Story and photography by Jordan Porter.

High Tea at The Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi

I am a city girl. I can rough it, no doubt, but there’s nothing that I love more than a day of shopping, eating and lounging in the lap of luxury. So, in a city where the majority of food is cooked—and eaten—on the street, and the shopkeepers peddle Prado and Vuittan, an afternoon at the grand Sofitel Metropole for a tea for two is a true treat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some of the best meals of my life on those streets, but making the move from a pint-size plastic stool that barely fits a cheek (the Vietnamese are a mini bunch, so much so that at 110 pounds I’ve actually been called “big girl”) to plush lounge chairs, from chopsticks that are cleaned in a bucket to fancy French silverware, from my ritual après feast finger lick to crisp white linen napkins, well, the idea is music to my ears.

Celebrating its 120th birthday in 2011, the old Colonial hotel has learned a thing or two about luxury over the years. I worked up an appetite admiring the vintage Louis Vuitton trunk displayed in the lobby and soothing my chic shopping cravings with a “look, no touch” spin through the in-house LV, Cartier and Ferragamo boutiques, before sitting down to lift my pinky high in the sky, sip some green tea and satisfy my sweet tooth with a plethora of delicious desserts. Heaven.

Outside the Sofitel.

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