Words & pix: Stephanie Yuen
It could be because February is the prime time to celebrate Lunar New Year; could be this is how Shangri-la Hotel says ‘Thank you!” and “Happy New Year of the Horse!”, the graceful Xishi Lounge is treating those born in the year of the horse to a complimentary Afternoon Tea during this month of February, all you have to do is bring one or more friends belonging to other animal signs with you!
I’m sure you’ve been to this 5-diamond hotel at the corner of Georgia and Thurlow, but how often do you stop by the huge painting of Chinese calligraphy and give yourself a moment or two to drift into the free-flowing energy the painting is emitting? This majestic painting has always been one of the reasons I choose to walk into the hotel via the main entrance off W. Georgian. The other reasons? To grasp the charming elegance of the hotel lounge and enjoy the view up the few steps leading to the greeting area of Xishi Lounge where the warm, calming and relaxing mood is waiting to embrace me! Enjoying a cup of tea is, after all, the moment to relax your body and mind, ergo the mellow pace! Once seated, soak in the harmonious décor and soothing ambiance; do leave any worries outside and soon, you will not even notice the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Be reminded that “Afternoon Tea” is more than well, a cup of tea; do allow yourself ample leisure time, especially now at Xishi where Chinese New Year celebration meets ‘High Tea’. You’ll be glad to hear that this special “Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea” is served daily, starting at 11am to 5pm; meaning that you can turn the afternoon tea time into brunch or lunch!
Right now and till the end of February, with your selection of fine teas is the classic 3-tier full of delights. Besides the orange and plain scones with jam and clotted home-made cream, you are going to be tempted by savouries such as BBQ pork brioche buns, juicy and crispy Duck eggrolls, Smoked salmon bagel and Curry tofu wraps. What about Coconut New Year cakes, mini egg-tarts along with Green tea opera cakes for dessert? To finish (or to start for some), a bowl of Sesame Tan-ren in ginger syrup!
To top these off, there’s live Chinese music performance every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-5pm. Info and reservation (highly recommended) - 604-661-3352