Where to Sip Afternoon Tea in Los Angeles
The world has certainly embraced the English tradition of afternoon tea, where in between lunch and dinner tea is served with a selection of scones, finger sandwiches and sweets. So civilized, no? Afternoon tea is decidedly different from high tea, although these days in LA the terms are used interchangeably. (FYI: High tea traditionally involves more substantive food, like meat, fish and egg dishes in addition to bread and dessert, and is served in the early evening.) Fortunately for us tea lovers, there are a number of places from hotels to tea rooms that offer their version of afternoon tea in Los Angeles. Pinkies up!
1. The Living Room at Peninsula Beverly Hills
For a celebratory afternoon tea, head to the elegant Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. Instead of the usual cucumber or egg salad sandwiches, take things up a notch with a lobster roll with caviar and crab salad sandwiches while a live harpist plays a soothing melody. Classy, no? Tea starts at $112 per person and includes a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne, but you can also add endless bubbles starting from an additional $35.
9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212; peninsula.com
2. Lilly Rose at The Wayfarer
In the basement of The Wayfarer Hotel in downtown LA is Lilly Rose, a gothic bar that is perfect for a whimsical afternoon tea. On Friday to Sunday afternoons, Lilly Rose opens up for afternoon tea service before the bar service begins. The mismatched cups and plates along with neat touches around the room make this the hippest tea service on our list (and probably one of the coolest for the ‘Gram). The scones may be on the smaller side, but Lilly Rose does offer tea infused cocktails, including a fun color changing one with butterfly pea tea.
813 Flower St., Los Angeles, CA 90017; wayfarerdtla.com
3. Rose Tree Cottage
Charming and cozy, Rose Tree Cottage is as British as a proper British tea goes. Dress codes for the gentlemen are enforced, they note that afternoon tea is never served before noon, and no photo taking is allowed. Despite all the rules, it’s a cute experience complete with real clotted cream and a butler in a tuxedo serving you. Afternoon tea here is $50, cash only and is served in the garden with plenty of space between tables.
801 S. Pasadena Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105; rosetreecottage.com
4. Le Méridien Pasadena Arcadia
The newly opened Le Méridien Hotel is offering a high tea and highballs menu in their hotel lobby. Drawing from their location in San Gabriel Valley and its large Asian community, the afternoon menu features Asian-inspired desserts such as mochi and matcha scones, and upgrade options are available that include highballs made with Japanese whiskies and a caviar canapé. Yum.
130 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia, CA 91007; marriott.com
5. Tea Rose Garden
Tea Rose Garden is a nice escape in busy Old Town Pasadena, offering a place to relax and enjoy a large selection of loose leaf teas and treats. This tea room offers multiple options for tea service along with various items available a la carte, from scones to salads and full-sized sandwiches. This tea room is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., making this the perfect place to extend your tea time with lunch. Tea Rose Garden also sells flower arrangements, so you can expect fresh flowers to adorn the pretty tea room.
70 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103; tearosegarden.com
6. The Four Seasons Tea Room
The Four Seasons Tea Room in Sierra Madre is a cozy tea room that’s been pouring for the San Gabriel Valley community for more than 20 years, thanks to their friendly service and tea options that start from just $18.50. Choose between scones, sandwiches or salad—or opt for the $30 Royal Afternoon Tea to get a little bit of everything. They also have shaded outdoor seating in the garden that’s perfectly lovely.
75 N. Baldwin Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024; thefourseasonstearoom.com
7. Ye Olde King’s Head
This old British pub in Santa Monica is a rather unexpected location for afternoon tea, but they are, after all, British, and this 40-year old landmark is known for more than just pub fare. The loose leaf tea selection is a little limited, but the delicious sausage roll makes this option a little more filling than most teas. The afternoon tea is $30 per person and is available Wednesday to Saturday. A vegetarian version of the menu is also available.
