High Tea 101: The Best Places to Go for an Authentic Experience
You don’t have to be English royalty to enjoy high tea. Although it has its roots in 19th-century nobility, afternoon tea, as it’s sometimes known, is a tradition that extends beyond the castle walls. Despite its ties to earls and duchesses of the past, it’s very much a habit that modern-day tea enthusiasts enjoy all the time — usually in the comfort of their own home, with a cookie on the side. That isn’t _quite_ in the same vein as old-world customs, but there _are_ ways you can embrace a more royal way of sipping your cuppa. Just call it high tea 101. Here’s where to book your bus adventure so that you can enjoy an authentic experience.
New York City, NY
You’ll feel like you’re in another world when you step into the Baccarat Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The luxurious five-star property offers an afternoon tea service that is almost absurdly upscale. (In other words, dress your best!) The hotel dazzles at first sight, and the ambiance is unforgettable, offering a polished take on contemporary style complete with warm lighting, plush chairs, and dramatic tablescapes. This alone would be worth a five-star review in its own right, but you’re not studying high tea 101 for the décor! The menu offers a variety of services, of which the most noteworthy by far is Tsar Nicholas II. The setup for two includes bespoke tea blends, plus something considerably unexpected: 28 grams of Grandeur Gold caviar and a spread of accompaniments, including red onions, chives, toast points, and egg yolks. Lavender shortbreads are also provided to tempt your sweet tooth, and the service includes a bottle of champagne. You can opt-out of that, if you wish, and slash the price considerably. If you favor a more traditional tea, the hotel offers several worthy alternatives, each with mouthwatering additions like raspberry macarons, honey lavender cake, and pistachio baklava.
While you might expect memorable tea at high-end hotels, it’s worth considering restaurants in big cities, too. That’s especially true in Boston, where Rowes Wharf Sea Grille makes a masterpiece of its afternoon service. The eatery provides sublime views of Boston Harbor, allowing you to reflect in peace as you sip from their vast and varied selection of delicious teas. Guests can select from different types of black, green, oolong, white, rooibos, and herbal blends, and all include a selection of delicious petit sandwiches (including the unforgettable golden potato and egg salad on challah), along with buttery, flaky pastries like lemon drop cookies, vanilla bean and black currant scones, and blueberry-orange crumb cake. The afternoon menu also includes a variety of artisanal cocktails and wines to complement the occasion.
Locals swear by Lady Camellia, a Victorian-style tea room that commits to providing its patrons with the complete high tea experience — minus the lavish matching price tag. Situated in a historic neighborhood in Georgetown, it boasts a lime green exterior and is both quaint and inviting at a glance. Step inside and you’ll find yourself immersed in old-world bliss: there’s warm ivory and pink wallpaper, brass photo frames, an elaborately aged fireplace, and small trinkets and figurines that set a soothing, mellow tone. It’s all in keeping with the menu, which is filled with excellent options to please any palate. The original High Tea includes a single pot, plus your choice of two scones or croissants, four pastries, and an English pie. If you’re traveling with children under 10 years old, bear in mind they offer kid-friendly services, too, with treats like grilled cheese sandwiches, orange juice, and PB&J.
The Langham is one of the finest hotels in Chicago. Bright, airy, and modern, it’s situated in a prime spot downtown. That’s key when you’re sipping tea in their lounge, Pavilion. The signature service is in keeping with a tradition that first started in the London location of the Langham in 1865. You’ll feel as good as regal as you sip your tea in high style, all while gazing at sweeping views of the city. Menus change from season to season, and all are built around appetizing ingredients that fill hearty mini sandwiches, buttery scones, and irresistible pastries that balance their broad selection of teas. Several blends are exclusive to the hotel, among the most beloved of which are the Silk Road white tea and the relaxing English Flower chamomile tea. Champagne and sparkling wine are also available.
San Francisco, CA
It’s basic high tea 101: always seek memorable destinations for your tea fix. If you happen to be in San Francisco, you’ll find almost no location more appealing and welcoming than the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park. Upon setting foot on the grounds, you’ll understand immediately why it’s such a special place. Fragrant, shapely trees and beautifully manicured gardens add to the ambiance. One of the main highlights is the Monterey Pine, which was originally situated along the park’s waterfront, along with an immaculately trimmed hedge in the silhouette of Mt. Fuji. Guests enjoy everything from traditional Japanese cookies to classic tea sandwiches, along with standouts like green tea cheesecake, arare rice crackers, and even sushi rolls if you’re so inclined.
High Tea 101: Book Your Bus Trip Today
Is your mouth watering yet? Head straight for BusTickets.com to book affordable tickets for everyone in your family, then pamper yourself with some indulgent high tea — and make memories you’ll treasure for a lifetime.