My fascination and love for afternoon tea has become an obsession with finding the best afternoon tea in the world. Afternoon tea consists of sweets, savories, scones with jam and clotted cream and a nice pot of tea. I’ve had afternoon tea at several restaurants, but my goal is to sample afternoon tea from around the world and share my experiences with you. I’ll be doing reviews and posting them here, if there are any deals or coupons being offered, I’ll share those with you too.
All my reviews are my honest opinion of not only the food, but the atmosphere within the restaurant/tea room. Most of us know in order to have a great afternoon tea experience ambiance plays a great role. I’ve tried afternoon tea locations with different theme’s and different ways of serving afternoon tea, I can say to date my favorite has been afternoon tea in Sweden. I encourage you to experience afternoon tea for yourself and tell me about the experience.
The Courtyard Restaurant at the Boston Public Library (Boston, MA)
Afternoon tea at the Courtyard Restaurant was such an amazing experience. From the menu to the decor, I was impressed by this unassuming tea room with spectacular food. The service was professional and prompt. But please be aware you must make reservations in advance. Now lets begin with the amazing food. You get the three-tiered tray with your sweets, scones and savories. They offered two types of scones plain vanilla and chocolate chip, my favorite was the plain vanilla scone. The sweets included macarons, a mini lemon poppy bundtcake and a piece of chocolate. A fruit tart with vanilla filling and a raspberry thumbprint cookie. The savories included a shrimp salad sandwich, smoked salmon on pumpernickel and a mushroom butter sandwich. Top it all off you can get all of this with a glass of sparkling wine for $49pp. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is a fan of the afternoon experience. I loved the quirky decor of books with menus in them and the view of the libraries courtyard, hence the name of the restaurant. I’ll certainly be making a stop here again, the next time I’m in Boston.
Cons: I would have preferred champagne over sparkling wine
Pros: The service and the amazingly delicious food
The Russian Tea Room (New York, NY)
I discussed the Russian Tea Room in a previous blog post but I wanted to elaborate some more on my experience there. As stated before I go out to eat at my own expense (well, my husbands!) I don’t get a discount or a free meal to conduct these reviews, but as someone who is passionate about travel and unique food experiences, its important for me to share my thoughts and experiences with you. So the Russian Tea Room requires reservation, they only serve afternoon tea between the hours of 2:00pm and 4:30pm. The atmosphere is complete luxury, the art down to the white cloth napkins and silverware. A bottle of water for the table will cost you $10 so if possible, avoid at all cost! The afternoon tea, I must admit was amazing. It was my second time having caviar, so it was interesting to have it with the Bellini pancakes. The scones were out of this world, and that’s difficulty for me to say, the woman who takes pride in making amazing scones, myself. They offer a variety of sandwiches, smoked salmon, curried chicken salad and a cucumber sandwich that came with raisin bread (didn’t care for it). The second course which was dessert, came with cupcakes and chocolate truffles. The red velvet was exactly that, velvet. I couldn’t stop eating it. All in all this was a great afternoon tea experience. We didn’t wait long for the food, the service was great and the food was even better. You pay for the quality, because this place is certainly pricey at $60 per person for the regular afternoon tea. If your looking for something a bit more the royal afternoon tea which I think is about $15 more comes with champagne.
Pros: Great service, delicious food
Tea & Sympathy (New York, NY)
I’ve been waiting a long time to head to Tea & Sympathy in New York City, located in Greenwich Village to be exact. Parking in New York can be difficult sometimes, but I found parking on a side street about three blocks away. The wait to be seated was about 15 minutes, but we spent that time checking out their store next door which sold British imports like tea pots, HP sauce, Clotted Cream and Jelly Babies, which I purchased (I couldn’t help myself 😊). After heading back to the tea room, we were seated, but the tables in my opinion were way too small. It’s a small tea room, so seating was tight, but the setup and decor was typical of a British tea room in England, which I loved. I ordered the afternoon tea and my brother ordered a salad, I believe it was called the Absolutely Fabulous Salad. It was fabulous alright! The tea service featured above had all the right elements to an amazing afternoon tea for one. With two scones, jam and cream, (9) finger sandwiches which were cucumber, chicken salad and tuna along with a Victoria Sponge and Bakewell tart, this by far was the best afternoon tea experience I’ve had. The afternoon tea also came with a pot of Earl Grey tea which was lovely with milk and sugar. If your heading to Manhattan and looking for an authentic British afternoon tea experience, head to Tea & Sympathy.
Cons: Small tables and the size of the tea room
Pros: Great food, great service and neighborhood
Alice’s Tea Cup-Chapter II (New York, NY)
To be begin, the wait at Alice’s Tea Cup was long and uncomfortable, as there was no seating available for waiting patrons. When our table was finally ready, we ordered and our food came about 30 minutes later. Sorry to say, but the food does not live up to the hype. The sandwich (savory) which was cut in half was turkey and cheese, but had no flavor. The (sweets) were cookies, which were dry and not up to expectations. The scone was not bad but nothing compared to the scones I make in my own home. The afternoon tea was not worth the price of $35, they claim to be a British tea room, but there was nothing British about my afternoon tea experience. It’s safe to say, I will not be returning to Alice’s Tea Cup.
Cons: Food and Service
Pros: Location (Residential Area)
Chaikhana Tea House-Gamla Stan (Stockholm, Sweden)
My experience at Chaikhana was a relaxing one. I went alone while I was in Gamla Stan. The tea room itself was very spacious and clean. There was no real wait when it came to being seated. There were a few patrons sitting when I arrived, the waiter spoke English and was very attentive to my needs, helping me with menu options for my afternoon tea. The savory options were delicious and included a smoked salmon tea sandwich and chicken egg salad tea sandwich. The scones were different than any scones I’ve had before, but they were delicious and I did get two with two types of jam and clotted cream. I had a lovely pot of green tea which was light and not overwhelming at all. My dessert was a slice of cake and a glass of champagne. The tea room has a lot of specialty tea’s which were displayed behind the counter. For $45, I have to say, this was well worth it. I took my time eating at my window seat and people watched. I recommend this tea room to anyone visiting Stockholm, Sweden.
Pros: Dessert and Champagne
Cons: The price might be a bit high for some, but I thought it was worth it for the quality of food.