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Jan 28, 2010 06:27 AM

High Tea

Looking for places in the suburbs and city that do tea service/high tea.

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  1. what i think you're looking for is properly called "afternoon tea", served mid-afternoon with light snacks. high tea was typically served at about 6 in the evening and was a full meal.

    the bristol, the taj, the ritz and the madarin all do it and upstairs on the square does it on saturdays. l'espalier does it on saturdays and sundays.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Have done both the Mandarin and Upstairs, and must say that I prefer Upstairs. But maybe I'm just not a fan of the hotel setting (particularly at the Mandarin, where you're set up basically off to the side of the lobby - okay I suppose for people watching, but I prefer a cozier atmosphere).

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I can recommend L'Espalier's afternoon tea. It is very enjoyable, quite lovely.

        I also like The Taj's.

        I avoid Upstairs on the Square and am happy to dissuade others, but admittedly I've never been there for afternoon tea.

        1. re: rlove

          I second the Taj. It is "old scool" and remains the "Old Ritz" to me.

          1. re: rlove

            Upstairs does their tea well, but I'm consistently disappointed with their dinner service.

        2. I have not been there myself, but I have heard good things about Dorset, in Wellesley.

          Dorset Tea & Coffee
          352 Washington St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ruprecht

            The Courtyard restaurant at the Boston Public Library has started doing afternoon tea. Saw a sign for it today when I stopped to get a coffee at the their cafe today.

          2. I can recommend the Bristol Lounge @ The Four Seasons.

            4 Replies
            1. re: robertlf

              We liked the tea at The Four Seasons, too. I was a little disappointed when we tried the Ritz, though perhaps my expectations were higher because it was the Ritz. We've also tried afternoon tea at the BPL and the food was good, the room was nice, but the service was terrible - we waited a very long time to order, for our food to arrive, and then to get the bill. this was a few years ago, though, so things may have improved.

              1. re: gimlis1mum

                It is a new company, The Catered Affair out of Hingham, that running the BPL restaurant. Believe that it is a recent change. Not sure who was there before.

                1. re: iloveporkbelly

                  FYI - The Catered Affair is a great catering company. We have had a couple of positive experiences with them.

                  1. re: robertlf

                    I also used them as a caterer and was extremely happy with them.

            2. Sadly, the Boston Tea Cup blog ( ) has not been updated since last April but, it is still worth a look. This team did a great job of covering this subject.


                1. re: jcess7

                  Colonial inn in Concord. I went quite a few yrs back, they should still have it

                  1. re: queeny

                    My wedding rehearsal meal was afternoon tea at the Colonial Inn, in the spring of 2002. Like other dining there, it was decent but not great at that time; I suspect that like other dining there it's gone downhill a bit in the intervening years.

                  2. re: jcess7

                    Haven't been there yet, but I want to try the afternoon tea at The Exchange in Wenham. The Wenham Museum is right across the street; they have a great model train room and kid-friendly exhibits on the lower level, and a small costume display on the main floor. Depening on who comprises your party, the museum/tea combo could make for a nice day out.


                    1. re: jcess7

                      Left Bank Cafe in Tyngsboro (OK - OUTER suburbs) does a fantastic afternoon tea.