Afternoon tea suggestions for bridal shower
I'm planning an afternoon tea for a bridal shower but not sure which place would have good food and appropriate setting. Since there's no way I can go to all the great places in LA or Orange County to check out the ambience, what would you guys recommend? Looking for a beautiful, serene setting fit for a bunch of gals, preferably around $25 per person...
I've thrown two bridal showers at the Beverly Hills Hotel's high tea and they did a wonderful job both times. The room is elegant, the food great and they offer live piano music. The price was also more reasonable than I expected, though it has been a couple of years. I also attended a fairly recently tea shower at Chado. Although the food, price and tea selection were great, it is not the prettiest setting. There is also a wonderful place that offers traditional British high tea in Pasadena; I think it is called Rose Cottage. They are located in an adorable thatch-roofed house. Their shortbread is absolutely wonderful; be sure to bring some home for yourself!
In Orange County,
Again, not a tea, but a beautiful setting that is wedding inspiring are the following two (sister) places. It is within your $25 price range, but again, not a high tea. Take a virtual tour of these two Orange County locations for your event. Ambience is great, but not a tea service.
The Hacienda - Southwestern buffet
Tivoli Terrace - French/Continental
The link below offers info on both locations and a virtual tour (not the film at Tivoli, the virtual tour link). And, they are open to the public in the afternoons for lunch buffet, however, have separate areas for a larger group's privacy.
They are both historical locations. And, you can make lunch reservations for your bridal shower instead of the whole "event" thing with deposti, etc., especially at The Hacienda where it is always a buffet lunch.
Just a thought for cost factoring while retaining great ambience and good food.
Note: The third option (Tivoli, too!) at the link is not appropriate for your bridal shower.
Although they do not offer high tea anymore (for several years), it is a quaint and beautiful setting at CAFE JARDIN inside Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar. And, its French, not English, if that's okay.
You would have to plan a special menu so the chef had it ready for a large party, but talk with them directly to see what choices you may make. They can fax you stuff. Beware that the gal can be a little curt at times, but she's okay when not rushed or misunderstood.
See link for more information and pictures.
If you are absolutly wanting a tea luncheon, there are other options, most luxurious in Los Angeles County.
The Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey does a lovely tea - just attended one last Saturday. The space is at the end of the lobby, overlooking the marina, but seems like a very private space nonetheless. Service was very attentive, and the food (open faced sandwiches, sweets, berries and cream) was excellent.
If you choose a different location, make sure they can seat you all together at one table. Places that offer a couch/wing chair/hard chairs with multiple little tables, like the Pasadena Ritz, look great but it is difficult to hear.
I like the grounds and the food at the Hotel Bel Air the best. They will set up a large table on the patio or inside for you. Excellent service. The Bel Air offers sandwiches, which I prefer, rather than canapes.
We had a nice tea at the Beverly Wilshire. The "Pretty Women aspect" might mean something to someone.
If you have a larger group you might want to consider the Century Plaza in Century City. I went to an tea/work event there in a private room earlier this year and was quite surprised at how nice it was. It was probably less expensive than the others.
This topic has been covered extensively recently, here are some links to prior threads. Personally I like the Peninsula because they have private rooms and the Bel Air Hotel because the grounds are so beautiful. I also think the service at the Regent Beverly Wilshire is terrific. The Biltmore Downtown is disappointing.