I brought back several beautifully made snacks from my last visit to Tokyo. Feeling guilty for eating them so unceremoniously while watching an episode of 'The Walking Dead' I thought why not do a Japanese style afternoon tea that would showcase the fine artistry of these treats. I never formally had Japanese afternoon tea but drew from inspirations online as well as from the time I had tea and sweets at New York's charming Cha-An Tea House.
This project also gave me the opportunity to put to good use several colorful dishes I bought in Tokyo in an area called Kappabashi. Also known as Kitchen Town, Kappabashi is lined with shop after shop selling everything from plates, cups, knives, and decorations to plastic display food and ramen lanterns. My biggest regret is that I did not buy more to cook and eat with but also to store jewelry. Next time.
Back in Hong Kong I happened to be at FrancFranc, a Japanese contemporary home furnishing shop, and discovered these lovely plates that would be an perfect addition to my afternoon tea. They are by Mio Matsumoto, an talented illustrator whose work is simple and delicate but infectiously fun and free-spirited.
Instead of real flowers, I thought that a couple of nature-inspired origami decorations would be a nice touch. Not having any traditional origami paper on hand, I took old paper samples and folded this carambola flower and butterfly following the expert instructions of two origami masters on Youtube.
Kirei desu ne? (Pretty, isn't it?)
After picking up a few additional snacks and ingredients for some mini tea sandwiches all that was left to do was assembling everything together.