Showing posts with label afternoon tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label afternoon tea. Show all posts

Monday, July 7, 2014

Anniversary Afternoon Tea at The Langham Boston

Once a year, The Langham hotels celebrate their anniversary by serving afternoon tea service for the original price that the first Langham hotel in London charged. Back in 1865, afternoon tea was 1 shilling and 6 pence. That means, dear readers, that on June 10 you can get the $38 afternoon tea at The Langham in Boston for only $0.15!

I was lucky enough to go to the Pasadena Langham in 2011, but now it's gotten so popular you can only get reservations for the special priced-tea by lottery only. Knowing I would already be in Boston, I entered the lottery for the Boston Langham, and what do you know, I got it!

My friends and new roommate and I took a long lunch that Tuesday and headed to the hotel lobby. Gift bags in the pretty Langham pink color were on the table .. ooh, but more on that at the end.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Anniversary Afternoon Tea at The Langham Pasadena

Every year, The Langham Hotels around the world celebrate their anniversary with a ridiculously priced afternoon tea. The price is what the original Langham in London used to charge back in 1865: 1 shilling and six pence. That, dear readers, amounted to $0.15 this year. Fifteen cents!

Before this, I have not had the chance to try the Langham afternoon tea, and what better time to do it than when it was only 15 cents as opposed to the usual $39?

Afternoon Tea
The afternoon tea is held at The Lobby Lounge of the Langham. We got a nice table by the window overlooking the green expanse of the hotel.

IMG_1484For this event, the servers also dressed up as if it was 1865. Our server had on a mustard suit and a cute blue ribbon while the female server was wearing a blue dress of that era.

The Langham offers a pretty nice selection of classic and scented teas. I ordered the Orchid Oolong, described as being "highlighted by a touch of coconut to offer the tranquility of a fragrant bouquet of fruit and floral notes in a rich, soothing infusion." Rich, indeed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Afternoon Tea at Chado Tea Room (Little Tokyo)

A pastime I enjoy but don't get to do quite enough is afternoon tea. I've slowly tried various afternoon tea places around town but have never tried Chado Tea Room before, despite the fact that they have three locations including Pasadena.

The afternoon tea is $18 per person (one of the cheaper options in LA), but I had bought a Groupon for the Little Tokyo location and invited Wandering Chopsticks to come along.

Chado has a pretty extensive list of loose leaf teas, priced by the ounce and some can be quite expensive. One good part about doing the afternoon tea is that for the same price you get to choose any of the teas on their list, some of which are a lot more expensive than others.
I ordered the Chado Afternoon Tea (usually $5.67/oz) which they said was "the most elegant blend of the best gardens from Darjeeling." It was a good cup of Darjeeling, though I ended up enjoying the tea Wandering Chopsticks ordered better, though, the Lavender Earl Grey, as it was more interesting.

Our afternoon tea set, served on the traditional three-tiered trays

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rose Garden Tea Room at The Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)

The Rose Garden Tea Room is one of the few places to get food inside the sprawling Huntington Library & Gardens but it's also one of the relatively few places in the area to have afternoon tea.

While afternoon tea here is usually not cheap ($27 per person plus tax - that's on top of the admission to the library itself I think - please double check) I got lucky and made it to the list to attend Caltech's Annual Huntington Tea. For $20 or so, I get enter the library AND have afternoon tea at the Rose Garden.

The sandwiches and sweets here are served buffet-style, displayed in the middle of the room.

Standard sandwich selections: egg salad, cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon.

The scones are served warm in a basket though and I quite enjoyed them, both the plain and the chocolate chip.
They're warm and moist. If you're averse to scones because you think they're hard, bland, and dry, then don't worry because these are not.

The Tea Room does have special blends of tea, which unfortunately are served in tea bags. The tea isn't bad at all, though, especially as far as bagged teas go. The desserts? They are the standard mini fruit pies, chocolate cake, and other petit fours. Nothing special, but nothing to complain about.

All in all, it's a mediocre afternoon tea. I enjoyed the scones and since I didn't pay the full price I had no qualm. Should you go visit? Only if you're visiting the garden itself and wanted to eat, drink tea, and relax.

I mean, the tea room is right next to this:
and this:
Since it will take at least two hours of walking to see a sufficient portion of the gardens, you might as well do it on a full stomach.

