had been on my list of places to try.

The lounge website had a PDF menu of the tea snacks, but they didn’t match what we got so we were slightly disappointed there. The menu has changed again – now it’s very cherry and sakura (cherry blossom) heavy. I wonder if it’s accurate now? Another odd thing was the price – online it said ¥‎4200 but the actual price was ¥4500, plus a service charge which made it ¥‎5085 :s

Another thing that was slightly disappointing was that I had always seen images of the afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental being served in a cool Asianesque display like this (pic not mine):

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This is a pic of the same lounge we went to, but I guess they got broken too often or took up too much space? I’m not sure but our tea was served on normal tea trays.

Anyway, let me not get ahead of myself. We arrived at the lounge and were seated. We were all wearing very gothy outfits that day so we were an interesting sight in a fancy hotel like that! The Oriental Lounge is on the 38th floor, so there were really great views out the windows. When I made the reservation I asked for window seats but they had already been taken, too bad! So we sat at a couch-table (two couches with a table in the middle). While that is supposed to be luxurious, it just kind of hurts my back after a while because I have to sit up to eat anyway!

When we arrived, they took our coats and gave us the tea menu. They had a nice selection of teas. I was a little warm in all the velvet I was wearing so I started with the iced muscat tea. It was really refreshing with a nice mellow white grape flavor.

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More tea! The nice thing was that the teas were given by the cup and you could change them after each one. They also had some coffee drinks as well. A lot of places give you a whole pot so you’re kind of stuck drinking it all until you finish and then can ask for a new tea. I think we might’ve asked for too many teas because the staff seemed a little annoyed by the end! They also didn’t have bowls of sugar, just rock candy swizzle sticks which are cute but aren’t that practical and tend to melt and plop into your teacup at random.

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So the theme of the Mandarin Oriental is obviously ~Asia~, but I found the decor to be kind of silly. Here are some highlights. Hairy lamp:

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Ornamental ceiling thing

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And some sakura

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After a bit, the food came! This was a two person portion.

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In more detail, I’ll go over the savory section. Clockwise from the right are: lobster pieces on a cookie-like thing with saffron(?) gel on top, onion-anchovy-olive topping on bread, roasted veggies on a egg frittata, little tuna open faced sandwiches with egg and veggies, couscous stuffed red peppers and cucumbers with a creamy topping. I thought the food was all really good and liked all the vegetables!

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Now for the middle plate. We got clotted cream, strawberry jam and apricot marmalade which I forgot to picture, but only one mini scone to put it on! I was sad to see the extra jam and clotted cream go to waste so I was temped to just eat it with a spoon anyway, haha. The scones had dates in them – yummy but I wish there was more! There was also an amusingly-shaped cookie and a little herb roll too. Again, everything was really tasty.

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Then finally to the dessert plate! They did a great job with these. None of them were grossly sweet which is often a problem at afternoon tea. After I’ve had a bunch of sugar in my tea and in the jam and stuff, I really want the dessert section to be light and airy so I don’t hit sugar overload and feel like going straight home to nap and/or brush my teeth. We all laughed about Fred there – he was actually one of the best desserts on the plate! I will never doubt you again, Fred. It was like a mini lemon meringue pie on a biscuit, mmm ❤ Clockwise from Fred was a pear flavored confectionery with some gel inside, the texture was very spongy, like a soft marshmallow. Next were some macarons – they were purple so we thought they’d be blueberry or grape flavor but they actually tasted like nothing and were one of my least favorite things on the dessert plate. The pyramids had some slightly bitter caramel on the outside and chocolate mousse inside, the candy in the middle of the plate was a very soft gummy, and the basket type things were little tarts with gelled fruit on top. Everything was so good! I want to eat it again!

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We lingered for a while until we felt like we had been there long enough. It was nice that we didn’t have a time limit like some other afternoon tea services I’ve been to. The bathrooms were really amazing because they had some of the best views on that floor! Izzy stole this shot of the men’s room.

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You could see a nice view of Tokyo Skytree!

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We took some silly shot of our outfits in the lobby~ I wore a wig for the first time! I wanted to wear an old Triple Fortune headdress to complete my old school look but I think they look best with heavy bangs, plus I wanted to be a mysterious gothic lady with long hair so I went with a wig. My dress is Victorian Maiden, the jacket and necklace Excentrique, and the bag is Meta (nurse series).

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I had a really good time with everyone! Despite the food, price and presentation not being exactly what I expected, I was still happy with the quality of everything. Unusually though, I felt like I could still eat more at the end. Most of the time when I have afternoon tea I’m stuffed but I think because the scone was just one mini one and not two full sized ones like I’m used to, I felt less full than usual. The price was pretty high but I felt like the attention to detail in the food and the many tea options made it worth the price. The service was very good but they did make me feel a little guilty about ordering more cups of tea. I’m not sure if everyone who goes there orders that much or if we were being super demanding? I guess I’ll never know!

Thank you for reading! I would love to hear more afternoon tea recommendations from you if you have any! One of my goals is to find the “perfect” afternoon tea in Tokyo. I have a favorite place in Japan but it’s in Kyoto at Chorakukan. It’s a place that I think is a great combination of atmosphere, food quality, and value for the price – I wish it was closer!