ISO of Afternoon/High Tea in LA or Ventura County
I'm searching for a place for a nice afternoon tea for a little birthday celebration this Saturday. I'm looking for someplace pretty comfortable w/ good service, but without the incredibly inflated price....hopefully. I've been to Jin Patisserie & it was nice, but a little sparse on the comfort for my 8-month pregnant self. I've heard good things about SLS & the Gordon Ramsay @ the London, as well as the Rose Tea Room (I think) in Pasadena. Is there any place you've been that you recommend?
I realize that your birthday celebration has come and gone, but for future reference, I just had tea this afternoon for the first time at Gordon Ramsey at the London and I loved it.
The room is just so magical and absolutely perfect for late afternoon tea - you really feel like you are sitting in the middle of a gorgeous jewel box. The large banquettes are extremely comfortable and a welcome change from most tea venues, which either seem to involve tiny tables or sitting on a sofa and leaning over a low coffee table.
However, cheap it is not. We opted for the champagne tea, which is the regular tea with a glass of champagne. I believe it was $40. (And I seem to recall that without the champagne, it was $28, so the champagne must add $12). Parking is $8.
Still, if you are looking for a splurge, I highly recommend it. The service was spot on and very attentive. There was a nice tea selection and they kept bringing us not only fresh pots of tea, but new tea cups. The food was excellent - tea sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, berry jam, and a lovely tray of sweets.
Gordon Ramsey is definitely my new favorite afternoon tea place in Los Angeles.
Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood
1020 N. San Vicente Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Omotosando -- I wonder if you and your friend were the two people who came in right before my mom and I were just about done with our afternoon tea yesterday at the London. Funny!
We had the non-champagne tea, which was indeed $28 pp and the scones were definitely the best part. I had Earl Grey and my mom ordered English Breakfast, and we both loved them -- clear and flavorful. I got a refill on my teapot whereas my mom carefully sipped hers to last the hour we were there.
I was surprised to find out that we could ask for more food if we wanted! One of our three cute young male servers, Ryan, said he could get us more scones since we were raving about them, that it was part of the whole deal (and not an extra cost). I had thought we were strictly limited to what was first brought to the table. Good to know for anyone going in the future.
The best part was the ambiance -- the interior of the entire London hotel is just unspeakably beautiful, and the dining room where we had tea left me shaking my head in amazement. I kept saying to my mom, "This room is so pretty!" like a zombied-out kid. My mom was equally impressed (which is rare), noting how modern, bejeweled, and yet unstuffy and welcoming it was. We felt like we were in the living room of someone who's rich and has really classy taste -- so perfect for an afternoon tea setting.
Also, the aforementioned charming young male waiters were all so polite without seeming uncomfortably formal, stayed out of the way yet appeared regularly enough to tend to any of our needs, and exuded this warm vibe that made you feel like you were their favorite customer or something. It was an odd feeling (b/c I never feel this way in a restaurant) and highly flattering.
If I weren't unemployed I'd return without a second thought. At $28 pp it's definitely on the less-expensive end of afternoon tea in LA and what you get in the full aesthetic experience of seeing the London in the flesh is rather priceless.
P.S. I don't know about you, omotosando, but our cream wasn't clotted but rather plain whipped cream.
Buttermarblepopcorn, I think you are right that the cream was whipped and not clotted.
I agree with your description of the London hotel as "just unspeakably beautiful." Going there makes me feel like I am on vacation in some unspeakably sophisticated place. Watching the sun go down through the windows in the Gordon Ramsey while sipping tea - ah, what a life!
Yes, I've also been to tea at the Montage in Beverly Hills, which I enjoyed. I give the edge to Gordon Ramsey only because I like the room better than the "living room" setting at the Montage.
Pasadena is outside of my roaming territory, so I haven't tried Rose Tree Cottage.
Rose Tree Cottage
801 S Pasadena Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Incidentally, when I called in my reservation for tea at the London West Hollywood, the woman asked if anyone had any food allergies or other restrictions, as well as whether this was for a special occasion. So, my great experience with the London began from the first minute I made contact!
I had tea at Gordon Ramsay yesterday. I agree the room is gorgeous and the food is good. Our group had a few quibbles though. First the service was slow and unattentive. We didn't undertip (it's the holidays after all) but the service we received didn't compare with the Peninsula (for instance). Also, the server brought all of the sweets and savories out at the same time, which completely crowded our table to the point where there wasn't even room for our dishes. It seemed like he didn't want to be bothered making two trips to our table.
Next, a person at our table doesn't eat red meat and couldn't eat a couple of the sandwiches and asked for a couple more egg/ham sandwiches. Fine. When we got the bill we were charged $9. Tacky.
Our tea also droned on a bit b/c in addition to the service issues, the room was virtually empty despite it being the holidays and it was so dead- one could hear a pin drop not even any music in the background! Not sure if this is a factor of the economy or reputation of the restaurant, or a combination of the two.
The food we received was good, so I won't bore you with the details of tea sandwiches. My favorite thing was a chocolate caramel tart, which was perfect. the caramel oozed a bit on the inside, and the chocolate was delicious.