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Afternoon Tea at the Biltmore (Santa Barbara)?

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Can anyone offer comments about the afternoon tea at the Four Seasons/Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara?

In a 2004 post, LisaPizza called it "terrible." But in another 2004 post, Robeen called it "delightful." I think the Four Seasons came on to the property in 2007 so I imagine that posts from 2004 are woefully outdated.

I had a very good experience with afternoon tea at the Four Seasons hotel in Las Vegas & I wonder whether the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara might be any good, too.

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  1. It is what it is. You are paying for the experience and if this is what you want to pay for, then it is what it is. Terrible or delightful is more a factor of whether you think paying for this experience of sipping hot flavored water and nibbling caloric snacks midday in a lovely setting is worth it. It is not a "Santa Barbara" experience.

    It is a faux elegance experience lifted from someone's interpretation of British ritual. And if you want to experience this in Santa Barbara, then by all means spend your money here instead of somewhere else.

    Personally, I think a picnic lunch on the Franceschi House terrace is a far better Santa Barbara experience. But I also think the Biltmore is a beautiful place to experience. Go for a drink at the bar, splurge on a real meal, gorge at their over-priced Sunday buffet or just walk through the grounds and take in the lovely interiors for free. I had tea there once several years ago and it would not be my first choice to do this again.

    I saw signs for "High Tea" at Anderson's Danish Bakery on State Street which I think would be a far more enjoyable experience probably at half the cost.

    3 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      "Personally, I think a picnic lunch on the Franceschi House terrace is a far better Santa Barbara experience."

      Is this something anyone can do?

      1. re: Atomica

        Yes, this is a public park and open until sunset. It is a very under-used park so you can usually expect to have it almost all to yourself.

        There is an upper parking lot and some picnic tables and benches and restroom and water at this level, but the views are not as spectacular as taking the little walk down to the house where there is a spacious stone patio and unobstructed views, but without the picnic tables or water.

        There are stone benches to sit on at the patio level, and a little path that goes to a private semi-circular sitting area enclosed in greenery that also looks out over the city and the ocean.

        1. re: glbtrtr

          One of our family sayings is "Smaller than Franceschi Park!" when something is really, really small. But it is lovely.