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Tea is a big thing. Really big, especially at hotels. Just last week, Shangri-La Sydney announced the introduction of a very special tea blend that is exclusive to their property and will brighten up even the perkiest of high tea services. The hand-picked single origin 100% pure Dilmah Ceylon tea is available in all 563 rooms and can be sipped in any of the restaurants including their new signature high-tea service. The special tea bags will also be found in all Shangri-La properties around the world.
The folks at the Shangri-La aren't the only tea connoisseurs. There are plenty of other exclusive brews at hotels around the world. Here's a sampling of what you can sample while staying or playing at these properties:
· The Langham: As the creators of the original English high-tea service, you could have imagine they would stake claim to one variety. In fact, the pink-hued hotels have four different house blends to tempt guests' taste-buds. The aptly named Langham Blend, Silk Road Blend, English Flower Blend and Palm Court Exotic Blend are all offered on their own or accompanying some freshly baked scones.
Though we have to wait until May 2013 to watch the film, the holiday tree inspired by the upcoming movie Gatsby was just unveiled within The Plaza. The tree sits inside the hotel's famous Palm Court and, just like the movie, was designed and dressed by Catherine Martin, costume/set/production designer, film producer and wife of Baz Luhrmann.
Yesterday evening at the debut, we asked Catherine if the finished tree matched her original vision. "Yes and, from the first, I wanted the hundreds of 'JG' monograms you'll find on it," she replied. "I hope that this would be the sort of tree Jay Gatsby would have in his foyer."
And the biggest challenge to making this vision reality? "Getting this 900-lb tree to turn!"
Last minute alert! Tonight, The Plaza Hotel will not only officially light its Christmas tree, but will debut the holiday themed tea. For many, especially Home Alone purists, the holiday spirit doesn't kick into gear until The Plaza goes through this ritual, and 2012 is going to be especially glitzy.
Why? Because the theme for both the tree and tea is Gatsby! Yes, as in they are teaming up with the Baz Luhrmann movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1920s novel to apply the roaring 20s glamor to this festive season, even though the movie's release date has been pushed back to late spring 2013.
If you plan on getting a front seat to see Serena Williams's return to tennis and take Wimbledon next week, hopefully you've booked your hotel. But if not, don't fret. We found a couple of ace hotels that still have rooms available.
Check out our three top Wimbledon hotels after the jump.