Saturday, January 15, 2011

Afternoon Tea at the Grand... What a Grand Experience!

7th April, 2009 - And after all that high-spirited frivolity in the snow, what better way to re-establish some equilibrium than a touch of class with an afternoon tea at the Sapporo Grand Hotel. Actually, it's not so much an afternoon tea as a cake buffet (or keiki baikingu). For the paltry sum of 1500 yen, you can enjoy an afternoon of throwing back as many (or as few) of the mini cakes with coffee as you like... that is between 1400 and 1630 every day, and Sat/Sun/Holidays 1400-1600 (last order). Booking not essential, but it does get busy.

Now the selection is decent, and includes both cakes, fruits, even a chocolate fondue... and the tea drinkers aren't forgotten either. They also include pasta and salads in the buffet for those looking to satisfy something other than their sweet tooth. Overall there's a selection of 20 different dishes, so there's enough variety to keep you interested. This is a reasonable deal considering it's not unusual for a coffee in a good cafe to set you back 600-700 yen alone... But seriously, you need to really question how many of these delectables you're really going to put on your plate. I  mean, have you no shame? For those that don't have any shame (or pride), then pile it high and enjoy.

The atmosphere is quite good - but not entirely casual. This is the sort of place you might meet up with some friends (that you don't mind looking like a pig in front of), or where you want to go when you're tired of 711 meals (for those travelling to Japan) and looking for a different aspect of Japanese eating. Yes, we actually do go to other places other than Mister Donuts. It is not however an Izakaya, so don't expect to be able to have raucous parties in there.

Of course - the Grand Hotel is also where we had our pre-wedding reception in Sapporo back in 2003. It's the old matriarch of Sapporo, having seen it's share of Emperors (though I wouldn't imagine recently) and Sapporo's elegant elite from when it first opened its doors in 1934. It definitely wasn't for the hoi polloi back then. Well - that was a few years ago now. It's seen better days, but still retains some of that old-time class. It's nice to even just walk around and imagine how it might have been when it first opened in those pre-war heady days.
Grand Hotel - Google StreetView
It's an easy walk from Sapporo Station, only a about 5 minutes going towards Odori Kouen. Be aware that you can enter through both streets.... but once inside you'll see a large dining room full (I have to say) with a lot of obasan...but don't let that put you off. It's a very nice way to spend a relaxing afternoon... indulging your stomach and your tongue.
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The afternoon was facilitated by having T-chan's parents looking after L-kun for the day... as it's not really suitable for small children. Thank you otousan/okaasan.


  1. Ooh, that sounds fun. Might have to put it on my agenda for snowfest '11 weekend coming up.

  2. Definitely something different to do, and not that dependent on the weather... can still eat cake in a snow storm. I'll look forward to hearing if it's changed much. Hope you enjoy Sapporo (again), and catching up with friends.