The Fairmont Peace Hotel Revives the Legendary Afternoon Tea Dance

The Fairmont Peace Hotel Revives the Legendary Afternoon Tea Dance
Summer 2013 will see the revival of a coveted Shanghai tradition at The Fairmont Peace Hotel: the famous Afternoon Tea Dance. Beginning on Saturday 29 June, the weekly Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance, from 2:30pm-6pm, will recreate the glamour and vivacity of an afternoon event that was the acme of high-society in 1930's Shanghai. The Tea Dance is the first in a series of events over the coming months that will reaffirm The Fairmont Peace Hotel as the “Heart of the Bund.”

The Fairmont Peace Hotel on the Bund has been Shanghai's legendary hotel address since its inception as the Cathay Hotel in 1929. The Tea Dances held in the Jasmine Lounge by the hotel's gregarious founder and owner, Sir Victor Sassoon, became the toast of the Far East in the 1930's for their theatrical flair, charismatic live music, superlative cuisine and exquisite finery worn by the dancers.

These stylish afternoon Tea Dances were exclusive and formal, and were so popular that tickets sold out in advance. Visitors to Shanghai booked their Tea Dance tickets from overseas before their cruise ships left the great port cities, such as Southampton, Marseilles or San Francisco, bound for China.

This summer, just as they did during Shanghai's ‘Golden Age', guests can dip and sway, waltz and foxtrot on the marble floors of the Jasmine Lounge, as the mellifluous music from a live orchestra cascades from the balcony above. Professional instructors will also provide ballroom dancing lessons, enabling everyone to participate in this elegant Saturday afternoon social gathering.

Here are five great reasons why the revival of the Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance will be such a coveted event in Shanghai:

Glamorous venue. The elegant, classically styled Jasmine Lounge is the perfect location for recreating Shanghai's 1930's Tea Dance tradition. A heritage destination for visitors to Shanghai, the Jasmine Lounge is famed for its traditional high tea indulgence. Above the lounge is a graceful wrought iron mezzanine balcony overlooking the expansive polished marble of the ground floor below.

Live music. High-society couples danced the waltz, paso doble and quickstep to the melodious harmonies of a live orchestra. The Cin Cin balcony was home to Joseph Ullstein's Concert Orchestra, which performed at the Cathay Hotel's original Tea Dances. Each Saturday afternoon, our resident band will again serenade tea dancers with timeless tunes from upon high.

Elegant dancing. Shanghai people love to dance – whether in the park, a public plaza or in an elegant dance hall. It's the perfect way to mentally unwind, stay physically active and enjoy a genuine cultural experience. Tea dances were a social highlight of the week in 1930's Shanghai, and couples dressed up in splendid attire to dance to romantic tunes and more upbeat big band swing. The revived Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance will feature professional dance instructors who will help guests master the elegant footwork and body posture of traditional tea dancing.

Refined cuisine. Sophisticated dining was a hallmark of Shanghai's 1930's Tea Dances, and the menu for the Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance lives up to the tradition. Signature savoury dishes include Citrus cured salmon mille-feuille with fresh dill and fried capers; Blue crab and mango tiramisu with fresh scallion and capsicum crunch; and Black pork terrine with apple and pear gastrique, prosciutto dust and asparagus spear. Sweet delights include Buttery scones; Seasonal fruit tartlets and a Royal macaroon selection.

Afternoon tonic. While tea was the preferred drink for many guests, tea dancers also enjoyed pepping their performance with an alcoholic beverage. Guests at the Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance can choose a free flow of cocktail or mocktail to really get the party started.

The Jasmine Lounge Tea Dance is priced at RMB 288 per guest including one glass of cocktail or mocktail, free flow of coffee or tea , or RMB 358 including free flow of signature cocktail or mocktail, soft drinks, juices, local beer, house wines and coffee or tea . Prices are subject to 15% service charge. For reservations, please call 6138 6886, or 6321 6888 ext. 6886.

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