We have recently noticed a huge trend for high tea and French pastry in hotels, so it’s no surprise that this coming Valentine’s Day sees the leading hotels featuring high tea and macarons in their special promotions. It’s all about appealing to the ladies on this special day and who can resist the flavor of Paris?
Hotels also love special occasions – Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s – although this particular love is admittedly revenue driven. Last year the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong impressed us with their ‘Graff High Tea’ where guests were invited to enjoy high tea while viewing beautiful jewelry from Graff in a treasure chest. “Many guests said this experience combined the best of both worlds, dining in the opulent ambience of the highest hotel in the world served by a personal butler, while enjoying a showcase of Graff jewelry hand-created in London,” said Vivian Li, the Director of Public Relations at the Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong.
This year at the Ritz Carlton, guests may experience world class chocolate and macaron creations from **Pierre Hermé Paris. **“With a shared commitment to craftsmanship, this collaboration reinforces ‘The Art of The Craft’ philosophy of The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong, and opens new creative possibilities for Pierre Hermé Paris,” said Pierre Perusset, General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton.
Executive Pastry Chef Richard Long, and Chef de Cuisine Brook Wong of the Ritz Carlton have crafted two exquisite Valentine’s Day afternoon tea sets featuring macarons by Pierre Hermé Paris. Presenting *Macaron Rose & Coing *and Macaron Mogador, the essence of haute pâtisserie will highlight the chocolate-themed Valentine’s afternoon tea at Café 103.
The popular trend for high tea has also reached Singapore for Valentine’s Day. Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons hotel, is offering a high tea buffet to mark the occasion. The temptations range from lamb, lobster, pork belly and char-grilled beef chops to a decadent dessert selection boasting Champagne and Strawberry Panna Cotta, Chocolate and Peperoncino Macaroons, Gula Melaka Ice Cream, Passion Fruit Crème Brulee, along with Rose and Chocolate Millefeuille.
The finest French cuisine is highly regarded worldwide and has accordingly found a place in many hotels’ special menus. However, Ekapoj Yamlamai, Manager of Food & Beverage & Operations at the Oriental Residence Bangkok pointed out that the food is only a part of the overall experience. “Every place can offer their best cuisine on this date but not every place can have the same ambience – our Café Claire setting is quite unique in Bangkok. The style of a classy Parisian Café enhanced with candlelight will ensure the romantic experience of the couple, and with our renowned cuisine from our talented chefs, we have very strong potential.”
The Oriental Residence Bangkok offers a French influenced high tea set with Sandwich de le Maison (smoked salmon mousse, chicken Waldorf, roasted beef with tomato chutney, asparagus and cream cheese), Homemade Scones, ORB Signature Macarons, White Chocolate Heart Lollipops, Strawberry Marshmallows, Berry Tarts, Mini Cupcakes, TWG Tea and Sparkling Wine.
It’s very important for hotels to attract guests to come and try their special promotions, especially for those occasions like Valentine’s when everyone is ready to spend if something special stands out to catch their imagination. The key is to notice the trend, become that trend, and then offer something far beyond expectations.
Ekapoj agreed, commenting further, “These special promotions are revenue/profit driven as people will definitely go out somewhere for great food, ambience and service, and people will make efforts to pay extra for better food and service.”
For hotels it’s numbers in the books; for guests it’s all about being seen and having something to talk about. And romance. Don’t forget the romance.