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High Tea in Boston

intheknow Jul 11, 2009 10:28 PM

I am living in Boston for the next 5 months. I wanted to know if anyone has had high tea at 1. The Four Seasons 2. The Taj or 3. L'Espalier. I am interested in a comparison of both the food and the atmosphere. I hear that the L'Espalier tea is fantastic, but the new location looks a bit sterile. I've also heard that the tea at the Park Plaza is not up to par.
thanks

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  1. hotoynoodle Jul 12, 2009 05:17 AM

    sorry to be pedantic, but what you're looking for is called "afternoon tea". "high tea" is essentially a meal, typically eaten around 6:00 in the evening and composed of much heavier dishes, like meats and cheeses.

    my favorite is the tea at the bristol and i love that room during the day. the taj just doesn't seem to measure up to the old ritz, and i wasn't overly fond of the l'espalier pastries.

    i believe upstairs on the square also does tea on saturdays, but i haven't been.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      intheknow Jul 12, 2009 08:58 AM

      Thanks for your suggestion. Growing up in a British Colony I am well aware that the term "High Tea" is a misnomer, but after living in the U.S. for 30 years you eventually say "when in Rome do as the Romans do".

      1. re: hotoynoodle
        a
        AnnieP Jul 12, 2009 01:10 PM

        The new Ritz (Boston Common) started serving afternoon tea this year, but I don't have any information or experience to share.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          Tir_na_nOg Jul 13, 2009 02:20 PM

          I remember having Bristol Lounge's so-called "high tea" a few years ago, which was more of a light meal and was definitely different from their regular tea. (Of course, I then proceeded to supplement it with one of their good, but over-priced burgers!) Are they no longer offering high tea?

        2. f
          fragolino Jul 12, 2009 09:37 AM

          I had a good experience at the Park Plaza for afternoon tea. They have a tea sommelier who brings back her own selections from the various tea-producing centers in Asia. The tea was fantastic, while the food was only so-so. I haven't been to any of the other venues you mentioned so I can't compare.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fragolino
            lipoff Jul 13, 2009 04:49 PM

            I agree with fragolino. The tea itself at the Park Plaza is the very best that I've had in Boston. Cynthia Gold is just terrific, and has a really unique set of tea selections and a great deal of knowledge to go along with them. I go to afternoon tea more for the tea than the food, and while the food wasn't anything special, there was nothing to complain about there either. The Park Plaza would be my top suggestion for tea in the Boston area.

            Upstairs on the Square was more or less the inverse --- interesting, creative food paired with ordinary tea. But it's a very fun atmosphere.

          2. s
            surferbettygal Jul 12, 2009 02:41 PM

            I hated tea at the Four Seasons! I thought they were rude and the food was stale. I always liked the Ritz-Carlton, Boston before the Taj replaced it. I think the afternoon Tea at Boston Harbor is great and very reasonable. NOt sure they still offer it because Intrigue Cafe is now a seafood place.

            1. w
              winecafe95 Jul 13, 2009 04:19 PM

              If you search the posts....someone mentioned a while ago that their favorite (after trying the various options) was actually the restaurant in the Boston Library downtown!

              Here's the recapped link on the digest: http://www.chow.com/boston_digest/7244

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