Sunday Tea in Pasadena
For a very elegant tea I would suggest the Ritz-Carlton Huntington, which I believe runs $30-45 per person depending on the service you order. (I last had the higher end one, which includes a champagne cocktail and berries and liquer with whipped cream in addition to the tea and sandwiches and scones, all of which are delicious.
For a very casual and more "rugged" tea, the Chado tea room is a great deal, at I believe $15 per person.
I'd avoid Rose Tree Cottage, as it's not worth the price and the service is lousy. The Scarlett Tea Room has recently opened, but I've never been.
The Huntington Library has a tea room. It's buffet style, maybe around $20, I can't remember. Sandwiches, salads, deserts, lots of items to choose from, definitely a real meal. That's assuming of course that you're either a member of the Huntington or want to pay admission to see the grounds. They just opened the partially completed Chinese Garden for a 6-month preview, so now would be a good time to go. Even tho only partially completed, it is just beautiful and peaceful.
I've not been impressed with Chado's afternoon tea. They have a huge selection of tea, sure, but their food is down-right terrible and service spotty. Sandwiches were large (I guess this isn't necessarily bad, just a bit weird for a tea) and bread hard and cold. We had no choice of scone and what I received was sweet sweet sweet (ick!). Dessert was a small slice of a bundt cake uncermoniously plopped on the tray, that was again, too sweet. For $15, I'd hightail it over to Tea Rose Garden any day of the week instead.
I just went to tea at the Ritz last Sunday. It was very nice, lovely setting and definitely has that "going to tea" feel. We had the regular tea, which is sandwiches, scones, pastries & tea,. The sandwiches were good but seemed smaller then other places I have been. The scones were good and a very nice assortment of pastries. There were 4 of us and we were told to pick 2-3 teas, where normally we would each pick a different one. I thought it was a nice tea, but I like salt more than I like sweet so my favorite is the Huntington Library tea. That way I can just eat the smoked salmon sandwiches to my heart's content and then have a scone or pastry as my dessert.
I like Tea Rose alot....it's not the same as Rose Tree Cottage.
I've been going there for years because it's close by, it's cute and I really like their tea selection & finger sandwiches. I usually get their English Tea set menu. They have different kinds and they are about $20/ set menu.
Tea Rose Garden
Old Town Pasadena
28 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, California 91105
Here's the website to look at their menu:
Second Tea Rose Garden. Just went there this afternoon. I usually get their English Tea ($12.95) which includes your choice of tea, tea sandwich, scone, cookie/fruit.
I've been to Rose Tree Cottage (blech) and Chado (ok) and definitely prefer Tea Rose. Haven't been to Scarlett, but for the $25 price tag, I'd rather spend a little more and go to the Ritz.