Living in an enormous city such as Shanghai has its upsides, among which is the presence of the world’s top 5 star hotels, all offering exquisite afternoon teas. Though not particularly cheap, the cost/quality ratio makes this a justifiable treat for many city-dwellers who appreciate the finer things in life. Here is our selection of where to get the best afternoon tea in Shanghai.
Chez Shibata 柴田西点
A Japanese patisserie that has the best of both worlds – the buttery flair of France and absolute dedication to refinement and detail of Japan – results in a selection of cakes, ganaches, mousses, cookies and more, which are literally irresistible. The only problem with Chez Shibata lies in choosing between all of the mouth-watering options and then stopping yourself from eating more. Chez Shibata’s éclair, for instance, topped with fine butter and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, is pure divinity.
Chez Shibata is the only non-hotel venue in our list, such is the standard of their food. Spending an afternoon slowly sampling the treasures on your plate, followed by a dreamy semi-siesta and a warm drink doesn’t get much better than this.
Add: 24 Ziyun Lu, Hongqiao, Changning District
Tel: 021 5206 5671
Hours: 10:00 – 21:00
Price: 100 – 200 RMB
The Puli Hotel 璞丽酒店
Each hotel strives to offer something – anything – a bit different. The Puli’s afternoon tea accomplishes this with attention to not only the quality of the food, but also the entire presentation of the tea set.
Delivered to the table in a classical and stylish wooden box, the attention to detail is striking. On opening the box the same ethos shows through, as in addition to the classic afternoon tea mixture of savory and sweet, each treat within is also delightfully unique. Scones, pies, pastries, donuts, tarts, brownies; all a delight for your tongue, will make this a very satisfying experience.
The Puli also does well in allowing guests to choose where to take the afternoon tea – the stylish lobby, the quieter restaurant upstairs, or, when the weather permits, on the fashionable terrace. Taking into account the size of the tea set – and that this is indeed an afternoon tea and not a full meal – the cost is very reasonable if split between two people.
Add: 1 Changde Lu, near Yanan Zhoanglu, Jingan District
Tel: 021 3203 9999
Hours: 14:30 – 17:30
Price: 240 RMB +15% per set (enough for two people), + 100 RMB for Champagne
The Peninsula deserves an honorable mention due to the Hong Kong Peninsula being the famous creator of an afternoon tea which focuses on luxury, daintiness and a bit of self-pampering. Yet the Peninsula Shanghai deserves a special mention for the quality of the property and the entertainment offered within.
Set to live, string music, the Peninsula tea room holds regular themes, such as a certain color or flavor of food, and tailors seasonal menus to that type. The only potential drawback of an afternoon tea at the Peninsula Shanghai is that it is a serious tourist attraction – this means that if you are looking for a more secluded, quieter or more private and relaxing afternoon tea, this is not your place. If you want to see what the fuss is about for yourself and enjoy some history (perhaps with some visiting relatives), it’s well worth the visit.
Add: 32 Zhongshan Dong Yi Rd., Huangpu District
Tel：021 2327 2888
Hours: 14:00 – 16:00
Price: 260 RMB + 15% tip
Living Room at Park Hyatt 柏悦酒店
The Park Hyatt sits in SWFC, which is currently the tallest building in China – until it is overtaken by Shanghai Center in a year or two. The reputation of the Park Hyatt hotels is everlasting, and the Shanghai Park Hyatt is no different. The nature of the actual property and the styling and decoration make this a must-try venue for an afternoon tea on the top of the world.
The quality on offer is a mix of excellent and very good. For example, while the éclairs may not be as nice as those in Chez Shibata, there are still stand-out cakes and teas on offer. The point here is that although the quality is good, the real draw of the venue… is the venue.
You won’t be able to make a reservation for afternoon tea here, so it’s best to arrive just before 14:00, when the tea set begins. This is always a popular place, so arriving early for a window seat is a must. Then you’ll have the pleasure to spend the entire afternoon here, snacking, chatting and slumbering in a comfy chair with Shanghai’s highest view in the corner of your eye, just as the sun goes down on the city.
Add: 100 Century Avenue, Pudong District
Tel: 021 6888 1234
Hours: 14:00 – 18:00
Price: 150+ RMB +15% tip
Ritz-Carlton Pudong 丽思卡尔顿酒店
The Ritz-Carlton in Pudong holds its afternoon tea at the rooftop Flair restaurant and bar. Their own take on the afternoon tea is to retain local style and keep a strong Asian accent to the treats on offer.
The service, venue, quality of food and drink, and view are all spectacular. The savory side of the meal has a dim sum feel, with rolls, wraps, rice and relevant accompaniments. Cleverly, they also usually offer two options, giving more personalization and choice over a plain ‘set’ which is offered to everyone. The view of the Bund directly across the river is often voted as the best in the city. Many blue-sky days have been enjoyed in the city this summer, so you may want to let the weather pick the day for you, rather than the other way around.
Add: 8 Century Avenue, Lujiazui, Pudong New District
Tel：021 2020 1888
Hours: 14:00 – 17:30
Price 228 RMB + 15% tip
Four Seasons Shanghai at Pudong 上海浦东四季酒店
Four Seasons is the epitome of exceptional service. And you won’t find it lacking at Four Seasons Pudong.
At the same time Camelia Restaurant, where afternoon tea is held in has the best decor.
The restaurant is decorated with bold colors and a black and white striped floor… a totally cool untraditional place to have afternoon tea.
Add: 210 Century Avenue, Pudong New District
JW Marriott Shanghai JW万豪酒店
Ever heard of edible cups? How about a cup that’s actually a chocolate chip cookie that you can fill with milk?! JW Marriott Shanghai’s innovative pastry chef created it and served it with afternoon tea.
Add this innovation with a view of Tomorrow Square and you’ve just picked your next afternoon tea location.
Add: 399 Nanjing West Road, Huangpu District
Tel: 021 5359 4969
Waldorf Astoria Shanghai On The Bund 上海外滩华尔道夫酒店
If you have about USD $60 to spare, try afternoon tea at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai. It’s the most expensive afternoon tea package I’ve seen in Shanghai.
Add: 2 Zhongshan East Road, Huangpu District
Tel: 021 6322 9988