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High Tea?

I am looking for a nice high tea, preferably Westside, but will go to Pasadena if need be. I was thinking of Rose Cottage in Pasadena, but I believe its closed right now.

Anyone know of a place (I like sandwiches better than the scones and pastries and clotted cream, but a mix is ok too)?

Also, a place where you can get dolled up in vintage and maybe even wear a hat is a plus (although if its a choice between that and not breaking the bank, I'll forego the eyelet bolero)

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  1. I always enjoy tea at the Huntington Garden in San Marino. You do have to pay the entrance fee in addition to the cost of the tea, but it's worth spending several hours enjoying the gardens, art and other displays (wear comfortable shoes).

    1. there's a new high tea at the Montage Hotel at Beverly Dr. and Wilshire in Bev Hills.

      1. Hmm this was afternoon tea and not high tea, but you still get everything from scones to sandwiches to pastries at the Gordon Ramsay at the London.
        Here's my review where I went through everything we had, so you can decide if it's something you want to try! A lot closer than Pasadena anyway :)

        8 Replies
        1. re: burumun

          I'm sure what the OP is after is afternoon tea. High tea is what the working class in England typically have when they get home from work. It's really more akin to a light dinner.

          1. re: Bob Brooks

            They aren't listening, Bob. 90% of the American public is convinced that "high" refers to an increased level of formality, and not (as is indeed the case) to the height of the table, i.e. the kitchen table as opposed to a low tea-table. If you gave'em a REAL high tea, say a mug of milky tea and a ham sandwich, they'd think you were the loony one.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Thanks for the clarification. I thought it related to glam factor.
              All of this talk of pub food makes me wonder if London is worth another shot, last time I ventured past Heathrow (which I note has that great looking oyster bar) it was all Wimpy Burgers and Pizzaland and funny tasting oil on the fish and chips.

            2. re: Bob Brooks

              Thank you for knowing that. Even Martha #$%^& Stewart gets that wrong. ::headdesk::

              1. re: SeleneSue

                I did neglect to add that I personally would prefer the big mug and the ham sandwich. Or maybe a slice of cold pork pie... Too damn bad you can't get THAT at the Huntington Gardens!

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Bacon buttie and a pint o' Newcastle... mmmmmmm. Gotta go to a pub for that.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Don't think Brit's has bacon buttie, and y'know their peas are not only a suspiciously bright shade of green (instead of the proper olive drab), but borderline crunchy as well. Looks like I need to look beyond Pasadena. Suggestions?

          2. I love love the high tea at the Biltmore in downtown LA. this time of year, they decorate it for the holidays and its pretty. they also have a champagne high tea as well, the food is really delicious.

            i also had high tea at the Beverly Wilshire ages ago when i was a kid, but i just remember the room being pretty, but don't remember anything about the food. (i was a snotty kid with my friends who only wanted burger king at the time - haha)

            1. Gardens Restaurant at Four Seasons.

              Jin Patisserie in Venice has some great selections, and beautiful cakes.

              I like the Huntington Gardens best though, since you have such a great place to spend a whole day at.

              Jin Patisserie
              1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

              Four Seasons Hotel
              300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              1. The Gordon Ramsay at the London is very nice, and their sandwiches are probably the best tea sandwiches I've had in a while. The Peninsula has another traditional hotel tea.

                The Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena gets raves, although I've not personally been.

                Rose Tree Cottage is very nice, and probably the most British-feeling. All homemade, so it's not cheap and no credit cards.

                I usually like the Huntington, but my last visit was disappointing. It's buffet, and some of the tea sandwiches were too close to the jets so they were almost frozen.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sidwich

                  It's a bit pricey, but I adore Paris In a Cup in Orange. It's darling and the food is delicious:


                2. I second the Peninsula Hotel rec (tho I am booked to try The London next Sunday afternoon, following the excellent recs here)


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Maxmillion

                    I am torn between the Peninsula, which I hear has a harp, and the Bel Air Hotel, which has the swans but is more expensive.

                    1. re: noshie

                      ^ I've done both and I recall the Peninsula was hands-down the best experience for afternoon tea.

                      I think it really boils down to this:

                      do you want to take tea indoors in a nicely appointed and swankily comfortable room (Peninsula - yes, the harp music is just lovely)


                      do you prefer to sup while on a lovely terrace at the Bel Air surrounded by fresh flowers and swans etc?

                      1. re: Maxmillion

                        Well, I just had it at the Bel Air Hotel. First, I think it would have been nicer on a sunnier day, it was quite gloomy out today.

                        I sat in a booth on the terrace that had a see through tarp looking out to the swan lake, but you could only really see the trees. Very lovely terrace. It was very nice service, nice tea (although a rather limited selection). Pretty china, but maybe some lump sugar rather than just packets would be a nice fancy touch (but overall it was plenty fancy). They offered champagne at the beginning and then refilled without being asked.

                        The sandwich platter they brought was just on a plate, not on a caddy. Each person got 4 small sandwichs (curried chicken, cucumber, salmon with a little swath of caviar and a small round one with a piece of egg on it). The cucumber sandwich was delicious, the other three just ordinary (although the curried chicken had a wonderful bit on top that looked like an olive, tasted like a truffle, but the waiter told us was a baby peach). Overall, however, I would have liked more sanwiches.

                        The sweets were very nice, I liked the scones with Devon cream and lemon curd. One of the chocolate berry things with pink frosting on top was not good, but a coffee/chocolate thing was quite good, as was the chocolate covered strawberry. I did not try the chocolate chip cookies or other cookies except for a bite of one that tasted like ginger or cinnnamon that I was not partial too)

                        It was a little loud at times on the terrace, and I did not hear any music playing (I heard about that harp, but the Peninsula did not have openings at the right time).

                        Its a lovely place and I'm glad I went, but I wasn't blown away by the quality of the food (I've had better at the Palace hotel in SF, and I think maybe you can get comparable or even better food with quite a nice atmosphere in LA too). Its very pricey, $49 per person, the child was half price however.

                  2. Have you tried Chado in Pasadena? 79 N. Raymond Ave., heart of Old Town. The tea selection is spectacular, the sandwiches are yummy and creative and the scones and conventional English tea goodies are adequate. Here, Tea is the star of the show.


                    1. I'm not sure how up to date this is, but it'll give you some ideas.


                      1. Did you think of trying the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey or Tudor House in Santa Monica?

                        Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey
                        4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA

                        Tudor House
                        1403 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mamayama

                          Rose Tree Cottage, Pasadena, is still around. It's moved to the house on the northwest corner of Pasadena Avenue and Bellefontaine, across the street from the Huntington Hospital block. Address is 801 S. Pasadena Avenue.