High Tea at the Westin Hotel, Tokyo

Last Sunday was not spent competing in an open water swim race. Instead, I spent it indoors enjoying a glorious summer Sunday in Tokyo. First, it was to the Tokyo Metropolitan Photography Museum, followed by High Tea at the Westin Hotel. Both are within metres from each other in Ebisu. According to my research, I have so far found approximately 38 places in Tokyo to do high tea at. I’ve already been to about 6 of them. I am aiming to do one a month, but at that rate, it’s going to to take a few years! Might have to make it a fortnightly thing. So it’s been about 2 months since my last Tokyo high tea. Most of my weekends throughout the summer have been consumed by OWS races. It was nice to take a day off and indulge with pots of tea and food treats. The Westin Hotel in Ebisu, is a very nice hotel. Grand lobby and a great Lounge, where the afternoon tea is offered. I had made advance reservations and was glad I did, because there quite a few people. We got lucky and had window seats. We were on ground floor so not much of an aerial view but it did look out into a courtyard with a water feature. It was a very standard high tea set. The 3-tiered platter, complete with desserts, scones, and sandwiches. The vegetarian option for Skye came with salad sandwiches and a vegetable sticks with dips (in place of the quiche). I thought the desserts were quite nice, but both the sandwiches and scones were disappointing. I didn’t realise how difficult it is to get decent scones in Japan. Really, they’re not that hard to make but by golly, my goodness, I am yet to eat decent scones in Japan. The sandwiches were also so-so. I did enjoy the quiche. Service here was good, as is the decor and ambience. The sofa chairs were so comfy. And it’s an easy venue to while away time. That’s probably why they set a 3hour limit. The food wasn’t up to par as some of the other venues I’ve been too. The tea selection whilst not overly expansive, was still very decent. They used great leaves and most teas were served in glass teapots. The great thing here is that you can order as many pots of tea as you like and try any of the teas or coffees on the menu. Both Skye and I consumed four pots of tea each during our 3.5 hour tea session. Mind you, each teapot got you 2-3 cups of tea. So after drinking about 10-12 cups of tea each, after two hours in, we were pretty much playing tag team for toilet runs. We overstayed the limit by an extra half hour but we weren’t harassed out at all. In fact, after 3.5 hours, we left on our own accord, only because we kept running to the toilet back and forth that we decided we should leave. I still have to admit that the best High Tea in Tokyo is the Peninsula Hotel. That has become the standard, the yardstick by which I measure all other highs tea by (in Tokyo anyway). St Christophers Tea Garden also rates up there in the top 3. The High Tea at the Westin is a flat 3500yen per person which is standard and good value for the all food and unlimited tea (extra with an alcoholic beverage). Afternoon tea is served between 12-6pm (3-hour time limit). It is also a very convenient hotel to get to. Take the JR train to Ebisu station. Take the East Skywalk exit which will take you out to Ebisu Garden Place which is like a big forum, square. Walk right through the Garden Place past the French chateau and it’s the hotel clearly marked on the left hand side.

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