Rose Garden Tea Room
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 683-8131
The Rose Garden Tea Room: Huntington Botanical Gardens on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Afternoon Tea at the InterContinental Hotel (Century City)

Afternoon tea is a luxury, not just in paying for it but also taking the time in the middle of the day and is pretty much an extra meal between lunch and dinner. But if you can afford that luxury of time, it's certainly a great way to spend your afternoon with friends, relax, and pamper yourself.

In England everyone might take afternoon tea all the time, but here it is more the home of many a bridal shower and girls getting together exchanging Christmas presents. For these events, then, atmosphere, ambiance, and appearance are all the more important. Afternoon tea at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City provides just that.
Set either in a lovely and quiet side room facing the courtyard, or weather permitting, on the courtyard itself.
The china that they're using for the afternoon tea has been used at the hotel since its first inception.

There are two ways to enjoy your afternoon tea here at Park Grill. You can either order the afternoon tea set for $21.50, or order individual items a la carte to create your own tea set.

For the set, your choice of tea includes some with fancy names that unfortunately gave me little clue as to what they are: Lady Grey, Prince of Wales, Decaf Earl Grey, Organic Dragon Lily Flowering Tea.
If you were to order a la carte, the regular loose leaf teas are $6, while the "flowering teas" are $8. For this media event, we got our choice of any of their teas, all lined up on a white linen covered cart. I got one of the "flowering teas", the Jasmine Lover, which is served in a clear glass pot so you can see it bloom.
Bloomed into quite a pretty orange flower, didn't it? It tasted pretty good too.

Petite Tea Sandwiches:

Other savories are priced at $2-2.50 individually and include:
Grilled Vegetable Wrap
Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream on Pumpernickel, Curried Egg Salad on Wheat, Crab Salad on a Savory Herb Scone

Mini quiches, served warm.

Scone/bread ($2 each if you order a la carte) selections include:
Scones with Clotted Cream and Preserves, Lemon Cake, Zucchini Bread.
The scones are fine though I liked the buttery scones at Gordon Ramsay better. My British friend told me scones are supposed to be kinda bland though. That's what the clotted cream and the preserves are for!

The sweets don't stop there. You also get a choice of Crepe Suzette, Mango Jubilee, Banana Foster ($7 each a la carte)

For the tasting we actually got to try both the crepe suzette and banana foster, both of which are prepared tableside.
Both are topped with some chocolate chips, which everyone seemed to like. I thought it was too sweet for the crepe though it did work well with the bananas.

Petit fours to end. There was only a piece of each to share with everyone, so I only tried the macaron, which was good.

Oh, one more thing. We got a tour of the hotel at the end and they apparently have a helipad! Due to some ... circumstance that I can no longer remember, I ended up watching bits of an episode of this season's The Bachelorette, where she and the date cross over to another building on a high wire from ...
Looks familiar?

If you're organizing something for your girlfriends, this is the place to get some "ooh"s and "aah"s from the blooming tea to the tableside crepe suzette/ banana foster. Everyone likes a show.

Park Grill at The InterContinental Hotel

2151 Ave Of The Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 284-6530
Park Grill (Intercontinental Hotel) on Urbanspoon
Park Grill Restaurant in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Girls' Day Out: Scarlet Tea Room

Did the girly thing. English style afternoon tea. Exchanging christmas presents.

We went to the Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena - you can see the red glass door on Green St when you're driving or walking by. Once inside though, you're greeted with a gorgeous english style dining room with shiny chandeliers.
Since our other friend didn't want to be eating sandwiches that day, she opted for a steak salad while Kat and I went with the afternoon tea menu ($32).

The tea selection is quite extensive and interesting. Kat and I decided to share our teas and we got the "Once Upon A Tea" (infusion of chocolate bits, vanilla, mint & a secret) and the "Fiji" (Flavored green tea w/ papaya and wild pineapple).

The tea is served still steeping with the leaves inside the pot, but you're given a strainer.
They will refill your hot water indefinitely, but I still don't like this style of serving tea - this way will cause you to 1)oversteep your tea and 2) diluting the tea when you continuously resteep it.
True that it's 'cheaper' if you want to drink a lot - but it won't be as good as a properly steeped pot of tea like they do at Jin Patisserie.

