What People are Saying About Us

Tet Lifestyle Collection Written by Edward Dalton

Art, lifestyle and a lot of heart. Photos by Julie Vola

Tet Lifestyle Collection (TLC) is an organisation which always wants to have a big heart, and an even bigger impact on the places where they do business.

Over a decade of success has been overseen by two passionate leaders. Artist Dinh Khac Tiep combines his creativity and fastidious attention to detail with host Pete Wilkes’ desire to bring quality food and beverages in a homely atmosphere.

After taking a four-year break from their old haunt, the team are back up in Sapa with a couple of exciting new projects joining their collection of boutique properties.

Artful Coffee

Maison de Tet Décor (156 Tu Hoa, Tay Ho) and its home-roasted coffees are well known in Hanoi. The décor is as recognisable as the smell of their freshly baked cakes and the appearance of that magnificent French villa. The concept for the interior was put together by Tiep, an artist who refuses to be rushed.

“The world is moving and changing so fast,” says Tiep. “But my art takes time. I’m so slow!”

Tiep’s ceramics are what originally attracted Pete into pursuing a partnership with him all those years ago, and the result is a property which smells like an artisan chef’s kitchen and is filled with hand-crafted decorations and furniture.

Nature

TLC have also been running what they call “nourishment days” for years. These monthly retreats allow people to escape Hanoi for a day of yoga, meditation, organic vegetarian food and other outdoor activities.

The location for these special days, TLC’s very own Fragrant Path (Dai Lai Lake, Soc Son), can also be used for company meetings, romantic nature breaks or group activity days.

Fragrant Path hosts TLC’s plantations, where organic produce for their restaurants is grown, alongside peach trees, green tea and tropical fruits. Visitors are even free to wander among the animals, to pick herbs and other fresh produce to cook themselves.

Visitors will recognise Tiep’s signature décor in every touch, from the coils of incense hanging inside the traditional Vietnamese house, to the hand-crafted furniture seen from the stone entrance path.

Craft House

However, you need to head north to Sapa to discover the newest member of the TLC family, a stunning property which is half Swiss chalet and half tribal tallhouse.

“The more you move around Sapa, you realise everything’s built so close together,” says Pete. “Our main idea was to open up the original 19 bedrooms and create some really large dining spaces.”

Just five minutes’ walk from Sapa town square, Maison de Sapa (18 Duong Thac Bac, Sapa) is a distinctive restaurant and café, whose weekday menu boasts Japanese, Vietnamese and Western cuisine, making way for a buffet from Friday to Sunday.

“We want it to be a craft house, too,” Pete explains. “Furbrew are brewing their beer here, and we’ve got KOK Coffee coming up to roast coffee here, too.”

Furbrew will also be involved in the September Sapa beer festival, to coincide with the Sapa Marathon.

In addition to the signature décor and impressive menu, Maison de Sapa will include a boutique shop, beer garden and evening entertainment on an interior, elevated stage.

After summer, the five spacious en-suite guest rooms featuring rustic décor and modern comforts, will be ready to receive overnight visitors.

Unwind

A 20-minute complimentary shuttle bus from Maison de Sapa down to Tavan village will take visitors to an upcoming addition to TLC.

The La Dao Spa Tavan, a luxurious new spa, which also doubles as a restaurant, café and drinking hall, will open in May.

With breathtaking panoramic views of terraced valley farms and mountains, the spa will offer visitors to Sapa the chance to enjoy activities which aren’t trekking related.

As with all of TLC’s properties, most of the jobs are given to local people, who receive training and the opportunity to join a company which looks after its own.

 

For more information on any of Tet Lifestyle Collection’s properties, visit tet-lifestyle-collection.com or email info@tet-lifestyle-collection.com

Click on this link to read the article online

Lonely Planet 2016 Top Choice Cafés in Hanoi

January 2016  Written by The Lonely Planet

Sumptuous, healthy and organic (wherever possible) wholefoods are presented with aplomb in this, one of Hanoi’s loveliest settings, an expansive, airy villa overlooking lake Hay To.

