On our last day in Seoul we decided to jam pack in afternoon tea at the Shilla along with market visits and a dinner date with friends at a recommended ginseng chicken restaurant in the local area. A very basic restaurant where you sit on the floor but the food was superb. When in Korea it is not about how fancy the venue is that you are dining at but the popularity it boasts from the locals and a true testament is the warm hospitality from the waiting staff you will receive.The afternoon tea at the Shilla proved this as much and was fancy as you can imagine but far from hospitable or an experience to remember.
The Shilla Hotel is exquisite, our driver drove us up the windy uphill path in amongst landscaped trees. A split second transportation from a busy smoggy city to an idyllic and grandiose scenery. The staff all speak English here which makes a nice change as we have struggled with most of our trip with the language barrier, arrogantly arriving in South Korea without a thought to prepare ourselves in even the basic of words, note to self for future destinations.
If you’re a guest staying here you can sit on the 23rd floor for afternoon tea but walk in visitors are seated downstairs passed the lobby, in to the Library, a quaint and contemporary relaxed area surrounded by large windows overlooking miles of trees and greenery with skyscrapers that can be seen in the distance.
We had the Roger Vivier afternoon tea, the only tea option at the time. Inspired by Roger Vivier, A fashion and accessory designer we were handed his catalogue whilst having our tea.
Amongst a small selection of drinks to choose from this afternoon tea didn’t include any sandwiches. We were served by savoury tarts, mini cheese croissants, blinis and mini cheese quiches which looked like a creme brûlée. And also green tea buns topped with tuna and quinoa which made for an interesting mix.
The sweet stuff came out to delight us in the formation of petit fours comprising of raspberry choux bun, chocolate variations of mouse and layered concoctions alongside mini macarons, brownies and Madeira pieces.
The savoury assortment was great we enjoyed several mini bites of different flavours but the sweet stuff let us down and a lot of it was leftover. Some of which was soggy or just too sweet and the quality of chocolate wasn’t the best either. I did expect better from The Shilla. I understand afternoon tea isn’t their forte, but deserts and patisserie are. We’ve had simple but better in everyday local Seoul bakeries.
COST: £27 each
LOCATION: 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04605, South Korea
DECOR: Relaxed and contemporary
OVERALL RATING: 4/10