Peninsula moves the furniture to celebrate a more genteel Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, 12:00am

For its 80th anniversary, the Peninsula Hotel is bringing back some of its traditions.

On Sunday the furniture was cleared from the lobby to revive the Sunday afternoon tea dances held at the hotel during colonial times, bringing a sense of genteel nostalgia in a refined setting.

An entire swing band, complete with singer, was brought in, the serving staff were dressed in period costume - including 'cigarette girls' selling candied sweets and chocolate cigars - and expert ballroom dancers were employed to glide elegantly across the floor from 3pm.

The first 'official' afternoon tea dance will be held on March 2, and the event will be repeated on the first Sunday of every month for the remainder of the year.

Sunday's event was merely an orchestrated show to introduce the concept to the media, most of whom associate afternoon tea with a late lunch and cheaper dim-sum.

To sustain the golden-era vibe, customers attending the tea dances will have to adhere to a strict dress code of 'Sunday best'.

And to anyone who is wondering, that means no jeans, flip-flops, sandals, plastic or athletic wear. Gentlemen are required to be in full-length trousers and collared shirts.

For this nostalgic privilege, the Peninsula is charging HK$495 for a deluxe afternoon tea, which includes a glass of champagne.

Advance reservations and prepayment are required. And it would pay to move fast, as apparently the March dance date is already sold out.