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Afternoon tea ideas =)

Sooo Ive checked out a few threads on this and was wondering if I had to choose between this list, what fellow chowhounders would suggest...

Looking for somewhere with a nice ambience, good service and delicious tea and food items above all =)

Price is open for me and I'm in the West LA area but can travel to Pasadena, etc...as I seem to hear lots of great tea houses in that area...

Can some of you shed some light on recent experiences at any of these: price, food--what they had, how the tea was and the hours perhaps?

Also--I know some afternoon teas do a buffet style which is fine with me too as long as there is variety and the food is very good =)

(trying to avoid the Ritz since we have that in DC too and I know theyre not all the same but yah...)

---The Raymond in Pasadena
---Peninsula Hotel
---Scarlett Tea Room
---Rose Tree Cottage
---Huntington Museum
---Chado Tea Room

And this is just for my bf and myself =)

Thanks so much!!!

I appreciate any other suggestions too!!!

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  1. You have selected great locations for your afternoon tea! I just am not sure if your "bf" will appreciate TEA Time as much as yourself :)

    1. In Santa Monica, Tudor House on 2nd and King's Head on Santa Monica Blvd. are both pretty good. Tudor House is more authentic.

      Huntington Museum requires reservation. I enjoyed it, but unless you also want to check out the gardens and / or the library the expense and hassle seem excessive.

      1. If you're going with your b/f - Scarlet Tea Room & Chado are probably better bets; they are less "feminine" than the others.

        I personally wasn't too thrilled on the Huntington Museum - the food was alright but it was very crowded with lots of raucous.

        Another I'd add to the list is Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena, good selection of teas, scones & sandwiches. Ask to be seated in their outdoor "garden" if possible.

        ~H.C. (I've blogged before about Scarlet Tea Room, in case you're wondering)
        http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

        1. My favorite is the Huntington, though I admit the food is good but not fantastic. However, the stroll through the gardens before and after and looking through the window into the rose or herb gardens makes it my tea of choice.
          Serves I think from 11 til 3:30 (gardens close at 4). $15 entry to the gardens in addition to the (around) $20 tea...so make it a day trip not just a tea trip. And a bf willing to do tea AND a leisurely garden stroll is a keeper IMO.

          1. I was at the Huntington and Rose Tree Cottage both recently.

            The Huntington does require advance reservation (sometimes way advance reservation) and it does require entrance to the gardens as well (which are lovely and well worth the trip themselves). No choice of tea, and this most recent trip, some of the food on the buffet had been nearly frozen from being set too close to the jets on the table. I've been there before and enjoyed it, but I did not appreciate have to let my sandwiches defrost.

            Rose Tree Cottage is *very* British. They homemake much of their food, so for example, their scones are lovely. Also, no choice of tea. I have to say that it is one of the most peaceful tea rooms I've been to in Los Angeles. They don't take credit cards, and they can be rather pricey for what they serve but it is the closest to what I experienced when I lived in England.

            I took my grandmother to the Peninsula for tea last Christmas. Very much the high-end afternoon tea, and it's very nice but expensive. They offer a choice of tea. I'm afraid I don't remember the food because some kind of shower was going on at the time, and they were rather noisy. My brother who was with us at the time found it one of the less welcoming rooms for men. We'll probably try to go back at a more peaceful time.

            Not on your list, but I also recommend the Pacific Dining Car for tea. Not a classic tea room, but their tea and food is actually quite good. Their prices are well in line with many of the tea services, and they don't require servations and it's usually very peaceful in the room.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sidwich

              It could be worth noting that Rose Tree Cottage is the only tea room I've been to where the cup of tea is truly bottomless. I appreciate that because 2-3 cups just isn't enough if you're lingering. And it's good, strong black tea. The gentleman proprietor is very quick with refills; seriously, I floated out of there and was up all night. (My own fault, naturally.) Very, very good scones.

              The Huntington tea is buffet-style, a bit of a departure and not for every taste.

              1. re: sidwich

                Rose Tree Cottage lost out when a friend was looking to make reservations for tea. They told her that at least one of the party had to have had tea there before "to make sure that you like it".

                I've taken to calling it "the Masonic Tea Room" -- to be one, see one.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  That's odd. We had never been there before, either, and were told no such thing. We've since been back twice.

                  1. re: katydid13

                    Apparently it's something about large parties. Still... how odd.