Afternoon tea; that most quintessential of English customs. It’s something we love to often host in our galleries (ah, we can almost smell the buttered scones), and now we’ve partnered with Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong for a rather special ‘British Afternoon Tea with Timothy Oulton’. Creative, modern, yet steeped in the romance of a bygone era…

Famed for its own legendary afternoon tea, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is elevating this classic dining ritual with a sophisticated summer pop-up in the hotel lobby lounge. A selection of iconic pieces from Timothy Oulton’s Beat Generation range creates a refined yet relaxed backdrop for guests to enjoy the British-inspired menu, with deep hand-tufted leather sofas, sparkling crystal lighting and travel-inspired trunks reminiscent of romantic sea voyages on the South China Sea – just a stone’s throw away.

Mick Jagger once said: “I got nasty habits, I take tea at three.” Whether he’s partial to a cucumber sandwich, we don’t know, but one thing we can be sure of is that afternoon tea was first introduced in England back in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, to combat the slump between lunch and dinner. It soon became quite the social event, and by the 1880s, society women were gathering in drawing rooms across the country at around 4 o’clock, dressed in their long gowns, hats, and gloves, to enjoy dainty morsels of cake and sandwiches while tea was poured from silver teapots.

Now at Timothy Oulton, we love a beautifully prepared afternoon tea, and you may well have sipped from our vintage and coronation tea cups when attending one of our many afternoon teas in store. Our passion for hosting, as well as a deep respect for heritage, is shared by the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which has been a much-loved address for over half a century to those seeking an exclusive sanctuary in the heart of the city.

When experiencing ‘A British Afternoon Tea with Timothy Oulton’ this summer, you can expect to dine on exquisitely prepared treats such as Stilton Tart with Pear and Walnut, or how about a bite-size Devon Brown Crab with Pickled Cucumber? The art of hosting is of course about more than just the food, it also requires a captivating interior and the right atmosphere. Sit back and enjoy your Mixed Fruit Tart “Pimm’s” in the comfort of the Westminster Feather sofa, clad in the soft hand-feel of Vagabond Black leather, inspired by old leather-bound library books. Be inspired by the selection of antique collectibles from Rare by Oulton, procured and curated by founder Tim Oulton. Seating just 16 people, the lounge area has a wonderfully intimate and exclusive atmosphere, yet feels far from stuffy. Relax amidst a feast for the senses, served with elegance and style.

Hosting may have become a lost art, but it’s one that Timothy Oulton is passionately dedicated to revive…

‘A British Afternoon Tea with Timothy Oulton’ at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is available 13 July until 21 August 2018 from Mondays to Sundays, priced at HKD398* per person. For more information and reservations, please call +852 2825 4000 or email [email protected]*Prices are subject to 10% service charge.

If you’re hosting an afternoon tea or dinner party at home, check out our Lost Art of Hosting section with ideas and tips on hosting the perfect occasion.