Address
36 Tua Hoa, Nghi Tam, Tay Ho
 Telephone 
+84 966 611 383
 More information
tet-lifestyle-collection.com
 Prices
meals from 120,000d
 Opening hours
7am-10pm

Maison de Tet Décor is at 36 Tu Hoa, Nghi Tam Village, Tay Ho, Hanoi, very close to The Sheraton

Click on this link to read the article online

The Coffee Roasters

December 2015  Written by The Word Magazine

Tet Decor has been my favourite coffee spot for a while now. I’m no coffee expert (more of an addict, really), but I knew the coffee was good, worlds above your usual ca phe
den da. It turns out that Maison de Tet decor has teamed up with KOK Coffee, and has begun to roast its own beans, sourced directly from farmers in the northern provinces of Son La and Dien Bien Phu as well as imported from many locations around the globe.

Pete Wilkes of TET Lifestyle Collection and Ashley Yang of KOK Coffee invited us to inspect their roasting headquarters, a few doors down from Maison de Tet Decor on West Lake. It’s a small studio on the first floor of a villa, filled to the brim with burlap sacks of beans and coffee paraphernalia. When we arrived, Ashley and her husband Andrew were bustling around, preparing for a five-day coffee convention in Seoul.

read more…

Address
156 Tua Hoa, Nghi Tam, Tay Ho
 
Telephone 
+84 966 611 383
 
More information
tet-lifestyle-collection.com
 

The Top 40 Cafés in Vietnam

December 2015  Written by The Word Vietnam

Hanoi

Topping the list of the capital’s coffee spots is Cong Caphe. The mini-chain now boasts 16 locations, all consistently decked out in Communist-inspired garb and still whipping up delicious coconut coffees since their start in 2007.

Knocked from the top this year is Hanoi Social Club, loved for its cozy vibes and veggie-friendly fare, and the occasional night of intimate live music that you’ll probably miss if you don’t have your finger on the pulse.

Self-professed advocate of all things fair trade, Tay Ho’s Oriberry has risen in the ranks to third place. Is it that locally-sourced array of coffees and teas? Or the unique handmade pottery for sale? Or could it be those epic views of West Lake we can’t get enough of?

Coffee awareness seems to be a growing trend, with Maison de Tet Decor Cafe hot on the heels of its West Lake neighbour. Occupying a beautiful villa filled to the brim with flawless decor, the cafe has recently begun roasting its own locally-sourced beans on site.

The creative among us prefer Manzi Artspace, a café on a mission to be Hanoi’s home for all things art. When you want to sip a smoothie and discuss aesthetics, head to this quaint Ba Dinh villa.

Maison de Tet Décor is at 36 Tu Hoa, Nghi Tam Village, Tay Ho, Hanoi, very close to The Sheraton

Click on this link to read the article online

KOK Coffee and Maison de Tet Décor Café

November 2015  Written by The Word Vietnam

Homegrown coffee-roasting house, KOK, have teamed up with Maison de Tet Décor, to not just offer their coffee at the Tay Ho establishment, but to roast it on-site.

Roasting a range of single origin and mixed blend coffees as well the very popular Elemental Blend Range Collection, KOK works to source the best in-season, ethically farmed and traded beans from Vietnam and around the globe. At Maison de Tet Décor, all of KOK’s eight elemental blends are on off to enjoy by the cup or to buy freshly roasted to take home. KOK will also be running coffee workshops where participants can sample coffees from around the world and learn to differentiate between the various aromas and flavours of coffee.

Maison de Tet Décor is at 36 Tu Hoa, Nghi Tam Village, Tay Ho, Hanoi, very close to The Sheraton

Click on this link to read the article online

Maison de Tet Décor Café

Wednesday, 04 March 2015  Written by David Mann

The best way to overcome the March winter blues in Hanoi is heading indoors and diving into a big bowl of homemade tomato soup — accompanied by a crusty baguette, of course.

That’s how I ended up at Maison de Tet Décor one drizzly Sunday before Tet. This handsome French villa on Ven Ho Street overlooks West Lake and offers three snugly furnished levels festooned with local art, rustic wooden benches and comfy cushions woven from Sapa-sourced fabrics.

It’s the fulfillment of a dream for owner and manager Pete Wilkes, an Australian. Since moving to Hanoi 10 years ago, he wanted to create a community hub where he could serve delicious, home-cooked food in a relaxed and friendly environment. But he also wanted to employ and train disadvantaged youth to make a larger impact.

In 2013, he opened the original Tet Décor Café and from that experience he has established his pièce de résistance — the Maison de Tet Décor.

Aside from a mountain of freshly baked cakes and pastries adorning the entrance table, regulars will also notice some new additions to the menu, including a delicious range of soups, homemade burgers and seasonal specialities like the beef bourguignon in slow cooked red wine beef stew (VND180,000) or the roast chicken rubbed with garlic, thyme and Dijon mustard with homemade gravy (VND180,000).

