A few weeks ago, I visited The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas for afternoon tea. The previous time I dropped by, I felt hurried and distracted–not in the mindset for tea–so I wanted to come back again for a proper experience minus the rush.There are many tea spots that I don’t ever think about revisiting. Afternoon tea is a pricey experience, so it takes a lot to keep me coming back for more. The best places for tea have a way of combining high style with a sense of casual comfort, and the Mandarin Oriental does a great job of this.A sophisticated tea break at the Mandarin Oriental starts the minute you step out of the elevators on the 23 floor. You’ll first be greeted with this stunning Gold Bullion Wall, gorgeously modern and artful.If you don’t notice the low lying tables and elegant dragon-themed china, you might mistake the small space around the corner from this wall as a simple waiting area. Look for the custom 3-tiered serving racks as a sign that you’ve made it to the right place. Even before the first drop of tea is served, the impressive floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing The Strip make a trip here well worth it. The lounge has a spectacular view facing northward, beautiful in the day and even more so in the late afternoon.
Just in front of the Tea Lounge you’ll find 2 boxes of loose leaf teas from the luxury tea company, Tea Leaves. The Mandarin Orange black tea and Mandarin Blossoms green tea are among the restaurant’s most popular teas.
I ordered the Mandarin Orange, and especially enjoyed its bold notes of citrus. It tasted wonderful sans milk and sugar. I’d love to try one of their Health & Wellness blends on a future visit. Their Peace Through Water herbal infusion sounds particularly relaxing–a mix of chamomile, lavender and lemon balm with flowers and herbs mixed in. The scones are tender, not too heavy and have a slightly crunchy crust. The pineapple preserves and imported Devonshire cream served alongside them are a real treat. The preserves are a specialty of Chef Philippe, the French pastry chef who has patisseries located at both the ARIA and Bellagio hotels. I like that the savories are treated with the same amount of thought that the sweets are. The different shapes and textures add to the beauty of the meal, and I especially enjoyed the Curried Chicken Salad Cone topped with a ball of Asian pear.
The deserts do not disappoint. The Pineapple Coconut Tart was my hubby’s favorite (and mine too), and a close second was the French Macaron Puff Tower, reminiscent of a Religieuse. It was decadent and rich with the taste of mocha.
There was so much to enjoy that I ended up taking my set of tea sweets to-go. I enjoyed them later on in the evening in my hotel room with tea from a Tea Leaves’ sampler pack that I picked up from Jean Philippe’s Patisserie.If you’d like a lighter spot of tea, try one of the tea cocktails that the lounge offers. They have Tea-tinis made with Jasmine Pearl Tea and even a Royal Tea Cocktail made with Osmanthus Oolong. I can honestly say that this is one of the best tea times I’ve enjoyed. The Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is where English tea culture meets Asian flair and Zen quietude. If you’re in Vegas and want a tea experience that’s world-class yet intimate, I think you will really love it here.Want to become a tea sommelier and join up with other passionate tea lovers to enjoy tea at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas? The International Tea Masters Association will be having a class in Las Vegas this month, October 19 & 20, 2016. Click here to find out more information!
The Tea Lounge @ Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas
3752 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89158
888.881.9367 (call to make reservations at least 24 hours in advance)