I did like the "Once Upon A Tea" quite a bit! Has a nice rich, slightly sweet taste :)

They present your scone/sandwich/sweets on this gorgeous tower of plates:
I like the tower presentation, as compared to just plates laid out on the tables like at the London and Jin.

Among the two of us they gave us two scones to share: blueberry and cinnamon.
The scones are not bad but nothing special. This just reminded me of the oh-so-buttery-delicious scones at The London.

For the sandwiches I got Olive tapenade and roasted red peppers, chicken tahini, salmon & chive spread, and prosciutto.
I did like the olive tapenade (I think I liked this the most) and the chicken tahini, but the smoked salmon and the prosciutto were unfortunately a bit dry - not enough salmon/meat slices and spread.

Next was the petit fours plate (split between two people). Chocolate, cream puff, etc. Pretty standard stuff.
The sweets were okay. Not bad, but nothing special either. The sweets at both The London and Jin Patisserie are better.

The afternoon tea is finished off with some Strawberries Romanoff
This is actually a pretty small dish, not as big of a deal as we were expecting.

Scarlet Tea Room has a much more extensive tea selection than The London, and the space is also beautiful. Food-wise though The London still wins out, and sweets-wise Jin Patisserie is winning hands-down. Still, tea at the Scarlet Tea Room is a nice experience with a nice atmosphere and presentation.
Next ... Four Seasons Tea Room? :)

Scarlet Tea Room
18 W Green St
Pasadena, CA‎
(626) 577-0051‎
Scarlet Tea Room on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 17, 2008

Addictive Scones at the Gordon Ramsay

I went to have afternoon at the Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel in West Hollywood with a bunch of other foodies, including LA&OC Foodie - we've been looking forward to it all week!

In the daylight the interior of the Gordon is classy and gorgeous. White walls with some gilded decorations. Pastel colored chairs contrast with the dark tables. It also has a great view of LA.The afternoon tea menu is fixed (at $28 per person) and all you have to do is choose the tea. Compared to Jin Patisserie or the tea rooms, the choices are fairly limited with Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Green tea, Darjeeling, etc. There were a couple of interesting choices such as Tangerine and Cassis. I opted for some fresh mint tea.

The fresh mint tea is made with real fresh mint leaves - not the dried stuff! I absolutely love the aroma of fresh mint (hence my fave cocktail is mojito).

Everything were brought out at once but T forwarded us a little article about proper afternoon tea etiquette, and you were supposed to start with the scones, so ... first up! Plain and raisin scones (one of each per person), served with blueberry jam and chantilly cream:
These scones were amazingly delicious and addicting. Very buttery, and with the wonderful blueberry jam and cream they gave us, each bite was just absolutely divine. The scones were definitely the highlight of our whole experience. We had to keep asking for more blueberry jam since it was soo good - they really should've just given each one of us our own dish of jam :P

We also had some spinach mini quiches that were oustanding!
The center of the quiche is very moist and gooey - a cheesy wonderful texture.

There were 4 types of sandwiches for everyone: Smoked salmon, prawn cocktail, prosciutto and mozzarella with pesto butter, and goat's cheese with sundried tomato and watercress.
Our favorite of the sandwiches were the Prawn Cocktail - fresh raw prawns with nice texture.
But I will show you a close up of the prosciutto instead just because I thought it looked nice :P
The rest of the sandwiches were also good. Great quality, solid taste, although they do not stand out.

Each person gets half of each type of pastry (one for every 2 people). The different pastries, from the left, are: Coffee&Walnut Cake, Lemon Tart with pistachio, Chocolate&Lavender cake, Fruit tart with lychee cream, and Lemon Pound cake.
I thought they were good but not outstanding - the chocolate lavender cake was my favorite, but overall cannot compare to cakes at, say, Jin Patisserie, or the ones at Ritz Carlton's afternoon tea. Lemon pound cake was pretty good, though.

I would come back for afternoon tea here just for the scones alone, even if nothing else. Knowing they have fresh mint tea will also make me come back though. It was a nice pleasant afternoon with nice views, good food (great scones), good fresh mint tea, and excellent company!

Gordon Ramsay
1020 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 358-7788

Gordon Ramsay at the London on Urbanspoon

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