50 SHADES OF TOKYO DESSERTS | SHADE 8
In the country where meticulously manicured zen gardens adorn the landscape it comes to no surprise that Japanese would excel at creating beautiful places and spaces which astound with their impeccable sophistication. I am particularly amazed by the ability of Japanese designers to harmoniously marry concepts which result in an incredibly pleasant ambiance, ideal for a relaxing pastime. Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is a perfect example. Here a flower shop has been effortlessly paired with a tea house creating a café so wondrous you would never want to leave. Even though it looks like a hidden secret tucked away behind a flower shop, the tea house needs no introduction. It has become a pilgrimage for locals and tourists alike seeking to spend a relaxing afternoon over a heavenly cup of tea and delectable dessert. Walk through the aisles of lush flowers towards the back of the florist shop where you’ll find yourself in a real flowery oasis. As soon as you step inside the café, you will be taken by the tranquility and sheer exquisiteness of this beautifully arranged verdant space reminiscent of an indoor garden or a greenhouse. The interior is lavishly decorated with fresh and colorful seasonal blooms and plants which are either artfully scattered around the room in the forms of hanging flower baskets and mini flower arrangements, or effortlessly hug the liana vines and drape down the pillars to create a cascading natural curtains. An absolutely enchanting and cozy ambiance is enhanced even more by the soft lighting in the room thus creating a delightful scene, while exposed brick walls and wooden counters add a rustic feel. My senses were further stimulated by the sounds of the trickling water in the background and the marvelous fragrance coming from the mix of gorgeous flower arrangements surrounding me. Sweet Pea was the flower of the week featured everywhere.Thankfully I chose to visit the tea house in the middle of the week and it was not fully packed. I was promptly ushered inside and offered a seat by the wooden counter seat. They kindly offered a comprehensive English menu. Besides a dreamy atmosphere of a floral wonderland, the tea house offers a wonderful selection of herbal teas and desserts alongside a menu of food including open sandwiches, salads, and French toasts. My attention was immediately drawn by the unique blends and I decided to opt for Ispahan, a delicate infusion of tea, rose, jasmine and violet. Soon enough they brought a dainty tea set accompanied by an hour glass. It came with strict instructions to let the hourglass run its course before pouring the tea, so that it was perfectly steeped when I drank it. Wow, as expected my tea was magnificent. Each sip was incredibly flavorful and decadent, and seemed to sooth and relax every fiber in my body. For my dessert I picked The Rose Parfait, and I highly encourage you to do the same on your visit. This spectacular sweet treat was a gorgeous mélange of rose jelly, vanilla ice-cream, strawberry shortcake, foam, custard, wheat flakes, nuts and berries. It was not only beautifully put together, but was a delightful ensemble of textures and refreshing delectable flavors. I couldn’t help ordering another pot of tea and picked Spring Green Tea, a seasonal blend of green tea, orange blossoms, strawberry leaves, raspberry pieces, and petals of calendula. It was equally lovely and aromatic, with a well-balanced combination of flavors of citrus and berries.
UPDATE: I revisited the cafe for breakfast and cannot not rave enough about the french toasts that I ordered this time. Perfectly grilled rounds of slightly sweetened batter-dipped bread were garnished with with whipped cream, vanilla ice-cream, strawberry and strawberry syrup. It was as indulgent as it sounds and I kept going for seconds. Thirds. Fourths.Even though I walked into the café alone I left knowing two new people, a beautiful young Japanese lady and a charismatic young guy from San Francisco traveling solo. In both cases, we randomly stroke a conversation and ended up exchanging our contact information. I love Tokyo for its hidden gems like Aoyama Flower Market Tea House and for endless opportunities to meet new and interesting people.
Overall, Aoyama Flower Market Tea House was beyond marvelous. The ambiance, tea and dessert are so perfect together that you’ll almost certainly find yourself planning your next visit. This spot is a truly charming place with a unique, naturally blooming interior ideal for a solo retreat, a romantic date or a lovely girly chat with your bestie. Either way you are guaranteed to unwind, rejuvenate the mind and soul, and wile away your afternoon over a delightful tea and desserts. Aoyama Flower Market Tea House is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo, within 3 minute walk from Omotesando metro station Exit A4. The arrangements are constantly changed and I was told that they even give out individual blooms for free (instead of just throwing them away) every Wednesday when it is time to update the vases.
Address: 5-1-2, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo