Afternoon tea? The London, Montage, Rose Tree Cottage - or???
My mom's b'day is next week (Wednesday) and I'd like to take her to tea. We go to tea often for celebratory events, and I'd like to take her some where new.
Our hands down favorite is the Langham Pasadena, formerly Ritz Carlton. Unfortunately, they don't serve their afternoon tea on Wednesdays.
We've been to The Peninsula and Hotel Bel Air - as well as Huntington Library and Scarlet Tea Room. So those are definitely out.
I've been to Four Season's Tea Room (Sierra Madre) and while I like it, am looking for something a little more service oriented (like Langham).
I haven't been to Rose Tree Cottage since they moved from their California Blvd/Lake location - but my initial experience there was not a good one (I found it over the top, a little old/musty feeling, and not very good in general).
The other two 'new' places for us would be either The London or Montage BH - does anyone have any experience with either of these two places? Would you pick one over the other? I wasn't particularly fond of driving to the westside in the afternoon (didn't want to fight traffic heading home), but will if it's worth it.
I'm also open to any other suggestions!
I would highly recommend Afternoon Tea at Jose Andres restaurant at the SLS. It is next door to Bazaar adjacent to the hotel's lobby. Cost including tax and tip (20%) is $34. The food was incredible. When you enter the restaurant, you can start with a refreshing glass of fresh lemonade, Once seated, your waiter will explain the menu and the required choice options for two specific dishes from the Bazaar Menu. #1 fois gras (with quince) on a bun or the lox cone, #2 guacamole or caviar cone. The tri-platter with assorted tea sandwiches, and a plethora of delicious desserts, including a large cone filled with chocolate "pop" balls that explode with flavor and a continuous zapping. Of course a choice of teas are included. We had a very private table for 6. The service was excellent! The waiter was very accommodating, and gave me multiple fois gras sandwiches as a substitute for sandwiches with nuts. The room decor was lovely and very inviting. Bazaar is one of our favorite restaurants, we dine there often and now I will be taking my mother and all my daughters and friends to the Afternoon Tea!
Update: ended up at The London. It was a pleasant experience, but not necessarily one that I need to return to. My favorite part was they used chinese-style tea pots (which kept the tea extremely hot). They brought out the sandwiches, scones and desserts out at the same time (which I didn't mind until I realized the ice cream in one of the desserts had melted and was now under all the other desserts). The other favorite thing was the Chantilly cream and marmalade served with the scones - I could eat that combo sans scone! :)
re: The Oracle
Since I really enjoyed my afternoon tea at The London, I'm curious why you say it's not necessarily an experience you need to return to. I do realize that's hardly a negative critique; I'm just curious. (Was it because of the melted ice cream?)
Incidentally, I'm set to have afternoon tea with my mother at the SLS soon, and am extremely excited about it!
LOL - no, it was not because of the melted ice cream! :) although, I still don't understand why they serve their desserts at the same time as the savory items.
In comparing it to other tea experiences, I just wasn't impressed enough to come back or recommend it. It's more an overall experience factor vs. just the food. It was a little stiff/forced vs. a relaxing afternoon tea, for me. We were there on a weekday and were one of two tables, so I can understand why they would disappear for long bouts of time, but I literally had to flag someone down on more than one occasion. That, combined with the way all the food was brought out at the same time (even if there was no ice cream to melt) adds to that.
It's a nice tea experience, but I personally didn't feel it to be very 'special occasion', but rather just ordinary.
re: The Oracle
Just for the record, I had a really lovely, albeit casual afternoon tea at Jin Patisserie.
The Peninsula Hotel also has a pretty infamous tea service. Both might be options for future tea outings.
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Roof Garden at The Peninsula Hotel
9882 South Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212