This past weekend, my mom flew out to visit me! After raving about my adventures in London this past April, I decided to surprise her with an afternoon tea, American-style. When it comes to the whole ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ idea, I am sometimes skeptical of what that actually entails. For example, anytime I see a Philly cheesesteak place, a restaurant that specializes in Jersey hoagies, or anywhere with ties to ‘authentic’ cuisine other than where it originates, I become doubtful!
Now, I am no way a tea connoisseur or picky about tea. I do have my favorite brands and blends that I lean to, but I am open to trying different flavorings! I once looked up the possibility to be a professional Tea Taster – involved a formal education and opportunity to study in one of the tea capitals of the world! Sounds similar to that of wine or coffee.
With that being said, a friend sent me the following video about the customs/culture around Afternoon Tea:
I had no idea about the order of the tiers you consume nor that each one was designated a different taste bud of sweet/savory. For the adventure with my mom, we were actually attending over the lunch hour. I was hesitant at first to have this be our meal but there was no need to be as we were STUFFED by the end of the outing.
We each ordered a few different tea blends, all black, including China Rose Petal, Apricot Afternoon, and Raspberry Black. Shorrtly after the tea arrived and steeped, the tiered tray was delivered with pretty arrangements of sweets and succulent sandwiches. The menu included the following:
- Spinach quiche with goat cheese
- Finger sandwiches of cucumber and cream cheese and egg salad on asiago
- Lavendar and Raspberry macarons
- Poppyseed scones
- Fresh Fruit
- Pound Cake
A card placed at every place setting designated the distinction between Afternoon and High Tea – I had no idea! The former is a light fare eaten in late afternoon which would mean a late dinner. The latter had more of a hearty meal and more likley served to men. I felt bad when the server asked where I had been to afternoon tea before and I responded quietly “London”. She took a step back and proclaimed that my expectations would be pretty high!! However, I was honestly impressed and overly satisfied by the meal and am looking to host the next book club or my birthday there in the future! Now I am on a mission to get a 3-tiered tea tray and to host tea parties or just do one for myself like I did when I was in London haha.
Any American Tea Rooms that you have been?