Those seeking a lighter option may find themselves seduced by the winter salad (VND150,000) — a refreshing combination of pomelo, raisins, apple, rocket, almonds and a nice, creamy goats cheese. — David Mann

Maison de Tet Décor Café is at 36 Duong Ven Ho, Tay Ho, Hanoi

Click on this link to read the article online

Maison de Tet Décor

Wednesday, 07 January 2015  Written by The Word Magazine

If you’re a fan of Tet Décor Café and Backyard Bia Hoi, then you’ll like the latest offering from entrepreneur and man behind the scenes, Pete Wilkes.

Located on West Lake on the opposite side of the water to Al Fresco’s, Don’s and The Rebublic, and set in a mock-colonial, yellow-washed walled villa, like its sister locations, Maison de Tet Décor oozes rustic class, and of course, tasty café-style fare.

Selling up smoothies, coffee and juices as well as sandwiches, burgers, salads, organic brown rice and soups, there is a healthy, wholesome edge to the food and drink at Maison, all with an ethnic minority edge. Prices remain reasonable, too, with a meal here going for between VND150,000 to VND180,000 for a main, while fruit juices start at VND50,000 and espresso-style coffee weighs in at VND60,000.

And for anyone into the all-day breakfast, here it is on offer from 7am to 5pm.

Maison de Tet Décor is at 36 Tu Hoa, Nghi Tam Village, Tay Ho, Hanoi

Click on this link to read the article online.

BackYard beer garden

New York Times Review on BackYard Bia Hoi

In Vietnamese, “bia hoi” refers to both fresh-brewed beer and the roadside restaurants where locals, perched on plastic stools, gather to consume it. The light brew is typically enjoyed with snacks like roasted peanuts and fermented sausage and simple stir-fries of whatever ingredients happen to be on hand.

BackYard Bia Hoi, which opened in March in Hanoi, offers an elegant spin on the concept. Set in a lush vegetable garden in the increasingly trendy Tay Ho District, the restaurant serves local draft beer alongside Vietnamese-style dishes made with organic produce. While the atmosphere is more countryside than sidewalk, the unpretentious fare echoes the spot’s inspiration.

“I wanted to take the core of the bia hoi experience — sitting on stools with your mates drinking beer and eating chicken legs from the barbecue — and reinvent it,” said Pete Wilkes, the Australian-born owner.

That reinvention comes in the form of small plates like marinated pork ribs and sesame crackers heaped with smoky grilled eggplant. Fresh herbs are plucked from pots scattered around the garden and used abundantly. Banh goi, pork-stuffed fritters that Mr. Wilkes described as “Vietnamese samosas,” come on a bed of crisp shiso leaves; shredded basil garnishes an autumnal pumpkin stir-fry.

Ingredients are grown on site or on the restaurant’s farm just outside the city, so the menu changes with the seasons. In summer, that means crisp, refreshing salads of lotus root, daikon and pomelo; as the nights turn chilly, these give way to more substantial stir-fries and clay pot stews.

The décor, too, picks up the bia hoi concept, including handcrafted bamboo furniture and cushions stitched by hand from early-20th-century fabrics.

The ridged beer glasses, however, are identical to those you would find on plastic sidewalk tables. In the past, bia hoi owners would make glasses from the shards of their broken predecessors; today, they simply buy cheap ones from shops in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Inspired by the French colonists who brought the brewing tradition to Vietnam, the glasses are the signature item that defines a bia hoi. “You don’t see them anywhere else,” Mr. Wilkes said.

Click on this link to read the article online.

BackYard beer garden

Craft Beer Goes Viral in Vietnam BY AIMEE MILLWOOD

In northern Vietnam, people don’t waste their time arguing about which craft beer is better; there is only one king of brews known affectionately by locals as bia hoi. Not only is it the cheapest beer in Vietnam (and arguably the world, averaging 25 cents a cup), but it is also the freshest. The unpreserved draft beer is made to drink that day, so shopkeepers can only order what they can serve. Each day, thousands of kegs of the staple homemade brew travel across northern Vietnam to be consumed in popular bia hoi joints.

Despite a wide availability of local, regional, and imported beers, bia hoi is favored by Vietnamese and foreigners not just because of its price, but because of its intrinsic place in the local drinking culture. Drinking bia hoi in simple, low-cost restaurants or in the streets is a quintessential part of local life and a must-do for many visitors. Bia hoi brings people together to relax, socialize, and even do business. In Vietnam, the notion that “contracts are signed at the beer table, not the meeting table” still dominates, and it’s common to conduct business meetings over a glass of bia hoi.

