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Do you enjoy going to Afternoon Tea?

I adore going to a proper British Afternoon Tea!

However, living in the US, there aren’t as many opportunities for that as I’d like. I have found several places that are lovely, though, so I am pleased.

Do any fellow Steepsters also enjoy going to Afternoon Tea? What has been your favorite location? And, why?

27 Replies
cody said

I would love to, but there aren’t many places around here to do so. Plus, I’m always wary of the vague menu (for instance, the Queen’s Tea at RenFest offers “sweets and finger sandwiches”) being a vegetarian… I never know if I’ll be able to eat the savory stuff.

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Thanks for the reply, humangirl!

It’s true that the menus are often vague. Although, I think a lot of places serving Afternoon Tea are open to menu modifications for special dietary needs. I hope you get to try it sometime! :)

In my experience, most of the savory sandwiches have been cucumber, egg salad, salmon, cheese and watercress, shrimp salad, chicken salad, etc. I don’t like seafood, so I generally ask if they will substitute some other type of sandwich for any with seafood.

Depending on your diet, you may either only need a couple sandwiches changed, or you may want a different selection altogether. Either way, I hope you can sometime experience it.

cody said

I always forget about egg salad. I actually have a pretty tasty-looking recipe in a tea book… I’ll have to add it to my to-try pile.

And I really want to love cucumber & cream cheese, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Sad.

I can understand not loving cucumber sandwiches. I don’t think I’d like them outside the context of afternoon tea, but somehow they are usually ok for me then. ;)

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I love going to tea! I don’t get to indulge in the activity very often, though, but, at least once a year I go to tea. It’s my mother’s day present from my daughters!

What a lovely Mother’s Day present!

I try to go as often as possible, but fewer & fewer places are serving afternoon tea. :(

Plus, it is usually fairly pricy, so I don’t get to go as often as I’d like.

Have you found a favorite location for your tea outings?

Yes, it’s true, it is hard to find a good place to go. I do have a favorite place, it’s called Myrtle’s Tea House and it’s in Ridgefield, Washington. I love it not only because the food is absolutely fantastic (best I’ve tasted from a tea house, and I’ve been to a few), but also because the people who run the establishment are so wonderful. Absolutely warm and inviting.

How lovely! It’s wonderful to find a place that is not only tasty, but really well run.

I looked up Myrtle’s Tea House & it looks wonderful! How lovely to have such a lovely tea house nearby. :)

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Some of my favorite places for afternoon tea are:

—The Willard Hotel, Washington, DC [Consistently good. Sadly, only served seasonally.]
—Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant, New York, NY [Lovely restaurant, fantastic view of Central Park.]
—The Grant Hotel, San Diego, CA [Ages ago, so I don’t know if it’s still offered.]
—Pinkadilly Tea, Fredericksburg, VA [Tiny tea house with delicious food.]
—Huntington Library, San Marino, CA [The tea service wasn’t great, but the gardens are so beautiful.]
—The Dorchester, London, England [Absolutely delicious roasted chicken tea sandwiches.]
—The Four Seasons, Washington, DC [Sadly, they no longer serve Afternoon Tea.]
—Fortnum & Mason, London, England [I like the tradition here.]
—Ritz Carlton, McLean, VA [Very tasty.]
—Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA [Lovely tea, with an amazing view of the ocean.]

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Mel said

I have never been to afternoon tea, but I want to! I was a cook at Four Seasons for a while and it seemed I was always stuck with making the tea sandwiches, so I was turned off from it. I would try it though.

I wanted to see a gong fu tea service, but didn’t find any Chinese restaurant in Chicago that had any. I did get to see a Japanese tea service, that was fun.

Thanks for your response, Mel.

I bet it was quite labor-intensive to make the tea sandwiches. I’ve prepared afternoon tea at home, for celebrations, and the sandwiches take a surprising amount of time.

I bet the Japanese tea service was lovely.

