January 5, 2011

afternoon tea

The Ritz London

The first time I experienced a proper afternoon tea was about ten years ago when I visited some friends in London and they took me to the Ritz Carlton. It was beautiful, it was delicious, it was fancy...what's not to love? I was really surprised to find how filling it was - not just a few pastries and cup of tea. There were scones (by the way I love clotted cream - does anyone know where I can find some in the US?), pastries and a variety of little sandwiches. And of course tea and champagne if you like. I'm sure most afternoon teas aren't as formal - all men dining at the Ritz are required to wear a jacket - yes, even for tea - but it was an awesome experience. When Eric and I went to London a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to go for tea again but somewhere a bit more casual than the Ritz and less pricey (tea at the Ritz is about 40 pounds = $62). We decided to check out tea at the Wolseley:

image via

It was the best meal we had on that trip. First off, the space was incredible. It was first built in the 1920's as a car showroom and the building went through a few different phases until it was turned into a restaurant in 2003. And the tea was so good and half as expensive as the Ritz. Win win.

Unfortunately afternoon tea isn't as prevalent here in the US, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There are quite a few places that offer it in Philly but I've only gone to one place: XIX in the Bellevue. Karen and I try to go twice a year - once in the spring/summer and again in the winter around Christmas. It's such a treat and I really look forward to it. We went last week and this was our spread:


We added a glass of champagne:) Here is a close up of the food:


Looks good right? Wish I could have tea everyday.


Karen said...

Wish we could do that once a week instead of twice a year! We should try different places out next time, just to see what's out there.

Sary said...

i know we should. but XIX is just so good! though i think there is a place with outdoor seathing that might be nice in the summer...

Amanda said...

The Wolseley looks amazing...now I want to go to tea! I have only been twice, and I really loved it. Next time, I will definitely add the champagne too. Great idea!

:), luckynumber3.com

michitecture said...

i love XIX- where j and I had our celebration dinner after we got engaged, AND we chose XIX again for the wedding rehearsal dinner :)