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Published on : Thursday, November 28, 2013
In celebration of International Tea Day this December 15, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts presents a selection of charming tea-spots where you can have the most delightful tea experiences in the world.
The history of afternoon tea dates back to the early 1800s, when the English spent leisurely afternoons over sandwiches and tea in some of the city’s most lavish coffee houses.
Over the years, the concept of tea sessions evolved into an international social affair where families and friends catch up with one another, and business associates entertain partners and out of town guests. It is a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily lives and spend some quality time with your network of friends and associates. Nutritionists also recommend tea as a suitable beverage to rehydrate and rejuvenate the mind and body.
1. The Library – InterContinental Asiana Saigon (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is one of the hidden gems in South East Asia and a city steeped in culture and history. Since the 1800s, the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City have been adorned with captivating architecture and quaint boulevards to feed one’s cultural appetite.
The locals have also cultivated an appreciation for good tea. Vietnam has countless tea factories and a handful of tea cultivation research institutes dedicated to developing over 27 varieties of black, green and scented tea leaves for international trade and locals to enjoy.
Sit back and enjoy a cup of tea in the calming ambience of The Library at InterContinental Asiana Saigon, and top it off with a fine selection of seasonal Vietnamese nibbles.
2. Esplanade Cafe – InterContinental Cairo Citystars (Cairo, Egypt)
The city of Cairo, known for its grand pyramids and the famous Sphinx, is one of the longest lived cities in the world. Nested right in the heart of Cairo is the Esplanade café at InterContinental Cairo Citystars, where locals and visitors alike can take respite from the day’s work and travels and delight their palate with a mix of bite-sized Western and Oriental treats and tea.
Chocolate lovers will find their cravings satisfied with the tantalizing Chocolate Fudge cake. For something a little more local, try the Baboosa, a traditional middle-eastern dessert, which has just the right amount of sweetness to make your day.
Watch life go by in this magical town while sipping on your choice of international tea, complete with a beautiful view of the swimming pool from the hotel’s lounge terrac
3. Zamzam café – InterContinental Dar Al Tawhid Makkah, Saudi Arabia
One of the holiest and more sacred cities in the world, both locals and travellers revel in the breath-taking ancient architecture and fascinating local customs of Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia. An attraction not to be missed is the Zamzam Well – one of the city’s many wonders which provides a constant source of holy water.
Inspired by the famous miracle, the Zamzam Cafe at InterContinental Dar Al Tawhid Makkah is located in the mezzanine of the hotel’s grand lobby, and offers guests the serene surroundings to enjoy various specialty teas while soaking in the magnificent view of the holy mosque, Al Haram.
4. Lobby Lounge – InterContinental Foshan (Guangzhou, China)
Famous for being the birthplace of the renowned martial arts hero Ip Man, Foshan in Guangzhou China is also home to many wondrous sights.
With breathtaking views overlooking the sparkling Qian Deng Lake, InterContinental Foshan in Guangzhou, China is surrounded by lush and tastefully landscaped gardens, providing guests with an unparalleled view of greenery. The hotel is also home to the cosy Lobby Lounge at InterContinental Foshan, the perfect place to treat friends or business counterparts to a vast selection of teas and light bites.
5. Tea Garden – InterContinental Semiramis (Cairo, Egypt)
In Egypt, tea (or Shai to the locals) is a symbol of Egyptian hospitality. The locals appreciate their tea sessions and deem it an essential act after lunch. They also believe that it is an experience best served with company.
Relish in a cup of tea and indulge in a range of sweet treats with the glistening Nile River as your picturesque backdrop at the Tea Garden at InterContinental Cairo. Be sure to try Koshary tea – a popular tea among locals for its light and refreshing flavour – or sip on Saiidi, a bitter dark tea for the more adventurous.