Microbreweries and Czech-style beer halls have sprouted up across Vietnam, catering to those seeking a more upscale drinking environment. However, none of these have captured hearts of clientele for whom bia hoi is not just a brew, but a time-honored tradition.

That is, until now. Enter BackYard Bia Hoi a beer garden that’s reinventing the traditional bia hoi experience. The 600-square meter open-air space exudes elemental design with natural accents like bamboo stools replacing the standard plastic chairs quintessential to any bia hoi joint. The plush space is far from the typical minimalistic roadside bia hoi spot, but BackYard Bia Hoi isn’t forgetting its roots. Built from an original fisherman shelter and decorated with handcrafted textiles, the kitchen serves up gourmet twists on staple bia hoi menu items. In addition to fresh Hanoi draft beer, BackYard Bia Hoi offers Vietnamese tapas, noodle bowls, and barbecue, and imported wine and craft cocktails sweetened with natural sugarcane.

BackYard Bia Hoi is managed by TET Lifestyle Collection, who owns boutique properties that focus on raising cultural sensitivity by creating inviting environments where guests can gain an authentic connection to Vietnam. Just steps away from the chaos of the city the intimate lantern-lit bia hoi garden is a place where people can connect in the same way they always have over a glass of the time-honored libation with all the added luxuries of modern gastronomy.

Click on this link to read the article online.

BackYard beer garden

BackYard beer garden re-imagines Hanoi’s staple local brew

During the past six months that I’ve lived in Hanoi, I’ve enjoyed many nights at bia hoi joints. I quickly learned that despite the growing number of microbreweries and craft beers available in northern Vietnam, the king of beers remains unchallenged.

Bia hoi is the freshest, cheapest, and arguably the most popular beer in northern Vietnam. When many people think of bia hoi, they think of sitting on child-size chairs sipping the unpasteurized brew and being astounded when, after four cups, the total bill equals roughly $1 USD. I’m all for sipping bia hoi on a sidewalk corner, but the newest venture by TET Lifestyle Collection is taking bia hoi to places it has never been before.

TET Lifestyle Collection’s BackYard Bia Hoi re-imagines the traditional bia hoi experience. The 600-square meter beer garden exudes elemental design, with natural accents like bamboo stools replacing the standard plastic chairs quintessential to any bia hoi joint. The plush space is far from the typical minimalistic roadside bia hoi spot, but BackYard Bia Hoi isn’t forgetting its roots. Built from an original fisherman shelter and decorated with handcrafted textiles, the kitchen serves up gourmet twists on staple bia hoi menu items. In addition to fresh Hanoi draft beer, BackYard Bia Hoi offers Vietnamese tapas, noodle bowls, and barbecue, and imported wine and craft cocktails sweetened with natural sugarcane.

Click on this link to read the article online.

BackYard beer garden

Hanoi’s Tay Ho Neighborhood Guide

Scattered around the city, bia hoi restaurants are a fixture of Hanoi streets. These joints invite patrons to sit on low stools, drink draught beer, and snack on sour pork wrapped in banana leaves. For a bit more of an upscale experience, Backyard Bia Hoi takes this quotidian fixture and places it in a verdant garden setting. The latest venture by The Tet Lifestyle Collection started by Australian Pete Wilkes, Backyard Bia Hoi is the group’s seventh project in a collection that stretches throughout Vietnam all the way to the majestic hill town of Sapa in the northwest. The restaurant sits off of a quiet residential street and is replete with a koi pond and  re-purposed fishermen’s house in the back. By night, strings of kerosene lamps light the way to picnic tables scattered around the garden. Like the local bia hoi, the beer here is fresh, cheap, and locally sourced, though other beverages offer sweeter options such as fresh-pressed sugarcane juice and rum-infused coconut milk. Tables are bedecked with handmade potpourri, and tapas-style servings are decidedly upmarket: plates of warm peanuts doused in star anise and cinnamon, sautéed pumpkin and banana blossom salad.

15/50 Quang Khanh St, Tay Ho District; 84/6673-6279; Backyard Bia Hoi; beer US$1, food from US$2-5.

Click on this link to read the article online.

BackYard beer garden

Travel and Leisure Magazine Posted on March 17, 2015

BackYard Bia Hoi has the congenial vibe of a house party at the home of a friend with impeccable taste.

