14 Spots Around the World to Enjoy High Tea
Afternoon tea is no longer reserved just for the royals. Our Travel Channel guide offers spots where anyone can get fancy and enjoy a cup of tea and tasty treat.
Photo By: The Adolphus Hotel
Photo By: Virgin Airways
Photo By: The Curtain
Photo By: San Francisco Proper
Photo By: Image courtesy of the Conrad St. James
Photo By: Tudor Rose Tea Room
Photo By: Getty Villa
Photo By: Courtesy of Pelican Hill
Photo By: The Adolphus Hotel
Photo By: Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City
Photo By: St. Regis Washington D.C.
Photo By: Palace Hotel
Photo By: Hamilton Princess
Photo By: Hotel Bennett
Photo By: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
High Tea and Afternoon Tea
Although high tea may sound ostentatious in a country more in thrall to coffee, a spot of tea in the afternoon is more accessible, relaxing and enjoyable than you may think. Great for marking a special occasion or recharging after an afternoon of shopping, afternoon tea is also a great opportunity to spend time with younger relatives who can enjoy the ritual and the treats and brush up on their table manners. We think afternoon tea is a British tradition worth importing to our shores. Afternoon tea is generally served in the mid-afternoon with a selection of scones, tea sandwiches and cakes. High tea, on the other hand, is more like a frugal supper served with tea. You can enjoy these royal-approved traditions at venues across the U.S. and beyond.
High Tea in the Air
Virgin Atlantic Airways offers their own in-air take on afternoon tea with a specially-curated tea created by master patissier Eric Lanlard on day flights featuring handmade sandwiches, scones and an assortment of macarons. Upper Class, Premium and Economy cabins can all enjoy variations on this tea. The afternoon tea is also offered in the Virgin Atlantic London Heathrow Clubhouse between 3 and 5:30 p.m. daily with a pot of tea and Lanson rose champagne served alongside a host of savory and sweet treats including sultana scones with strawberry preserve, lemon and clotted cream; Eton mess verrine with strawberry coulis; broccoli, goat cheese and cress tart; and proscuitto, tomato and rocket on a stone-baked brown roll.
The Curtain Hotel & Members Club (London, England)
Get your afternoon pick-me-up in London’s hip neighborhood of Shoreditch at The Curtain Hotel & Members Club, where afternoon tea is served in the hotel lobby bar, Green Room, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday. They’ve collaborated with Hackney Herbal, a London-based social enterprise that shines light on the benefits of herbs, to offer a range of classic and bespoke teas, including The Curtain’s original blend: spearmint, echinacea, sage and licorice, plus Earl Grey and English Breakfast. If you want to take afternoon tea up a notch, try the champagne tea from the Veuve Clicquot teapot. A whole bottle of champagne is infused with a tea of your choice. Cheers!
San Francisco Proper Hotel (San Francisco, California)
San Francisco Proper Hotel is now offering afternoon tea in its stylish lobby, designed by world renowned interior designer, Kelly Wearstler. Offered daily, guests and locals alike can indulge in an afternoon of glamour and tradition with a selection of tea sandwiches such as English cucumber, deviled egg salad and cashew butter and sweet treats like cream tea scones and cake doughnut holes, all while admiring Wearstler's eclectic design. (Afternoon tea service is available daily from 2 - 5 p.m. for $39 per person)
Conrad London St. James (London, England)
Though seasonally-themed teas are available year round at Conrad London St. James, during the annual Chelsea Flower Show each May the Conrad London St. James hosts a Glorious Garden tea featuring floral-infused sweets and mini-veggie savories including carrot cake baked in a tiny terra-cotta pot. To find out about more themed teas in London, head to the website Afternoon Tea UK.
Tudor Rose English Tea Room (Sonoma County, California)
California’s wine country has a lot more to offer than just wine - here you can find an authentic tea room with British roots and other offerings. The Tudor Rose English Tea Room is home to innovative flavored teas like pumpkin and cream, coconut cream pie, as well as the Tudor Rose, a blend of rose and vanilla flavors. In addition to the more common baby and bridal showers offered, Tudor Rose hosts a variety of themed events including a Mad Hatter tea party, murder mystery dinners, Harry Potter and Mary Poppins events, and more.
Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades, California)
At the historic Getty Villa overlooking the coast along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, visitors can enjoy ancient Greek and Roman art, gardens, exquisite architecture, and a great afternoon tea - "Tea by the Sea." Tea by the Sea was inspired by the Villa’s recreated first-century Roman gardens, with a curated seasonal menu grown locally in the garden and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the property. Tea by the Sea combines California’s beaches with ancient Mediterranean history and the European activity of high tea. After tea, visitors can enjoy a culinary-inspired garden tour. Tea by the Sea is offered Thursdays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. ($44 per person, plus tax and 18% service charge.)
The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Beach, California)
Newport Beach’s most luxurious resort, The Resort at Pelican Hill, offers a modern twist on traditional high tea. Located in the resort’s Great Room Social Lounge, visitors can enjoy "Tea Moderno" every Friday-Sunday featuring contemporary tea blends, tea-based cocktails, Italian-inspired small bites and modern decor to bring a new element to a usually traditional event. Additionally, the resort hosts a variety of events including a princess tea party for children, Mother’s Day tea and more. Tea Moderno is offered every Friday-Sunday from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ($55* per adult, $35* per child ages 4-16. Pricing excludes tax and service charge. Advance reservations required.)
The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas, Texas)
From the menu curated by the hotel’s culinary team to the beautiful custom china, the afternoon tea service at the Adolphus Hotel is filled with delight and surprise. Every weekend, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the hotel serves local Zakti’s tea enhanced with housemade savory finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and other sweets including Raspberry Macarons, Orange Cardamom Shortbread and Fudge & Ganache Tart. The exquisitely executed tea at The Adolphus is a storied tradition of the hotel and is served in The French Room, a newly renovated space inspired by timeless European architecture. Reservations are recommended.
The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (Arlington, Virginia)
This luxury hotel located in the heart of Arlington offers three tea experiences including Afternoon Tea ($42 per person), and Tea Royal ($50 per person) for adults with homemade scones, tea sandwiches and pastry delights served with a selection of teas and classic champagne cocktails. Children will love the Teddy Bear Tea which includes a selection of Children’s Tea Sandwiches, a Chef’s Sweet Plate and Hot Chocolate or Tea.
The St. Regis (Washington, D.C.)
For nearly a century, The St. Regis Washington, D.C. has welcomed connoisseurs with refined sophistication and an unwavering attention to detail. Held each afternoon in the hotel's grand lobby, the hotel's Afternoon Tea ritual is an exquisite culinary journey and the quintessential way to conclude a busy day in the city. Guests are invited to the hotel's grand lobby from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to enjoy delectable pastries and tea sandwiches inspired by the season, a luxurious selection of tea from Palais des Thés and optional Champagne pairings. ($55 per person)
Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel (San Francisco, California)
Served every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Signature Tea is a classic Palace experience in The Garden Court Restaurant, surrounded by the breathtaking GC Lounge under the moonlit glass dome and shimmering chandeliers. A Palace tradition with a fresh, new attitude, the beloved Signature Tea celebrates the exquisite ritual while showcasing an elegant menu that is perfectly paired with every pour.
Hamilton Princess (Bermuda)
Coined the "Pink Palace" and "A Palace of Eternal Spring," by Princess Louise of England, The Hamilton Princess is the perfect blend of vintage with a modern twist. Gearing up for its 135 anniversary in 2020, the crown gem of Bermuda features a luscious pink exterior, Bermuda’s only full service hotel marina and an afternoon tea partnership with Lili Bermuda, the popular Bermudian fragrance icon. Travelers can enjoy an afternoon tea on property from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. that strategically pairs savory teas with a corresponding fragrance. Selections are separated by floral, earthy and fruity including everything from a royal bermuda rose to a jasmine gold dragon. Prices start at $55 (those who want champagne can enjoy for $75).
Camellias at Hotel Bennett (Charleston, South Carolina)
A girly extravaganza of millennial pink glamour featuring stunning marble bar and tabletops, Camellias at Charleston's Hotel Bennett hosts an afternoon high tea (reservations are recommended, so call ahead) with green, herbal and black tea options and a Peter Rabbit tea for children. A selection of scones, pastries and savory offerings with a Southern focus can include deviled eggs, crab tartlets and grits and pimento cheese.
St. Regis Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia)
This glam Atlanta hotel, a popular stay for celebrities in town shooting films, also hosts seasonal teas Saturdays and Sundays in the tea room at Astor Court. The teas feature an array of sweet and savory treats (which change according to time of year) including quiche, smoked salmon and grilled peaches (it is Georgia, after all) in the St. Regis Atlanta's sumptuous surroundings. The St. Regis even offers some etiquette tips for afternoon teas, like "No pinkies up are needed during a tea, but rather keep a full grip on the handle."