Marie Antoinette Sweets Buffet!

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I was very busy this past Saturday! Here’s what I did!

In the morning I met Sapphira and Saoirse from Saoirse Clohessy Photography to do a little photoshoot in Jiyugaoka!

Sapphira and I both wore similar outfits, kind of summery historical/natural-kei with lolita pieces and straw hats. Jiyugaoka has a lot of picturesque little shops so I hope it’ll turn out nice. It was very warm though, about 30C, so I was getting really sweaty by the end ^_^;;

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Outfit rundown

Blouse & gloves: Axes Femme
Hat: decorated by me
Vest: Excentrique
JSK: Metamorphose
Bag: Wonder Rocket
Parasol: vintage

When we were done, I kind of herded everyone over to the Lupicia tea cafe ❤ Lupicia is a brand of tea that's popular in Japan and they only have one cafe location which is in Jiyugaoka. They take their tea a little seriously and so do I so I like going there. It also has air conditioning 😀

I got one of their seasonal specials, Nilgiri lemonade!

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It was so refreshing and gooood!! I didn’t order any food since I was about to head to a buffet, but I did get to sit down and chat with Sapphira and Saoirse for a bit which was very nice.

But then I had to run off to Shinjuku for the second part of my day – Love Marie Antoinette Sweets Buffet at the Hilton Tokyo!! I believe it’s all reserved out on weekends now until it ends at the end of July but weekdays may still be available.

A friend organized a big outing of lolitas to go so I luckily got to tag along! The buffet runs from 2:30-5:30 and you can stay the whole time. The drinks were pretty limited – just hot/cold tea or coffee or oolong tea. I’m just going to post pics now.

Double choco fountains!

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Waffle bar!

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Fruit-y salad?

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Ice cream bar where you could get stuff mixed in a la Coldstone. Didn’t even make it this far ;_;

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They had a little real food too, thank god. Finger sandwiches, soup, and pretty good pasta too.

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First round. I don’t have any pics of further rounds since I was too busy pigging out. I made sure to get one of every goopy thing in glasses because I love that stuff.

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I usually like to accompany my foodie experiences with a critical review so here goes.

The good:
The presentation was awesome. They also kept the crowds managed very well. They made everyone wait about 5 minutes at the start of the buffet just for photo taking time, which was a great idea so we could all get nice clear photos before the feeding frenzy began. There was plenty of food at all times. None of the “good stuff” got taken before you could get to it, etc. The logistics were pretty flawless. I appreciated the savory food and it was tasty. We also saw some other lolitas/otome(s) there too! Marie Antoinette is a lolita magnet!

The bad:
The drinks were kind of lame. But that’s ok, it’s about the desserts anyway. Also they tried experimenting with weird herbs and flavors of the desserts, which I normally really love, but it wasn’t really executed well and made a lot of things taste like cleaning fluid and/or toothpaste. Also there was a sad lack of chocolate besides the chocolate fountain but hey, it is Marie Antoinette’s party and her image is more pink and macaron-y. They also say technically that the buffet is open until 5:30 but they started putting stuff away much earlier.

The price:
4200 yen per person, everything included, which is just about right, I thought. I’m used to paying about that for afternoon tea so I couldn’t help comparing it to that. The overall quality of the food was much lower than typical hotel afternoon tea but you can eat a fuckton of it so I can’t complain at all.

I have a problem at dessert buffets – there is pretty much nothing with sugar in it that I won’t eat. I will eat them all. But this means I can never try everything because I love everything and I have finite stomach space. So much angst. I avoided a lot of the cakes since they were cut in too-big pieces and I didn’t really want to commit. I mostly ate a TON of fruit dipped in chocolate because all-you-can-eat fruit in Japan is my dream! I also ate my fair share of mysterious goops and macarons. The macarons were pretty good.

All in all I had a very good time – I liked the OTT ridiculousness and atmosphere and sharing it with other lolita buds. Purely evaluating the food, I would say I liked about 60% of the desserts, was ok with 20% and found the last 20% offensive with those skunky herbs. It wasn’t exactly to my taste but I still enjoyed it and thought it was worth the money.

Afterwards we went to Closet Child of course, and then to take purikura. And then a crazy earthquake happened and the trains stopped but let’s not go into that part 😛 Enjoy the pics!

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Toodles! Until next time I gorge myself ❤

 

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Pining for the Sakura (Part 2)

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In the week following the meetup from Part 1, the weather was kind of unstable but I was able to get a few nice pictures of the cherry trees in full bloom. These were all taken in my neighborhood.

I call these droopy sakura – they bloom earlier than the others and are more pink. The official name is “weeping cherry” (shidarezakura/しだれ桜).

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Here are some nice views around the area

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There’s a park on top where I sat on a bench and ate an onigiri for a little while as the blossoms fell.

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This is at Tokyo Midtown. It got really cold as the sun went down!

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So… then we attempted hanami meetup #2 and it rained again! Stupid troll weather! All the rain succeeded in melting the remaining blossoms and kind of ruined any more hanami from then on out, grrr.

Everyone planned to meet at Marui Annex for the KERA snap so I went as well. I kind of don’t want to do KERA snaps anymore, just because I’ve been in many already and I don’t really want to be rejected! And now there are a lot more foreign lolitas competing for the precious few spaces that they give for us and everyone is bringing their A-game. Well anyway, I figured that since everyone else was doing it, I’d do the snap too, if only for the photo they give you afterwards.

There were so many foreign lolitas there! I think because it was cherry blossom season there were lots of people on vacation. I’d say there were about 20 of us there.

After the snap we just kind of did the regular Tokyo bumming around activities – went to get food, took some pics, went to closet child, took purikura, ate some more… yep.

Here’s my outfit! My fashion theme was “Rose Garden Outing”. I’m wearing that wig again! The dress is Millefleurs, cape from Excentrique, bonnet from Victorian Maiden, bolero you can’t see is Innocent World and the rest is offbrand.

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We did purikura and I was in such a rush to choose a background (it counts down about 10 seconds) that I picked a gross clashing one, durr. And then because I had my glasses off I couldn’t really see what my pose looked like so this is kind of a puri fail. So I covered it with cats!

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Look Me!

So I did not really get a nice hanami session in this year which was pretty sad, but at least I got to see some trees in bloom. I also had lots of fun at the hanami alternative meets so there’s that! Thank you for reading!

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!