BackYard beer garden has the congenial vibe of a house party at the home of a friend with impeccable taste. Run by boutique hospitality company TET Lifestyle Collection, the fun and funky venue serves Vietnamese dishes and seasonally inspired cocktails using produce from its own 65-hectare organic farm. Guests mingle under the flickering light of kerosene lamps while downing pints of Hanoi lager.

ADDRESS
15/50 Quang Khanh St., Hanoi, Vietnam

Click on this link to read the article online.

TET Lifestyle Collection

TET Lifestyle Collection ASIA LIFE August 4th 2014 – Katie Jacobs

Growing up, I was lucky to have parents who not only loved to travel but who loved to travel off the beaten track. We would hike for days through remote landscapes, visit lesser-known destinations and stay in small locally-run guesthouses. Now I’m not going to lie, as a kid I wasn’t such a fan of this. Lying in my tent, praying a bear wasn’t about to rip into me, I would dream about the big shiny international hotels we passed in cities. I didn’t want to stay in a shack my parents thought had ‘character’, I wanted the generic interior, soft bed and tiled bathroom of a nice hotel room. However, a funny thing happened when I started traveling independently, I stayed in those I-could-be-anywhere-hotels, and I hated it. They were generic, boring and I never felt I actually connected to the place I was visiting. So, despite becoming scarily similar to my mother, I now spend hours planning holidays; seeking small, locally-run, guest-houses that embrace the local community, culture and environment.

When I first moved to Hanoi over a year ago, I found very few of these establishments. Sure there were small hotels run by local people, but few were consciously embracing the principals of responsible and sustainable travel. Although there are organisations working hard to increase the market in Vietnam, they seem few and far between. Developing sustainable tourism businesses takes time and these initiatives are still in their infant stages. Or so I thought until I met Pete and learned about the Tet Lifestyle Collection.

On a grey Hanoi morning, with rain streaming out of the sky, I arrived, a little soggy, at Tet Décor Café on Dang Thai Mai Street in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district. Snagging a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows, I settled in to watch the red, orange and white koi drift lazily through the courtyard pond. Admiring the Hmong textiles draped over wooden tables and walls lined with various handicrafts, I was joined by Pete Wilkes, founder and manager of the Tet Lifestyle Collection, the umbrella company to which the café belongs. Although I was there to interview him about the Collection’s newest venture, Backyard Bia Hoi, we settled into an easy conversation about Hanoi, travel and why he decided to move to Vietnam and start a travel company rooted in community development and responsible tourism.

“To me, responsible tourism is about traveling with generosity,” says Pete, “and we want to make it easy for people to give back to the community they are visiting.” Pete and his team hope to not only give visitors a unique experience but also create a community within the organisation and build spaces where people feel they can connect.

Relaxing into the colourful cushions handmade by the women that attend the Collection’s regular life-skills and handicraft workshops, I decided to stay on for lunch. Whiling away a pleasant hour, happily enjoying my avocado and mushroom on toast, I paid extra attention to the food on my plate. All meals at Collection properties are made with ingredients that have either been sourced locally or grown on their 65-hectare farm in Soc Son, 40 minutes from Hanoi. The Fragrant Path farm will soon be opening its doors to regular overnight visitors who will have the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of northern Vietnam’s peace and tranquility, while hiking in the hills and feasting on the farm grown produce. My parents will be visiting for Christmas and I immediately knew that this was just the ‘character-filled’ type of place they would enjoy. With eight properties in the north and plans to expand nation-wide, it seemed that the Tet Lifestyle Collection is exactly what I was looking for.

Click on this link to read the article online.

TET Lifestyle Collection

KOK Coffee and Maison de Tet Décor

Homegrown coffee-roasting house, KOK, have teamed up with Maison de Tet Décor, to not just offer their coffee at the Tay Ho establishment, but to roast it on-site.

Roasting a range of single origin and mixed blend coffees as well the very popular Elemental Blend Range Collection, KOK works to source the best in-season, ethically farmed and traded beans from Vietnam and around the globe. At Maison de Tet Décor, all of KOK’s eight elemental blends are on off to enjoy by the cup or to buy freshly roasted to take home. KOK will also be running coffee workshops where participants can sample coffees from around the world and learn to differentiate between the various aromas and flavours of coffee.

Maison de Tet Décor is at 36 Tu Hoa, Tay Ho, Hanoi, very close to The Sheraton

Click on this link to read the article online.