Information: Heritage Bakery and Cafe Pop Up Shop, Xinyi Mistukoshi Department Store, B2 level.
Heritage Bakery and Cafe: Hankou Street, Section 1, No. 73-2, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District| Phone: 02 2311 1079| Website: |台北市中正區漢口街一段73號之2
Today, I interrupt all regularly scheduled programming to bring you the important news that Heritage Bakery has a pop up shop! I’ve written about Heritage previously. Their dreamy pink guava chiffon cake constantly pops up in my daydreams… The great news is that until October 31st, you can find some of their classics right in their pop up shop, in the A4 building, B2 level of Mitsubishi department store.
Information: Address: No. 38, Songzhi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110| Phone: 02 2758 1861| Hours: 12-6 pm (closed on Tuesdays) |MRT: Red line, World Trade Center/ Taipei 101 Station, Exit 3 | 台北市信義區松智路38號|營業時間：12:00~18:00 周二休
Doublé L pâtisserie is a small neighborhood shop located discretely near the glittering lights of Taipei 101. The shop front is almost hidden from view from the sidewalk by a bank of leafy green plants. Inside, is a warmly lit, simply decorated, and a perfect spot to spend a rainy afternoon in.
Information: Address: Lumine EST Shinjuku, 3-38-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, B2F | Tel.03-5366-1538| Hours: Weekdays: 11:00am -10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm) Weekends and holidays: 10:30 am-10:00 pm (Last order 9:30 pm)| Website: http://www.harbs.co.jp/harbs/eng_menu.html
One joyful discovery made during this trip to Tokyo, is that strawberry season is in the winter in Japan. Every grocery store we stopped in, there were gorgeous, plump, perfectly red strawberries on display. This particular example is in the basement of Isetan Department Store, in Shinjuku. Each strawberry is individually nestled in a small compartment to prevent jostling. (And at 3780 yen~ or approximately $35 USD for 12 strawberries!!) But don’t despair, there are less expensive options in other grocery stores, and even in the convenience stores, so have a look around. Another option is that most of the bakeries in Japan also take bountiful advantage of strawberry season, and there are lots of cakes and desserts featuring strawberries.
Information: Humble House Hotel: La Farfalla Italian Restaurant Songao Road, No. 18, 6th Floor, Xinyi District, Taipei, 110|Phone: 02-6631-8060| Website: www.humblehousehotels.com | 寒舍艾麗酒店 台北市 信義區松高路18 號六樓｜
Taipei has really taken afternoon tea to a different level. It’s gotten to a point where it’s no longer acceptable to just have tea, a scone, maybe a slice of cake, and/or a savory. Instead, afternoon tea in many places actually constitutes an entire meal. Buffet style!
Please note, some places do afternoon tea poorly. First, you have to line up in this everlasting queue to just even set foot into the restaurant, then you have to line up for ages just to get your food. If that wasn’t enough, you have to go through more undignified jostling to get desserts and coffee afterwards. The entire experience becomes a “grab what you can, while you can, before someone else gets to it first.” By the time you finish your afternoon tea, you are a grumpy, carb and sugar overloaded mess.
Thankfully, there are some places such as Lar Farfalla, at Humble House that gets it just right.
Located on the 6th floor of Humble House Hotel, you are transported in to a bright and airy space as soon as you alight from the elevator.
Information: Address: No.23, Lane 219, Sec. 1, Fusing S. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 10685, Taiwan | Phone: 02-2781-8289 | Directions: MRT Fuxing Station, Exit 3, Turn right at the first alleyway, walk 6 blocks, turn left before you see 7-11. |台北市復興南路一段219巷23號
Cha Cha Thé in my opinion, is one of the classic tea houses in Taipei. Whenever I have visitors visiting from overseas, I want to take them here to enjoy some of the most serene and delightful afternoon tea experiences in Taipei. The service is always friendly and accommodating, and the food and tea are flawless. During this visit, they were preparing for a private dinner event, but they were kind enough to accommodate us anyway.
The afternoon tea menu changes seasonally, but it’s always lovely to be surprised with different desserts. (you can see the desserts from my first visit here if you like!)
I take a really relaxed approach to food on trips. But one item that was on my wish list of foods to try while I was in Seoul was the rainbow cake at Dore Dore. I originally thought the cafe was located in Sinsia-dong, but I simply couldn’t find it. I gave up after walking up and down the street three times.
Fortunately for me, my aunt found a branch of Dore Dore at the basement level of the Hyundai City Outlets.
The cake was just as beautiful as I imagined. Six different colors, layered with pristine white whipped cream. It’s actually called “Precious Cake,” but in my mind, it will always and forever be referred to as “Rainbow Cake.”
At first, I really didn’t think Taipei needed yet another department store, but I’ve been warming up to the new Breeze Department store, which is located in the heart of the Xinyi District. It’s now home to my beloved Crate & Barrel, and also one of my new favorites to go for afternoon tea, Cova. Cova is an Italian patisserie from Milan, and their specialties are chocolate and of course, their desserts.
Since April, I’ve been there quite a few times; both on my own, and with friends. Each time, I’ve found their service to be warm, friendly and considerate.
Information: TWG Tea at Breeze Breeze Center, GF, No. 39, Sec. 1, Fuxing South Road, Taipei City 105, Taiwan| PH: + 886 2 8772 4519| Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 11am to 9:30pm, Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 10pm| Please note they do not take reservations.
Before taking friends to a particular place for afternoon tea, I like to try the places out on my own first, to make sure the atmosphere is right, the service is attentive and the food is scrumptious. I read about TWG’s opening on Vogue Taiwan’s website, and decided to stop in for a quick cup of tea while I was in the neighborhood. TWG (which stands for “”The Wellbeing Group”) is a Singaporean company that specializes in curating teas and tea ware from around the globe. They have locations in the United States, and throughout Asia, and just recently opened up shop in Taiwan. The TWG described in this post is located in the basement level of Breeze Department Store. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is quite a generous space for afternoon tea. The front of the shop has curved glass windows, the interior is a mixture of yellow, gold, black and dark wood furniture. The chairs are wicker and black velvet and quite comfortable. More importantly, there is plenty of space between the tables, so you can sit and chat without being too distracted by the neighboring tables. The tables have crisp, white table cloths (my favorite!) and crisp napkins to match.
I ordered their afternoon tea set, where you can choose either to have a scones or muffins, or a dessert from their dessert cart, and a pot of tea from their vast selection. The tea selection was about 10 pages long, which is to be expected from a tea specialist. However, you start to lose your focus a bit after paging through the third or fourth page. (I find that Smith and Hsu’s hands-on way of selecting from their collection of teas, to be much more user friendly, and entertaining, since tea is much more than a visual process, it’s a tactile and sensory process too) I chose a lemon tart from their dessert display. There were also different tea infused cakes and macarons to choose from, but I had the most desperate craving for lemon tart, so that was my first, only and number one choice.