High Tea at 1881 Hulett Heritage House – Hong Kong

Up until 1996 Hulett House was used as a Marine Police headquarter, fast forward to 2014 this building had been revamped into a heritage hotel which featured a shopping mall, exhibition hall and a haven for high tea lovers.

This hidden gem, the creme building (next to DIOR) was located at 2A Canton Road behind the concrete jungle of luxury designer boutiques of Tsim Sha Tsui.

Source: Google maps (double click to zoom)

Once we entered the site we then took the escalator up, walk around the corner and up a set of stairs, here we found a historic yet contemporary site that took our breaths away.

heritage house
Source: Trip Advisor

On the long balcony overlooking the exhibition hall, and peaceful court yard where patrons retreat to distant themselves to the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping chaos of Tsim Tsa Tsui.

the parlour

This place is called the Parlour


This court yard was a wedding photo shoot hot spot. We saw about 4 weddings time we were there.

As we patiently waited in the queue for our seat the staff advised us there were no seating available outside. Even though we saw 3 empty tables, when I challenged the waiter he said they were reserved and made us wait a while longer. It was only when I asked to speak to a manager the waitress escorted us into the bar.

Source: Hulett House banner

Here a waiter hurriedly threw a drinks menu at us.

Taken with Iphone 4, No filter.
My partner ordered a Hennessy X.O and I ordered water that never arrived. Only when questioned they advised they do not serve water here. How’s that for a service.

We waited about 30 minute to order some High tea but was advised High tea has finished they could only served us sandwiches.

We left The Parlour quiet disappointed at the poor service, pretentiously priced food and drinks (spent about $130 for one drink and plate of sandwiches and bar nibbles)

We proceed to explore the site by making our way downstairs to left side the court yard. It was here we discovered 1881 cafe. I noticed people had 2 tier platter on their table displaying colorful samples of finger food. Even though I was fed not-so-long ago my eyes were glued to the food, my tummy rumbled, my mouth salivated as if I had been starved for days. I skipped across the yard and started a light conversation with the waiter to find out what people were having. The waiter advised afternoon tea have finished but he is happy to serve us. Yay! All the negative experience at The Parlour were immediately replaced with a positive one with 1881 Cafe.

high tea

We had a set high tea menu as pictured above with 2 coffees and a coke, this only cost us $54. And service was exceptional.

**** The Verdict****

For a piece of historic Hong Kong I would highly recommend visiting 1881 Heritage House. I would strongly advise to stay away from the Parlor due to the poor service, and overpriced food and drinks. Prior to writing this comment I visited Trip Advisor to ensure that I am not giving the restaurant a bad feed back based on a one-off experience, I realized we were not alone, others have experienced the same treatment.
I highly recommend the 1881 cafe as the service was amazing. The High tea is fresh and delicious, the drinks did not come with a pretentious price tag and food were served in bounty.


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