Is it this season's latest handbag release from some high fashion brand? No, it's the new afternoon tea on offer at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing Financial Street! This ingeniously-crafted set of afternoon tea favorites has been created to pay homage to the Chinese aesthetics of a thousand years ago.
The food is served on a wooden rotating saucer, designed with lotus-petal shaped "lobes". There are sandwiches and savory snacks, but it is the four title sweets that really steal the show. They are displayed both within and in front of an open handbag, and the design of each has been inspired by cultural heritage dating back to China's Han (206BC- AD220) and Tang (618-907) dynasties.
The red mousse pastry is designed as a jewelry box. The medallion flower pattern is a typical Tang dynasty motif which can be found in the mural of the Dunhuang Grottoes. The round handbag shaped cheese cake, meanwhile, has the quite lovely title of "A deer in the forest". The designer drew inspirations from the human figures, animals, and landscapes appearing in the Dunhuang murals of the Tang Dynasty, and the pictorial bricks of the Han Dynasty.
The top of the earl-grey flavored mousse cake vividly imitates the back of an ancient Chinese bronze mirror. Such is the chef's skill that the handle of the mirror even has a tassel dangling from it. The pair of free-standing circular pastries evokes a "moon-door", commonly seen in traditional Chinese gardens. Its white and brown chocolate wall mimics the texture of wood.
The afternoon tea has been co-developed by the hotel chef team and a Beijing-based high-end design brand.
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