116 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401; yeoldekingshead.com
8. The Huntington Library
The botanical garden grounds of The Huntington Library is certainly a pleasant way to leisurely enjoy afternoon tea. The afternoon tea here includes savory and sweet scones, sandwiches and sweet treats. They have a few tea options but the most popular one is their rose tea. While the Rose Garden Tea Room is currently closed for renovation, the tea-for-two package can still be pre-ordered and served at the 1919 Cafe patio. The tea-for-two is $85 and is available Thursday to Monday. There is also a vegetarian version available.
1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, CA 91108; huntington.org
9. Rose and Blanc Tea Room
This blush pink tea room in Koreatown became popular thanks to its Instagrammable interior and cute teawares. Rose and Blanc’s savory offerings also go beyond the traditional finger sandwiches with quiche and croissants, while the sweeter side rounds out the experience with macarons and cake. Afternoon tea starts at $35 per person and Rose and Blanc sources their teas from a number of famous tea brands around the world.
301 S. Western Ave. #202, Los Angeles, CA 90020; roseandblanctearoom.com
With four tea rooms around town, Chado is one of the main afternoon tea players in LA. Their afternoon tea service is one of the more affordable ones and their tea rooms are open seven days a week, which makes it very accessible. The standard afternoon tea doesn't offer a lot of food, though you can upgrade to the celebration afternoon tea which comes with an appetizer and more desserts. Chado does win points, however, by having the largest (over 150) selection of loose leaf teas.
Multiple locations; chadotearoom.com
11. The Getty Villa and The Getty Center
In the before times, The Getty Villa in Malibu offered afternoon teas called Tea by the Sea. Now, the afternoon tea offerings have been renewed and are available at both The Getty Center and The Getty Villa. The Garden Tea at The Getty Villa is prepared using ingredients from their authentically recreated first-century Roman herb garden, while The Getty Center’s tea features house baked scones, finger sandwiches, kouign amann, black truffle madeleines and other treats. The afternoon tea is served Thursdays and Saturdays in the Founder’s Room at The Getty Villa or the restaurant terrace at The Getty Center.
Multiple locations; getty.edu
12. Dream Come True Tea and Party Room
Got your kid’s birthday party coming up? Book the room at this magical space for a tea party she’ll never forget. And yes, they do adult parties, too. But even if you’re not holding a themed party here, you can stop by here for a cup of tea and some treats, plus borrow some dress-up accessories to really get into the spirit of things. Open Wednesday through Sunday.
3924 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, CA 90807; dreamcometruepartyroom.com
13. Hello Kitty Grand Cafe
We know this one crosses the orange curtain, but it’s Hello Kitty so it’s worth the drive to check this place out. From the pink Hello Kitty-covered room to the themed setup, this is the perfect tea time for Sanrio lovers. Afternoon tea hereis $60 per person and includes strawberries with chocolate whipped cream, a salmon croissant, scones, a Hello Kitty mini cake and more. Just be sure to make a reservation as this place is quite popular!
860 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, CA 92618; sanrio.com
14. Sugarbird Sweets
Sugarbird Sweets doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, but their afternoon tea takeout packages became quite the hit last year. The seasonal set comes with some of the best scones in LA, tea sandwiches, cheese and shortbread along with loose leaf tea. They even provide disposable three-tier stands so you can have the proper setup to enjoy it at home. Orders can be picked up in Highland Park, but they are also available to ship within California and anywhere where orders can arrive within two days.
15. White Rabbit High Tea
White Rabbit brings a special high tea to Los Angeles with a cannabis-filled afternoon tea party in the garden, with guests encouraged to dress up for the occasion. The tea, finger sandwiches and sweets themselves are not infused with anything, but there are plenty of cannabis products for guests to play with on the tables (and to take home), as well as CBD-infused mocktails made with Good Stuff Beverage Co. White Rabbit holds their high tea events seasonally, and those interested can get information on future events by subscribing to their newsletter.
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