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The Peninsula Hotels Around The World Celebrate The Mid-Autumn Festival

June 19, 2013 Hotel Deals No Comments Email Email

With its long history stretching back to 1866 as China’s first luxury hospitality brand, The Peninsula Hotels celebrates its Chinese heritage and the Mid-Autumn Festival across the group’s nine hotels with inspiring initiatives and special décor for the popular festival, which falls on 19 September this year.

Mooncakes, Chinese-themed spa initiatives and Mid-Autumn festive programmes are among the holiday offerings at the nine properties around the world. Locals and hotel guests in each city can experience the Mid-Autumn Festival with a unique twist, while Chinese travellers overseas can celebrate in typical Peninsula style and sophistication.

One of the most important festivals on the Chinese calendar and second only to Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival dates back centuries from the  tradition of worshipping the Goddess of the Moon and also celebrating the harvest. Today it is a time of reunion with family and close friends – both at home and when travelling overseas – to get together to view the moon, drink tea and nibble mooncakes by the light of lanterns.

To celebrate the festival and also make Chinese travellers feel at home during the holiday, The Peninsula Hotels will feature lanterns, traditional flowers (such as yellow and burgundy chrysanthemums) and fruit (persimmons and pomelos), with open terraces in each hotel for moon-viewing sessions. 

Food plays a key role in Chinese culture, and so making and sharing mooncakes is one of the hallmark traditions of this festival. In Chinese culture, a round shape symbolizes completeness and unity – and by extension, the unity of the family – and nowadays mooncakes are given as gifts to family members, friends and business associates.

The wildly popular – and now widely copied –  Peninsula egg custard mini mooncakes were originally created by The Peninsula Hong Kong’s Dim Sum Chef Yip Wing Wah in 1986, with a lighter, more delicious egg custard filling and golden flaky pastry crust replacing the traditional heavy lotus paste and duck egg yolk cake. Every year Chef Yip and his team would produce 400,000 mooncakes by hand, using 11,000 eggs. After a 47-year career as a dim sum chef, Chef Yip is now The Peninsula Hotels’ Dim Sum Ambassador, exploring new techniques and recipes and travelling to the group’s hotels to teach dim sum skills to staff and guests alike.

The Peninsula Hotels in Asia hand-make their mooncakes every year to The Peninsula Hong Kong’s secret recipe, while Peninsula Merchandising Ltd (PML) also create and retail Peninsula mooncakes through 22 Peninsula Boutiques and 20 other outlets around the world.

This year, two US properties – New York and Chicago – will surprise guests with their own ways of celebrating this prominent Chinese festival with an exclusive promotion featuring mooncakes and massages.  From 16-19 September, The Peninsula Spa’s Mid-Autumn Therapy will feature two Chinese-themed two-hour treatments – The Bamboo Harmoniser (using traditional bamboo to target tense muscles and provide therapeutic relief to sore and stressed joints) and the Vital Qi (a deep pressure point massage where Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapies are fused to create an inspirational treatment that centres on

balancing energy flow). The treatments are performed by guest therapists Tony Wu and James Zhang from the award-winning Peninsula Spas in Shanghai and Beijing respectively.  Both are fully qualified TCM doctors – Tony has 20 years’ experience and is a nominee for SpaChina magazine’s China’s Best Spa Therapist 2013, while James worked in a TCM hospital in Beijing for 10 years.

The signature Peninsula Afternoon Tea features a distinctively festive Chinese flavour at both hotels with a special “AfterMoon Tea” of hand-made Peninsula mini egg custard mooncakes, moon-inspired desserts and Chinese tea, together with limited-edition mooncake sets, tea and Chinese sauces on sale. A Peninsula Academy class in both cities will offer Dim Sum Making and Premier Chinese Tea Tasting, conducted by The Peninsula Hotels’ Dim Sum Ambassador Chef Yip Wing Wah and Teddy Leung, Manager, Chinese Food & Beverage Operations (previously Manager of The Peninsula Hong Kong’s Spring Moon restaurant for 20 years).

Additional hotel initiatives for the Mid-Autumn Festival 

THE PENINSULA HONG KONG

Hand-made Peninsula mini egg custard mooncakes are available for HKD 485 per box of eight (including a donation of HKD 85 to The Peninsula’s selected charities as part of the hotel’s 85th anniversary celebration). Orders are only taken online, so please visit https://mooncake.peninsula.com

THE PENINSULA SHANGHAI

The Yi Long Court team will be hand-making mooncakes, while PML mooncakes will also be available at The Peninsula Boutique.

THE PENINSULA TOKYO

Hand-made mooncakes will be available at Hei Fung Terrace and The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe from 29 August – 18 September, priced at JPY 2,880 per box (eight pieces) or JPY 360 for one, together with a Mooncake Coffee or Tea Set for JPY 1,500 for two mooncakes and coffee or tea.

THE PENINSULA BEIJING

Hand-made egg custard mooncakes will be served for dessert in the Huang Ting Chinese restaurant from 1-30 September, while PML mooncakes will be on sale at The Peninsula Boutique. Huang Ting will also serve a special menu on 19 September, including  steamed garoupa with crabmeat and egg white, simmered lobster with wild rice in superior saffron broth and mooncakes, priced at RMB 688 + 15% surcharge per person.

THE PENINSULA BANGKOK

Hand-made Peninsula mooncakes are priced at THB 2,500 nett for a case of four boxes of eight, THB 580 nett per box of eight, THB 480 nett per box of six and THB 140 nett for a special limited edition box. 

THE PENINSULA MANILA

PML mooncakes will be available at The Peninsula Boutique and a special Mid-Autumn Festival counter at The Lobby. 

THE PENINSULA NEW YORK

–          AfterMoon Tea in the Gotham Lounge, comprising hand-made Peninsula mini egg custard mooncakes, moon-inspired desserts and Chinese tea, together with a Mid-Autumn Mooncake Dessert set and a collection  of Mid-Autumn Asian–inspired cocktails at Salon de Ning

–          Peninsula Academy Dim Sum Making and Chinese Tea Appreciation Class on 14 September

–          The Peninsula Spa’s Mid-Autumn Therapy – Bamboo Harmoniser, priced at USD 550

–          All promotions and offerings  are available from 16 – 19 September inclusive 

THE PENINSULA CHICAGO

–          AfterMoon Tea in the Lobby, comprising hand-made mini egg custard mooncakes, moon-inspired desserts and Chinese tea, together with dishes prepared with PML Chinese sauces, plus limited-edition mooncake sets, tea and Chinese sauces on sale at The Peninsula Boutique.

–          Mid-Autumn Mooncake Dessert Set, a collection  of Mid-Autumn–inspired dim sum and dishes prepared with PML Chinese sauces at Shanghai Terrace

–          Peninsula Academy Dim Sum Making and Chinese Tea Appreciation Class

–          The Peninsula Spa’s Mid-Autumn Therapy – Vital Qi with Tony Wu from The Peninsula Shanghai, priced at USD325

–          All promotions and offerings  are available from 16 – 19 September inclusive

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