Well, after indulging in some sugar-free, fat-free gelato, I thought I still had the time (and calorie quota!) for some real sugary fix before my next engagement. Starbucks was full and Cova was to classy for the day, so I decided agnes b. LPG would be the reasonable choce at wtc more.
It spells TEA to me when it comes to the F&B branch of the agnes b. brand, just because the chain offers the prestigious Mariage Frères teas, and the French tea house has been commissioned a special mix by the fashion brand.
I spotted a new blend called Esprit de Noel
($38) (French for the title of this review), a time-limited specialty. Surprisingly it was still available although it was already well past Christmas. OK it's better late than never so I decided to give it a try. Then I had to find the perfect companion for my tea, something sweet but not too filling. The counter lady suggested the "napolean" type of pastries ($30@) - there were 3 varieties, namely Marion (caramel), Juliette (strawberry) and Vanille (vanilla), the base was the same for all 3 and the difference was in the flavour of the custard filling. There I was, in a tri-lemma, and finally settled for Vanille
after much struggle.
As with other agnes b. cafes all over Hong Kong, the wtc branch was simple and clean, with classic French-inspired flooring and fabric chairs, providing a laid-back ambience as I sipped my Esprit de Noel. According to the in-store product flyer, it was a blend of black tea, orange peel, cinnamon and ginger. There was almond and Bourbon vanilla as well (from the Mariage Frères website). In fact the most prominent flavour was cinnamon, one of my favourite spices, with a slight hint of orange. In retrospect I thought I smelled some vanilla as well as the aroma was very sweet.
The fragrance was still strong even on 2nd brew. I nearly wanted to take home the tea bag as a 香囊!
Vanille, however, was below my expectation. The puff pastry went a bit damp from staying in the fridge for too long, and thus lacked the crispiness and flakiness the pastry should have. The vanilla custard was light and smooth too, with just the right touch of vanilla.
The only other disappointment was probably that I didn't have time to shop at agnes b. the fashion shop!
(The "4" for taste is for Esprit de Noel.)
Noel by Mariage Frères
Value for Money 3