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Glamorosi said

My Mother and I do afternoon tea several times a month. Sometimes we go to the Ritz Carlton here in Philly, and every two weeks or so I serve it here at home. We go all out to make a beautiful table and serve homemade goodies: tea sandwiches, appetizers, soups, pastries and ice cream.

We love shopping for teas for these lunches and coming up with themes and pairings. I also make tisanes with herbs from my garden.

Hopefully I still have a good many years left in my current career, but in the future I am planning to open a small place that serves afternoon tea.

How wonderful!!! It must be such fun to have afternoon tea so often! You are clearly a devotee.

Do you have any favorite recipes that you make for most of the goodies you serve at home?

Glamorosi said

The menus wind up being about a variety of things: this week’s favorite tea, what ingredients I found at the Italian Market (a year-round open-air foodie place), what is ripe and/or abundant in my garden, what I’m craving, and sometimes vintage china purchases I’m aiming to justify, as in, it’s okay to keep adding to my collection if it works for a tea party theme. ;)

I forgot about the Italian Market—-that’s making my mouth water!

Too funny about justifying the china purchases! True, though. If it works for a theme, it needs to be kept. :)

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I forgot to add to my list the Dunbar Tea Shop, in Sandwich, MA. Their food is delicious & the setting is so lovely——just across from a still-working corn mill on a pond.

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Going for afternoon tea is one of my favorite things to do. My favorite places:

- Astor Court at the St Regis in NYC – tres elegant!
- the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. I have had tea at the Empress a few times, the first, and most wonderful time was in the mid 70’s, before the whole world discovered it. It is quite the experience.
- many, many small tea rooms around the USA and Canada. The Windsor Tea Shop south of Boston makes the most wonderful scones; Teaberry’s in NJ is spectacular; The Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena is not to be missed; the list goes on and on.

I must disagree with your statement about the scarcity of places for afternoon tea. These websites are great resources for finding places near you; there are hundreds:
- Steepster’s ‘Places’ list
- www.teaguide.net
- www.teamap.com

If you love afternoon tea, you will be sure to enjoy the magazine “TeaTime”. Barnes&Noble carries it.

Thanks for your response!

Astor Court! I couldn’t remember its name!!! I love that place & just had tea there for my birthday this year. :)

What is the Rose Tree Cottage like in Pasadena? We almost chose that last year for our anniversary, but ended up not having enough time.

I do like the TeaTime magazine! I wasn’t aware that it was still being published. Thanks, I’ll look for it at B&N!!

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Devilish said

I love afternoon tea! I am glad that in Hong Kong, there are a number of places for great afternoon tea (like Lobby Lounge of Four Seasons Hong Kong, The Verandah at The Repulse Bay, etc.). But too bad, I can’ add any of the tea places to Steepster… apparently it has trouble identifying Hong Kong addresses.

Btw, I agree that The Dorchester serves amazing sandwiches. :) London is one of the best places for tea in this world!

Those who love tea and are planning to visit London may refer to this link:
http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/features/5603/London-s_best_afternoon_teas.html

There are lots of good tea places on the list and I am going to try them one by one (hopefully)! :9

Thanks for your response, Devilish!

I’m so glad to have found another afternoon tea devotee! How fortunate you are to have so many lovely places in Hong Kong for tea! I’ve heard wonderful things about several of those places.

Keep us posted on the places you try in London, too! :)

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amandajo said

I actually had my first experience with Afternoon Tea last week. My sister is moving to Alaska here in about a week. For her going away party, we went to a little local tea room/antique store here in Wichita called “The Cup and Saucer” for “Gone With the Wind Tea”. She is a Gone With the Wind Fanatic. We walked in and they were playing the theme from Gone with the Wind (which was on loop the entire time!) We dined on Scarlett’s favorite tomato sandwich, Rhett Butler’s Blackforest Pinwheels, Mammie’s Pecan Tart, along with a host of other themed menu items. The tea was served in little antique tea pots, each with their own unique design. It was very lovely, and almost like stepping back in time for an afternoon.

How fun! That sounds like a really neat tea theme!!

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