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Jan 11, 2007 09:46 PM

Afternoon tea? Rose Tree Cottage?

My mom is in town this Sunday and I want to take her to tea - I thought the Ritz in Pasadena would be perfect but they are booked the entire day. I saw an old post re the Rose Tree Cottage and booked it, but then I read several posts saying it was awful, went downhill, etc. Anyone been there recently? I am wondering if I should cancel.

I prefer not to go to go to Beverly Hills/Bel-Air, so that eliminates most of the great tea spots. When I did tea at the Huntington Library, it was buffet-style (for food) in a huge room, which is not the atmosphere I am looking for.

If Rose Tree is bad, any other suggestions? How is the atmosphere/food quality at the Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena? I also saw that mentioned in a post or 2.

Thanks in advance! My mom has very high standards for tea--she always takes me when I'm back east--so I want to be sure to pick a winner.

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  1. Personally, I love Rose Tree Cottage. I have not been in over a year, but I think if you want the "real deal" this is it - complete with the VERY British owner in tux and tails. My mom's friend was a little miffed that you did not get to choose the tea (they serve their own house blend) but my mom and I both LOVED it. If you plan on going, and seeing them in their current adorable courtyard setting, you will want to do so soon since they are being forced to move out to make way for some "affordable housing". Reservations are needed as they fill up on the weekends and only do 2 or 3 seatings a day.

    3 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Considering going there (finally) later this month -- with an out-of-town friend who's an afternoon tea aficionado; wondering about price of afternoon tea there (can't find through search; and surprisingly their Web site didn't list which always raise a yellow flag for budget-minded me).


      1. re: AquaW

        I believe it's $30 plus champagne (they have a tasty almond champagne), tax and tip for the five-course tea (strawberries, scones, sandwiches, sorbet and petits fours). You should call and ask.

    2. Jin Patisserie is pretty good, but it might not be as formal as what you are looking for.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I have only been there once, it's okay, nothing that exciting.

          1. It's not nearly the Ritz, but the tea at the Pacific Dining Car is actually quite nice, and doesn't generally require reservations. It's very old school and peaceful if you're into that (which my grandmother is), and will do quite nicely in a pinch and don't have either the forethought or opportunity to make reservations weeks ahead of time.

            Actually, I have reservations to my grandmother to tea at the Peninsula on Sunday, and I can't believe I had to make the reservation a month ago.