I'm a bit rusty on tea spots. Where's the best place to go these days for a leisurely and decadent high tea? Beverly Hills, Santa Monica preferable. Pasadena (ie. Huntington Gardens) too far.
I've been to 4 area hotels for afternoon tea and my favorite was the Regent Beverly Wilshire, they had the best selection of teas and cakes and sandwiches. The Peninsula is most famous. I haven't had it there in the main room but I've had a private party in one of the private rooms which was amazing. Hotel Bel-Air was nice too, just not great. The most disappointing was the Biltmore. Bad selection and boring Lobby location.
My impression is most of these hotels have it in their Lobby Bars. The Regent Bev Wilshire does for sure and so does the Biltmore.
I've heard the Bev Wil is nice, I've not been. I did like the Bev Hills Hotel because the waiter asked if we wanted more of anything (which was a big yes on the asparagus sandwiches). But the best best I've been to in LA is the Checkers Hotel downtown.
I hosted a baby shower tea at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey a few years ago and it was great. We had tea in a small living room-like alcove overlooking the Marina. Both the tea and the goodies were delicious.
Tudor House is a really cheap, down home english tea house on 2nd (near santa monica?).
Nothing to write home about, however if you're just looking for a quick strong pot of good tea and some Welsh rarebit, it's not bad. The waitstaff have authentic sounding accents and call you "love".
the best part of Tudor is the adjoining store that sells English goodies - especially those great oat cookies dipped in chocolate from London. they also sell homemade decadent shortbreads.