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Apr 24, 2007 01:50 PM

Afternoon tea-Boston Harbor Hotel or Four Seasons-Bristol?

It looks like these are the top choices-I'm having a hard time deciding!!!! Is atmosphere the deciding factor? Are the food/tea offerings similar? Thanks!

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  1. Based on my sole experience at the Bristol, a couple of months ago on Valentine's Day, I would recommend the Boston Harbor Hotel even though I've never actually been there. The service level at the Bristol was perfunctory verging on disdainful, and both the tea and the food were adequate at best. The idea of afternoon tea is that it's supposed to be this small, somewhat pampered, indulgence. That's definitely not what we got, although Allstonian -- who has done afternoon tea there many times over the years -- swears that it used to be much nicer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      I have been to both. The food and tea at the 4 Seasons was vastly better than at the BHH, while the service was better at the BHH...son't forget that there are also lovely teas at the Rits and L'espalier...though for my money the $ seasons was the best (save the service).

    2. Bristol: worth it if you get a table by the window, overlooking street. Food is good (esp the sweets) though overpriced, tea selection mediocre. I've had great (altho after a slushy, freezing trek through Commons, what warm living room wouldn't be great) and so-so experiences (rushed service or completely awol staff) for Afternoon Tea here over the years.
      BHH: i've been going to the Intrigue for a few years now and it's definately my top choice for tea in the city. The food is good, although i like the Bristol's tarts better. The sandwiches were better at Intrigue. To me it's not a traditional tea setting, but I love it, esp in the summer when you can watch the boats, and the price is fair, esp compared to Bristol.

      p.s. The Boston Park Plaza actually has a tea sommelier. I don't like the venue, but they have a great selection of teas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TanQ10

        Agreed. The tea selection, service and ambiance are all better at the BHH. I've had nothing but great afternoon teas there. They also do great scones and sandwiches, much better than anything I had at Bristol. I recommend BHH - can't beat the quality for the price.

      2. Thanks! I made a reservation at Intrigue for Monday afternoon!!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Missy

          In case you want a third alternative, a group of us (8) went to high tea at the park plaza and we very pleased with the experience. The room was run by the tea buyer and she was informative and passionate and the teas. As a group, we had the option of sharing as many teas as we wanted (we chose 5) and she explained each one:taste, where it was grown, how it was picked etc). This enriched our experience but may not be everyone's cup of tea. The food was good with a bunch to tea influenced foods such as tea smoked salmon, earl grey infused port and tea infused creme brule, as well as the usual scone, sandwiches, pastries and petit fours. The service costs ~$30.