Harrods Tea Rooms Launches Ultimate Afternoon Tea Experience

By Sophie Steiner, January 10, 2022

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It all started with a humble cup of cha.

Tea merchant Charles Henry Harrod first opened his store in London in 1834, and it slowly grew to encompass more than 150 varieties of the world’s finest teas – from the lofty hillsides of Darjeeling to the mineral-rich slopes of Hawaii.

Since then, Harrods has become a household name; it has a strong reputation, one that spans from sustainable cultivation and harvesting methods to time-honored branded restaurants, ensuring the ultimate afternoon tea experience.

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Harrods Tea Rooms in Shanghai continues this legacy, bringing the rich heritage of celebrating tea to another historic architectural gem: Cha House.

Located in the heart of Shanghai, guests at the Cha House can enjoy traditional afternoon tea dishes with a contemporary, interactive twist, designed by their expert team of patisserie chefs in London.

Then, of course, there is the curated tea selection and the finest Champagnes and sparkling wines, the ultimate Harrods promise of luxury.

Afternoon Tea at Harrods Cha House

Afternoon tea sets at Harrods Cha House go for RMB488/person or RMB888/2 persons (+10% service charge). The tea set includes...

Palate Cleanser


Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

Honey bubble, bergamot and Harrods Early Grey granita with Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

Sandwich Selection

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Lobster roll with summer radish and mustard cress; cucumber sandwich with mascarpone cream and Sichuan peppercorn; crispy soft-shelled crab with miso, yuzu mayonnaise and saffron escabeche on a brioche bun.

Patisserie Selection

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Traditional duck-egg Victoria sponge cake with whipped mascarpone cream and raspberry jam; Harrods signature chocolate cake with chocolate crème and milk jam; Harrods custard cream biscuit with butter sable pastry, cream custard and vanilla sponge; Harrods chocolate signature bear with white chocolate yuzu mousse, strawberry compote and Victoria sponge.

And of course, it wouldn't be an afternoon tea without freshly baked plain and fruit scones with clotted cream and Harrods jam, along with free-flow coffee or a wide variety of teas.

Meet Markus Bohr, Executive Pastry Chef, Harrods

We sat down with Markus Bohr, the Executive Pastry Chef for Harrods, to learn more about his 40-year career working and his experience working with Harrods since 2008. 

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

What is your background, and how did you come to work for Harrods? 
I am delighted to have been at the helm of Harrods pastry for over 13 years now, overseeing all “sweet” matters for Harrods.

However, my cooking journey began in my parent’s pastry shop in Germany, where I became passionate about patisserie. Prior to becoming Executive Pastry Chef for Harrods, I worked in some of the world’s finest hotels, which gave me great insight into a wide range of international culinary trends and tastes.

Having overseen many big projects at Harrods in Knightsbridge, from the renovation of our Food Halls to the opening of the Harrods Chocolate Hall, as well as the introduction of several Michelin-starred chefs into the business, I was delighted to use my expertise to create something just as exciting in the Harrods Tea Rooms for our guests in China.

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

How did you change the Harrods London menu to fit within the Shanghai palate? 
When we decided to bring an afternoon tea experience to Shanghai, we wanted to curate a menu that not only included traditional afternoon tea specialties from London, but also incorporated elements from the region for a unique local twist.

Afternoon tea is part of our heritage at Harrods, and we wanted to include some of the quintessential elements of our iconic afternoon tea offering, from the exceptional ingredients to the stunning presentation, whilst also drawing on local tastes and delicacies to inspire the menu and appeal to our Chinese guests.

Some of our standout dishes include the delicious soft shell crab brioche buns and lobster sandwiches, while one of the most unforgettable offering from the menu is Cha Li, the grand finale of the afternoon tea experience exclusively offered in the Shanghai Team Rooms. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

What aspects of the Harrods London menu remain the same and why? 
The Harrods Tea Rooms in Shanghai’s menu is a creative take on our traditional Harrods afternoon tea, the origins of which can be traced back to the opening of The Georgian restaurant in 1911 in our Knightsbridge store.

It delivers all the elements of this quintessential dining experience, from the exceptional ingredients to the stunning presentation of the patisserie, but with a modern element.

The menu includes our traditional Harrods teas from around the world, blended by Harrods very own tea tailor, who keeps the recipes of these blends a closely guarded secret, maintaining their exclusivity to Harrods.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

What challenges did you face bringing the Harrods menu to Shanghai? 
We had hugely ambitious plans for the Tea Rooms venue, and there was some trial and error as we brought our vision to life – from finishing decorative touches on the furniture to finding the very best kitchen equipment. I am really proud of the team for what we have created and am excited to continue welcoming new guests into the space.

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

What are you most looking forward to about the launch of Harrods in the Shanghai market?
The Harrods Tea Rooms is the latest chapter of our increasing presence and investment in China, and I am extremely excited to be a part of this journey.

Having lived in Asia myself for more than a decade, I have always felt confident that bringing our unrivalled Harrods dining offering to our Chinese clients would be a success.

To have brought this vision to life fills me with pride, and I can’t wait to continue working with, and welcoming our Chinese community.

Harrods Tea

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

Harrods Knightsbridge store is home to over 150 tea varieties, many of which have been uniquely blended by Harrods very own tea tailor, who keeps the recipes of these blends a closely guarded secret, maintaining their absolute exclusivity to Harrods.

Guests at Harrods Tea Rooms will be able to sample a selection of teas from all over the world, from the classics through to rare specialty teas.

Harrods Tea Rooms Design

The Harrods Tea Rooms in Shanghai has been beautifully designed by Harrods Interior Design Team (led by Claudio Ruvolo), centered on a striking art deco theme with vibrant textures and quirky design features, all creating the perfect backdrop to capture special moments with family and friends.

Wanting to celebrate the history of the building and the city of Shanghai – and tie both together with the Harrods heritage as an English brand that started as tea merchants – each element of the design tells the story of the tea, its origin and its ritual. 

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

The bespoke Murano lights and the back-lit crystal panels all show a custom design of tea leaves and the plant they are harvested from.

The big rug is made in South China and boasts a beautiful floral design of magnolias: the symbol of Shanghai.

There is also a selection of antique English Tea caddies that show the history of English afternoon tea... there is even an Art Deco silver one that has the hallmark of the Harrods CEO from 1937!

Image courtesy of Harrods Tea Rooms

The color palette finishes and the style are a bow to Cha House and its history: the burgundy red tones of the upholstery, the dark wood of the furniture and the Art Deco brass details and mocha marble on the cabinetry.

Ultimately, the design is a celebration of both European and Chinese craftmanship.

See a listing for Harrods Tea Rooms

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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