Is it love or an obsession? I may be obsessed with my love for afternoon tea, or I may be in love with my obsession. At this point in the game, I doubt it matters.
I have always delighted in the whole experience; the formality and the deliciousness that comes with a proper tea service. There are many interpretations of afternoon tea from a casual café setting, to the opulence of a Palm Court. I take pleasure in it so much that I have done afternoon tea solo while traveling; as well as sharing tea time with good friends and my daughter. Afternoon tea has also been special for my adult daughter and I. We have been partaking in afternoon tea since she was an early teen, and still enjoy this fanciful experience to this day.
A list of eight Afternoon Tea experiences over the years, on both sides of the pond.
This is PART ONE, there are more!
Ladurée at Harrod’s in London, England – 2009
One of the loveliest of afternoon teas, and one of my first documented with food photos. This was back in 2009, and I pulled out my digital camera, handed it to my friend, and she took a couple photos of this tea experience.
My afternoon tea at Ladurée in London was divinely different from the traditional menus that are offered to you. At Ladurée, I was able to choose my tea sandwiches and pastries, as opposed to receiving what is plated by the chef. Plus, I had the option to choose from the different Ladurée croissants offered, rather than traditional scones. It was a magnificent change of pace.
☕ Reservations are recommended for Afternoon Tea at Ladurée inside the luxurious Harrod’s Department Store in London, England →
Ladurée London at Harrods
Palm Court at The Ritz in London, England – 2014
My daughter and I had a whirlwind month long trip through Europe after she graduated high school, and afternoon tea at The Ritz in London was on our to-do list, In reality, tea at The Ritz had been on my list for a very long time, and our trip to London together pulled it all together. There is no one I would rather have afternoon tea with at the Ritz, than my daughter.
Everything was perfect, and our excellent tea was always poured by our server from a silver teapot. He was always attentive, and continuously checked our tea cups as he passed by. The delicacies served were truly marvelous. The sandwiches, which are my favorite part of any afternoon tea, were traditional and delectable. My daughter enjoyed the heavenly scones, and we both loved the sumptuous pastries.
The attention to detail of afternoon tea at The Ritz in London was impeccable- from the fine china, the silver flatware and tea pot, the fresh flowers, the servers in formal attire, and the melodic pianist. The Ritz has been serving afternoon tea for a very long time, for myself they set the bar of tradition and taste.
For more information on dress code, location and reservations, please visit their website – Afternoon Tea at The Ritz in London
Hotel Le Meurice in Paris, France – 2015
My long time friend and I had traveled to Paris in 2015, and I made us reservations for afternoon tea at the elegant Hotel Le Meurice. In fact, this would be the same friend who took those photos of me during afternoon tea at Laduree, London in 2009.
We both decided on the blossoming tea, which is always fascinating to watch. Once the blossom inside the pot opens, your tea has finished steeping. The afternoon tea service was traditional with scones, tea sandwiches, and an assortment of lovely little pastries. I also ordered one of their special pastries, which was ‘The Lime’. This magnificent work of art was made to look exactly like a lime on a hanging stem. When you cracked it open, the inside was filled with a tangy lime meringue. It was delightful.
For more information, hours and reservation information, please visit their website: Restaurant Le Dali at Le Meurice
Palm Court inside The Balmoral in Edinburgh, Scotland – 2017
The Palm Court inside the Balmoral hotel was stunning. The classic interior, the harpist on the little balcony over looking the restaurant, the impeccable service, the delicious food, the quality of tea, and the people partaking in afternoon tea were beautiful, old and young a like.
I started off with a classic Champagne cocktail with the fizzing sugar cube. Champagne is one of my favorite ways to start off an afternoon tea service, as it adds to the elegance of the event. I decided on the Peony Rose Tea, and watched my tea server exhibit his long pour. It was very skilled, and I have never seen anyone pour my tea like this before.
The Scottish scones to start were scrumptious with the added clotted cream and jam.
Both the sweet and savories were delicate and delicious. I also tried haggis for the first time here at Palm Court. The haggis was made into a bon-bon and fried, it was quite good. I always wanted to taste haggis, but just a little taste. The sandwiches were classic, simple, and flavorful.
The sweets were just that, so very sweet. I actually had to pace myself, and drink water or my tea in between each pastry because things were starting to taste the same. They were all very beautiful though.
When it came time for the bill, I was presented a sorbet on a little cone to cleanse my palate, along with a gift from The Balmoral. I received a little house made chocolate in a little white box, as well as a tiny tin of loose leaf tea. This exquisite and delightful afternoon tea became my second favorite in the world.
For more information, hours and reservations please visit their website- The Balmoral Restaurant
The London Hotel in West Hollywood, California – 2015
Here is a sophisticated idea for a Baby Shower- an afternoon tea. My friend and I hosted this lovely afternoon tea at The London, for a mutual friend’s Baby Shower. Since our friend was having a little girl, we brought in pink balloons, and little pink boxes filled with sweets. The feminine theme of afternoon tea wove quite well with the whole shower, although this will work very well if the expectant mother is having a boy.
The London Hotel in West Hollywood was an impressive location for Afternoon Tea, as they gave us a private room for our little Baby Shower.
Afternoon Tea is served on Sundays inside the Boxwood Sitting Room from 1:00 -4:00. For more information and to book a reservation, please visit their website – The London West Hollywood
Tres inside the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills – 2017
Have I mentioned that afternoon tea with my daughter has been one of our favorite things to do, as Mother and Daughter? We have been partaking in this special ritual for about a decade, and this time around it was at Tres by José Andrés. We were on a ladies weekend trip to Los Angeles, and had afternoon tea inside the SLS in Beverly Hills, which was very special.
According to the afternoon tea Menu, the savories and pastries are a “Playful Twist on a Classic Tradition”. A few of our favorites were the Caviar Steamed Buns with Creme Friache, and the Cucumber with Goat Cheese and tomato caviar. Chef José Andrés has done it again.
For menu, hours and reservation information, please visit their website: Tres at SLS Hotel
B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation Benefit at Veranda inside the Four Seasons, Las Vegas – 2018
The Veranda inside the Four Seasons in Las Vegas is an excellent location to have afternoon tea while visiting Sin City. I have had tea here twice, once at this benefit and another time with a friend. There are a couple of fine places in Las Vegas that serve a high end afternoon tea, The Veranda at Four Seasons and The Tea Lounge at Waldorf Astoria.
Mimosas to start and tea to complete, plus a classic afternoon tea setup with scones, savories, and pastries.
B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation provides information and support to empower girls,and women under 25 years old, who have been exploited, abused, abandoned, and neglected. For more information, please visit their website- B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation
For Afternoon Tea reservations, please visit their website: Veranda at The Four Seasons
Tea Lounge at The Mandarin in Las Vegas- 2015
Prior to the Tea Lounge at Waldorf Astoria, there was the Tea Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental. In other words, Hilton purchased The Mandarin Oriental, and it is now the Waldorf Astoria. I have been to afternoon tea at both the Mandarin and the Waldorf, both were outstanding but very different from each other.
This afternoon tea was the Holiday themed tea, which was both delicious and adorable. The sweets were very special, and were created into ornaments and snowmen with the favorite flavors of chocolate and gingerbread. It was also my 43rd birthday, and it was a marvelous way to celebrate in my favorite fashion.
For Afternoon Tea information and reservations at the current Tea Lounge, please visit their website: Tea Lounge at Waldorf Astoria
Under Certain Circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea– Henry James
Wishing you inspiration and enjoyment at your next afternoon tea!- Trixie
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre